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Monday round-up

On Friday afternoon, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that the committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy will begin on September 4 and last three to four days. Coverage comes from Elana Schor at Politico, Richard Wolf for USA Today, Seung Min Kim for The Washington Post, Lisa Mascaro and Mark Sherman for the Associated Press, Todd Ruger at Roll Call, and Manu Raju at CNN. At Vox, Li Zhou reports that “Grassley’s announcement has already prompted outcry from Democrats who argue that he’s expedited the process and set up a hearing before lawmakers have had time to properly review Kavanaugh’s lengthy paper trail.”

For The Washington Times, Steven Dinan reports that “[s]enators on Sunday released tens of thousands of pages of documents from Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House, sending researchers scurrying as Washington prepares for his confirmation fight.” Lisa Mascaro and Mark Sherman report for the Associated Press that “[n]ewly released documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time on the Kenneth Starr team investigating Bill Clinton, [made public on Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request] reveal his resistance to issuing an indictment of a sitting president.” Additional coverage comes from Michael Shear for The New York Times. In an op-ed for The Hill, Thomas Jipping maintains that Kavanaugh’s judicial record, not records relating to his work for Starr or in the White House, is “most relevant to this nomination.”

For The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos and Catie Edmondson report that although “[t]he confirmation fight over Judge Kavanaugh was once billed as the mother of all Supreme Court battles, a fight to the death with the court’s ideological balance on the line,” “energizing and sustaining on-the-ground opposition to a nominee whom most Republicans and some moderate Democrats have deemed well qualified has been difficult, especially when liberal energy is intensely focused on midterm elections less than 90 days away.” For The Washington Post, Sean Sullivan writes that “Democrats have all but acknowledged that they are unable to stop the Senate from confirming … Kavanaugh … this fall.” At New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer blog, Benjamin Hart notes that “Democrats are running out of time to define the candidate on their own terms and make his confirmation anything more than an inevitability.”

For The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Steven Mufson report that “[h]ot-button social issues such as abortion and race have so far dominated the debate about Kavanaugh’s nomination, but there is no more important issue to the Trump administration than bringing to heel the federal agencies and regulatory entities that, in Kavanaugh’s words, form ‘a headless fourth branch of the U.S. Government.’” For The Wall Street Journal, Alexa Corse covers Kavanaugh’s record in another arena, reporting that “[i]n federal court, Brett Kavanaugh may have a reputation for knowledge and expertise, but on the basketball court—well, he tries.”


  • For CNN, Joan Biskupic marks last Friday’s “25th anniversary of [Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s] judicial oath on the US Supreme Court” by looking back at the justice’s life and career, calling “the lesson of Ginsburg’s eight decades — marked by early loss and professional rejection — that life’s vicissitudes can open unexpected doors and bring new opportunities.”
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that “[f]or the second time this year, the U.S. Supreme Court has abruptly discharged a lawyer in private practice who has been serving as a special master, and appointed a senior federal judge to step in and preside over a water dispute between states.”
  • In the latest episode of First Mondays (podcast), Leah Litman and Ian Samuel talk to Rick Hasen about his book, “The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.”
  • For NBC News, Phil Helsel reports that “[a]fter the Supreme Court in May overturned a 1992 lawprohibiting states from legalizing sports gambling, several states have already legalized it, and others are considering it.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 13, 2018, 7:17 AM),