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Monday round-up

The Supreme Court begins its second week of summer recess as court watchers continue to absorb the news on Friday that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a recurrence of cancer. Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports that Ginsburg’s announcement renews focus on a lack of transparency around the justices’ health, with critics saying the public is entitled to more information. CNN’s Dan Berman notes that gemcitabine – the chemotherapy drug that Ginsburg began on May 19 – “is a standard chemotherapy treatment that is a mainstay for pancreatic cancer that has spread.”

As the nation honors Congressman John Lewis, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post examines the Supreme Court’s role in voting rights, an issue that Lewis made his life’s work. In an opinion piece, Marcus criticizes the court’s decision on Thursday not to intervene in a Florida dispute involving a state law that makes it more difficult for people with felony convictions to restore their right to vote. Adam Liptak of the New York Times, in news coverage of the decision, reports that, “[f]or the fourth time since April, the Supreme Court … made it harder for Americans to vote.”


  • Alayna Treene and Stef Kight of Axios report that President Donald Trump and the White House have latched onto a National Review op-ed by John Yoo, who argues that the Supreme Court’s June ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “makes it easy for presidents to violate the law.” Trump and his advisers are considering using the theory to issue new policies on immigration, Axios reports.
  • Commentators continue to weigh in on the court’s end-of-term rulings in cases affecting religious rights. William Haun argues in the Washington Post that the decisions “affirmed religious groups’ right to participate in public life while upholding their beliefs.” Ken Jost of Jost on Justice disagrees, accusing the court of “a burst of judicial activism in the last few weeks to give religious schools and religious employers special rights to disobey validly enacted laws that the rest of us are obliged to follow.” And in the George Washington Law Review’s Supreme Court blog, On the Docket, Ira Lupu and Robert Tuttle analyze the court’s handling of the following question: “[W]hen is an entity complicit in acts that it deems sinful but are performed, or potentially performed, by others?”
  • Richard Wolf of USA Today examines the “independent streaks” displayed by Trump’s two nominees to the Supreme Court, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
  • In a Washington Post op-ed, Adam White argues that Chief Justice Roberts’ vision of “unity and stability” was the defining characteristic of the 2019-20 term.
  • Mark Walsh of Education Week reports on an emergency-stay application in which Idaho officials have asked the court “to block a lower-court injunction that allows a group backing a ballot initiative to boost education spending in the state to collect electronic signatures and get extra time because of the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • James Burling of the Pacific Legal Foundation summarizes the court’s recent decisions on environmental issues, property rights, the administrative state and school choice and finds them “a mixed bag for individual liberty and constitutional limits.”
  • The University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Regulatory Review launches a series of essays on the court’s 2019-20 term, including a piece by Jon Devine and David Henkin on County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund and a piece by Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer on the DACA decision.

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Recommended Citation: James Romoser, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 20, 2020, 8:09 AM),