Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to rehear the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy, which would allow some undocumented immigrants to apply to remain in the country and work here legally. Last month the Justices divided four to four on the case, leaving in place a ruling by a federal appeals court that blocked the government from implementing the policy; in yesterday’s filing, the federal government asked the Court to reconsider the case when it has all nine Justices. I covered the developments for this blog, with other coverage coming from Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, Pete Williams of NBC News, and Robert Barnes of The Washington Post.

Coverage relating to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s remarks about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and her later comments indicating that her remarks were “ill-advised,” comes from Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, who notes that Ginsburg’s comments put the “entanglement of the judiciary and the political world” “on full display.” Commentary comes from George Leef, who at Forbes contends that, rather than “fretting that Justice Ginsburg’s honesty will damage the Supreme Court’s reputation, we should use it as a ‘teachable moment.’ The fact is that the judiciary is highly politicized and has been for a long time.” In The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Slattery and Jana Minich counter that guarding “the integrity of the court should be a higher priority for all the justices than grabbing headlines or expressing their opinions on matters that ultimately may come before the court.” In an Election Law Blog podcast, Rick Hasen interviews Erwin Chemerinsky about the controversy and the broader legal issues that surround it. And at Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks at the Justices’ efficiency and concludes that, although “in some sense” Ginsburg “stepped outside of her role as Justice by making these comments, at least by these findings, as a Justice she is doing her job more efficiently than any other Justice on the Roberts Court.”


  • At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger discusses the Court’s denial of relief to a Georgia death row inmate, who was executed on Friday; only Justice Stephen Breyer dissented from the Court’s order.
  • In The Huffington Post, Cristian Farias reports that Chief Judge Merrick Garland, the president’s nominee to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, “has matched the record for the high court nominee who has waited the longest to be confirmed for the job.”
  • In an “explainer” for The Economist, Steven Mazie reviews the Court’s case law on police discretion and the use of legal force.
  • In The New York Review of Books, David Cole argues that the Court “continues to approach criminal justice cases without confronting the reality of race-based policing. As a result, the rules it promulgates too often exacerbate rather than curtail discrimination by police.”
  • At Casetext, Sanford Jay Rosen and Margot Mendelson look back at the Court’s decision striking down two provisions of a Texas law regulating abortions and contend that the ruling “vindicates the vital role of the courts in scrutinizing health and safety rationales advanced to justify government actions that limit personal liberty.”

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