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Wednesday round-up

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died yesterday at the age of 99 after suffering a stroke on Monday. Amy Howe reports on Stevens’ career for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. For The Washington Post, Charles Lane writes that Stevens was “a moderate Republican and former antitrust lawyer from Chicago who evolved into a savvy and sometimes passionate leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing and became the third-longest-serving justice on the court before he retired in 2010.” Bill Mears reports for Fox News that “[n]early every important social issue before the Court in recent years has had Stevens’ imprint.” For The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin observes that “[w]hether in majority or dissent, Justice Stevens represented a pragmatic approach that dominated legal thinking in the 20th century.” Additional coverage comes from Linda Greenhouse for The New York Times, Kevin Daley at The Daily Caller, David Cohen at Politico, and Nina Totenberg at NPR, who notes that Stevens, “[o]ften called a judge’s judge,” was “something of a throwback to a less rancorous era, when, as one writer put it, law and politics were a noble pursuit, not a blood sport.” At PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman wonders which opinions will define Stevens’ legacy.


  • At Greenwire (subscription required), Ellen Gilmer reports that “[i]n a new brief in the high-stakes County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund,  Earthjustice lawyers argued that county leaders and the Trump administration have adopted an overly narrow view of the Clean Water Act’s reach.”
  • In an op-ed at The Morning Call, Rose Mary Knick reflects on her victory in Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, in which the justices overruled precedent that required property owners to follow state compensation procedures before bringing federal takings claim under the Constitution.
  • At the Freedom Forum Institute, Tony Mauro reports that Gregory Johnson, whose conviction for burning the American flag during the Republican National Convention in 1984 triggered the Supreme Court’s “landmark free speech decision, ruling that burning the United States flag was a form of ‘expressive conduct’ protected by the First Amendment,” “burned a flag during the Washington, D.C., Fourth of July festivities” this year, “demonstrat[ing] the continued force of the high court decision that bears his name.”
  • Daniel Cotter looks back on October Term 2018 at The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (subscription required).
  • At The Atlantic, Sarah Seo argues that Mitchell v. Wisconsin, which held that a state law allowing law enforcement to draw blood from unconscious drivers without a warrant does not violate the Fourth Amendment, “is the latest case of judicial punting on the question of how to balance individuals’ freedom behind the wheel with their freedom from danger.”
  • Jon Riches writes at Real Clear Politics that “[i]n deciding Kisor v. Wilkie, the U.S. Supreme Court missed a major opportunity to restore separation of powers and ensure that government agencies do not get an unfair advantage in legal cases in which they are parties.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 17, 2019, 7:04 AM),