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Monday round-up

Amy Howe reports for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court, that “[t]he battle over the Trump administration’s efforts to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border came to the Supreme Court [on Friday], as the federal government asked the justices to block a lower-court order that barred the government from using $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds for construction of the wall.” Additional coverage comes from Shannon Bream and Bill Mears for Fox News, who report that “[t]he filing went to Justice Elena Kagan, who has given environmental groups who brought the original lawsuit until 4 p.m. July 19 to respond with their own brief.”


  • At NPR, Nina Totenberg looks at the “unique” jurisprudence of Justice Clarence Thomas, noting that “Thomas this term has charted a course that is, at times, breathtakingly different from those of his colleagues.”
  • For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage writes that Justice Neil Gorsuch, “President Trump’s first appointee to the Supreme Court, is proving to be a different kind of conservative,” who “is willing to go his own way and chart a course that does not always align with the traditional views on the right or the left.”
  • At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie suggests that the president’s decision to abandon the effort to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 census “signaled both a willingness to let the Supreme Court’s decision stand and several reversals of positions the government had insisted upon—repeatedly and with a straight face, in print and in person—during the course of the litigation.”
  • In an op-ed at Townhall, James Burling maintains that “[t]he just-ended Supreme Court term went exceedingly well for individual liberty[:] From property rights to government agencies to offensive words, there were triumphs for individual rights and a pushback against the encroaching regulatory state.”
  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost laments that the ruling in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, in which the court held that a 40-foot cross honoring World War I veterans on public land in Maryland does not violate the Constitution’s bar on establishing religion, “virtually closes federal courts to Establishment Clause cases by leaving potential plaintiffs with no grounds to object in the mine run of cases.”
  • At The Federalist Society blog, Ashley Baker remarks that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion in Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, the court held that a private nonprofit that runs a public-access TV channel is not a “state actor” and therefore cannot be sued for violating the First Amendment, “notably declined — despite clear opportunities — to opine on online speech.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 15, 2019, 6:27 AM),