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Wednesday round-up

Yesterday, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, released a letter announcing that she has been diagnosed with dementia and is withdrawing from public life. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Jessica Gresko at the Associated Press, Nina Totenberg at NPR, Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, Ariane de Vogue and Veronica Stracqualursi at CNN, Richard Wolf for USA Today, Robert Barnes for The Washington Post, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, Mark Walsh at Education Week’s School Law Blog, and Jess Bravin for The Wall Street Journal, who reports that “[t]he greatest legacy [O’Connor] hoped to leave, she said, was a renewed commitment to civics education, her principal cause since stepping down from the high court in 2006.”

For The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that as O’Connor “exits the public stage, so does the kind of figure once familiar in American political and judicial circles: a moderate Republican ready to find compromise and common ground.” Joan Biskupic writes for CNN that, after previously going public about her battle with breast cancer and the effects of her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease, O’Connor has “again surmounted the stigma that sometimes comes with illness.” At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that before O’Connor made her announcement, she “gave her newly retired colleague Anthony Kennedy a gift of sorts: her chambers,” “a gesture that affirmed the camaraderie and traditions that keep the court collegial, most of the time.”


  • For The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that, “[t]o a far greater degree than its predecessors, the Trump administration has sought to bypass adverse lower-court rulings on some of its signature issues by seeking extraordinary relief from a refortified conservative Supreme Court.”
  • At The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Slattery outlines “four potential outcomes for a close case heard by an eight-member Supreme Court,” such as Weyerhaeuser Company v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a challenge to the federal government’s critical-habitat designation for the dusky gopher frog that was argued before Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench.
  • In an episode of The World and Everything In It (podcast), Mary Reichard discusses the oral arguments in Nielsen v. Preap, which involves the immigration law’s mandatory detention provision, and Gundy v. United States, which asks whether a provision of the federal sex-offender act violates the nondelegation doctrine.
  • At The Progressive, Bill Blum explains why Kavanaugh’s confirmation earlier this month is “a win for the far right well into the future.”
  • Subscript Law looks at how the Supreme Court’s recent partisan-gerrymandering cases will affect the upcoming midterm elections.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 24, 2018, 6:55 AM),