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Friday round-up

Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its questioning of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, in another long session yesterday. Our live-blog of the proceedings is here. Jon Levitan rounded up early coverage and commentary. Nina Totenberg covers the proceedings for NPR (audio). For The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Byron Tau report that “[s]enators battled each other over confidential documents,” and that when “senators did press Judge Kavanaugh, they often were rebuffed[:] They invited him to criticize President Trump’s attacks on judges, prosecutors and the press, but he spent his final day [of testimony] deflecting those efforts as well as attempts to draw out his views on abortion rights, campaign finance regulations and same-sex marriage.” Ariane de Vogue reports at CNN that “Kavanaugh’s hearings have been largely about politics.” For The Washington Post, Sean Sullivan reports that “[t]he 2020 presidential campaign came roaring into Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings this week, with a pair of prospective Democratic candidates going to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate their opposition to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.”

At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that, unlike Justice Neil Gorsuch, “Kavanaugh refused to comment on President Donald Trump’s frequent criticisms of the federal judiciary, insisting that he would not get ‘within three ZIP codes’ [of] any political controversy.” Mauro also reports on Kavanaugh’s views about cameras in the courtroom, here, and his exchange with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., about a book the senator had lent him about a legendary district-court judge in Alabama, here. Additional coverage of yesterday’s hearing comes from Mark Walsh at Education Week’s School Law Blog.

Amy Howe provides highlights in a podcast at Howe on the Court. A podcast at the Daily Journal also recaps yesterday’s questioning. Lisa Keen at Keen News Service calls the protestors who have been disrupting the hearing “a visible and vocal metaphor for efforts by Democrats on that committee and other opponents of the nomination, including LGBT activists.”


  • Subscript Law offers a graphic explainer for Weyerhaeuser Company v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a challenge to the federal government’s critical-habitat designation for the dusky gopher frog.
  • For the Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice & Comment blog, Bernard Bell notes that the court recently recalled the mandate in a case involving the scope of the Freedom of Information Act’s trade-secrets exemption, and he previews the issues in the case.
  • At POGO, Sarah Turberville urges the justices to review a case in which “[a] man on death row in Arkansas, Don Davis, [is asking] the Supreme Court to end the state’s practice of requiring the defense and prosecution to share the same state mental health professional in death penalty cases.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 7, 2018, 7:36 AM),