An Interview With Justice Breyer | The Nominations That Shaped Mitch | Happy Holidays & Cheers To 2021
December 23, 2020
DON'T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME|
The Supreme Court justices could get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as this week, but the rest of the courts are on their own. Zoe Tillman with Buzzfeed reports federal chief judges have been lobbying state officials to ensure they aren’t forgotten as decisions are made about vaccine priority lists. She notes, “The US justice system never paused for the pandemic. Federal and state courts scaled back in-person operations to minimize exposure risk — in high-volume courthouses, thousands of people cycled through daily before the pandemic — but they couldn’t go fully remote or stop functioning altogether.”
JUSTICE BREYER ON AGING|
Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick interviewed JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER last week about aging, work, and life at the Supreme Court. Breyer shared that in his age he’s become a “writer-downer” (as Lithwick puts it), he’s getting his wife some wine stoppers for her stocking, and he’s doing a lot of cooking in the pandemic. Lithwick also asks Breyer about studies that show judges drift to the political left as they age and the lessons he shares with his grandchildren who have been staying with him during the pandemic. “What I say to them are the one or two best things that I learned from SEN. [TED] KENNEDY. First of all, the best is the enemy of the good. He didn’t make that up. But if you have a choice between achieving 20 or 30 percent of what you’d like or being the hero of all your friends, choose the first. We’re not here just to make speeches. The second thing, which I think is really of great practical value, is don’t worry about credit.”
ALL COMES DOWN TO GA|
What will it take to get a Black woman on the Supreme Court? That’s the question Irin Carmon confronts in New York’s Intelligencer. She notes the promise JOE BIDEN made on the campaign trail will likely be decided by the Georgia Senate runoffs if January. “If Democrats gain control of the Senate, the only question will be when a vacancy will open up. And if they don’t, the fate of any nominee will be decided by how much MITCH MCCONNELL thinks he can get away with.”
POD DU JOUR|
In the last episode of its “Essential Mitch” series, NPR’s Embedded podcast explores the nominations that helped shape MITCH MCCONNELL’S thinking about judicial appointments. The podcast intro suggests, “Those moments mark the beginning of the erosion of the traditions intended to promote bipartisanship and consensus.”
Marcia Coyle with The National Law Journal reviews Supreme Court argument tips from 16 lawyers who made their debuts before the high court during the pandemic when justices made history by hosting telephonic arguments.
SCOTUSDaily will return to your inboxes in 2021! The first send will come to you on Monday, January 4. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and let’s hope for a happier, brighter new year.