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Tuesday round-up

Recent coverage of the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court focuses on newly released documents from Kavanaugh’s tenure in the office of independent counsel Kenneth Starr. For The Washington Post, Michael Kranish reports that “[a] 1998 memo written by Brett Kavanaugh proposed a series of tough, sexually explicit questions for President Bill Clinton to answer about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, shedding new light on the Supreme Court nominee’s moralistic outlook and his view of presidential power.” Additional coverage comes from Adam Liptak for The New York Times and Joan Biskupic at CNN.

At FiveThirtyEight, Nathaniel Rakich and Dhrumil Mehta look at polling that assesses the effect of potential votes for or against Kavanaugh on the re-election prospects of red-state Senate Democrats. For The Wall Street Journal, Natalie Andrews reports that “[a]s a senator in a state President Trump won by 19 percentage points, [Sen. Claire] McCaskill[, D-Mo.,] summed up her vote on his nomination as ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t.’”

For The Washington Times, Alex Swoyer reports that Kavanaugh’s “dissents — among more than 300 opinions he has written while on the court [of appeals] — lay out what defenders and critics alike say is a conservative approach to the law, with deference to the political branches and the administration in particular.” At PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Mark Silk writes that “[b]ased on his record as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, … Kavanaugh appears to be a more nuanced interpreter of the law than some right-wing Christians might hope.”

At Hosts of Error, Will Rosenzweig argues that “Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Court would exacerbate a more troubling trend for the future of our judiciary—a marked increase in political partisanship on the Court separate from the well-documented politicization of the nomination process in Congress.” At Fox News, Brian Flood writes that “a string of would-be media hits on … Kavanaugh[] have fizzled on impact — doing little to dent his image and, in some cases, backfiring on the news outlets that published them.” At National Review, Carrie Severino argues that “Senate Democrats are pushing ahead with their own desperate strategy to bury the confirmation process under a mountain of irrelevant document requests.”


  • Amy Howe reports for this blog, in a post that originally appeared at Howe on the Court, that during their November argument session, “the justices will hear oral arguments in 12 cases, involving topics that range from the proper method of service for a foreign country to pre-emption by the Atomic Energy Act.”
  • At Constitution Daily, Scott Bomboy offers “a quick look at three cases the Justices will consider during their first week of arguments.”
  • In an op-ed for The Denver Post, Michael Farris maintains that Jack Phillips, the cake artist at the center of last term’s Masterpiece Cakeshop case, “is asking the court to put an end to Colorado’s bullying and protect the right of creative professionals like him to decline to express messages or celebrate events that violate their beliefs” by filing a lawsuit against Colorado state officials who “found probable cause to believe that Masterpiece Cakeshop had violated Colorado’s public accommodation law when it declined to create” a custom cake to celebrate a gender transition.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 21, 2018, 7:05 AM),