Thursday round-up

Commentary relating to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia comes from the National Constitution Center, which hosted a panel (video; audio also available) on Scalia’s constitutional legacy; and Tony Mauro, who in an op-ed for USA Today notes that Scalia had not made a final decision regarding the disposition of his papers and argues that “the time has arrived for Congress to keep justices from shielding — or torching — documents the public deserves to see.” And in The Advocate, Mark Joseph Stern suggests that, because the “post-Scalia court will likely confront a host of legal questions important to the LGBT community, from antigay ‘religious liberty’ and employment discrimination to trans rights and bathroom access,” it “seems quite likely that Scalia’s successor will hold the key to LGBT equality on a divided court.”

Coverage relating to the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to succeed Scalia comes from Mauro for The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), in a story which reports that Cornell law professor Michael Dorf played the role of Garland in a mock confirmation hearing – “a remarkably plausible preview of how Garland might answer pointed questions from U.S senators if and when an actual confirmation hearing takes place.” Callum Borchers of The Washington Post reports that, with Donald Trump having solidified his hold on the Republican nomination, the editor of a popular conservative blog is now urging Republicans to confirm Garland; Dylan Matthews has a similar report for Vox. And at Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost notes that the Congressional Research Service recently issued its analysis of Garland’s opinions – which, Jost concludes, “confirms the dominant picture of Garland of a moderate consensus-builder that has emerged since his nomination.”


  • In his column for Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman discusses the recent denial of review, and Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent from that order, in the case of a California inmate who alleged that an extended time on death row violates the Constitution; Feldman contends that those “who oppose the death penalty on moral grounds have plenty of strong arguments on their side. They don’t need this one, which in fact undercuts their claims about the inherent value of every day of human life.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks back at “states’ success in the Supreme Court as well as the judicial behavior prevalent in these cases.”

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