Now that the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has concluded, Chief Justice John Roberts is returning to focus full-time on his work at the Supreme Court. At USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that Roberts “emerged [from the trial] with his reputation intact and, therefore, the Supreme Court’s as well” — a “good thing, because the court is the only branch of government viewed favorably by a majority of Americans.” Indeed, Jimmy Hoover notes at Law360 (subscription or registration required) that the Senate “awarded Justice Roberts a symbolic ‘golden gavel,’” and thanked him for presiding “with a clear head, steady hand and the forbearance that this rare occasion demand[ed].”

As Robert Barnes explains at the Washington Post (subscription required), however, the chief justice and the president are “hardly done with each other,” given pending cases “on whether Trump acted within his power to end the [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] program protecting young immigrant ‘dreamers’ from deportation” as well as “whether Trump may shield his personal financial information from a congressional committee and a New York prosecutor.” At Reuters, Lawrence Hurley and Jan Wolfe suggest that, notwithstanding the “expansive” arguments for presidential power made by Trump’s lawyers in these cases and during the impeachment trial, “a raft of court rulings due in the coming weeks and months could have an even more profound impact on setting the parameters for a president’s authority.”

Other justices have been busy during the court’s February recess as well. On this week’s episode of Law360’s The Term podcast, Jimmy Hoover and Natalie Rodriguez discuss the justices’ recent public appearances, “their thoughts on controversial new ethics guidance” and “Justice Elena Kagan’s secret Twitter account.” Rodriguez also reports for Law360 that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in New York on Thursday night, for an event at which “a talented cast of New York lawyers put on an opera-inspired show … to honor — and roast — [the justice], recreating for the state highlights of the [her] life and career.”


  • At The Dispatch, Ryan Owens and Ryan Black share analysis from their survey of members of the Supreme Court bar regarding proposals to reform the court, which found that the bar “strongly opposes efforts to pack the court” but “is open to term limits for justices.”
  • At The Hill, Peter Sullivan notes that the justices have “listed a closely watched case seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act for discussion at [their] private conference on Feb. 21,” noting that, although there is “at least some possibility” the court would hear the case this term, “most observers expect a ruling would not come until after the 2020 election.”
  • At ABC News, Curt Anderson reports that Fane Lozman — who “has spent more than a decade” earning two victories at the Supreme Court against the city of Riviera Beach, Florida, regarding the seizure of his “floating home” and subsequent arrest while protesting the measure — will finally receive compensation after the city council “voted Wednesday to approve an $875,000 settlement.”

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Recommended Citation: Kalvis Golde, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 7, 2020, 12:44 PM),