RBG In The Hospital Again | Fix The Court And Others Urge SCOTUS To Continue Providing Live Audio Of Arguments
July 15, 2020
Yesterday, JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG was admitted to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for a possible infection — the latest in a string of recent health challenges the eldest member of the Supreme Court has endured. The high court’s spokeswoman said the justice underwent a procedure to clean a stent that had been inserted in August when Ginsburg was receiving treatment for a malignant tumor on her pancreas. RBG is expected to stay in the hospital for a few days and is said to be resting comfortably.
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL|
Nina Totenberg, Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred and Alyson Hurt with NPR report that this term the liberal justices banded together in the court’s decisions, “refusing to dilute the outcome of their victories by disagreeing with one another.” In contrast, the four hard-line conservatives (so not CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS) wrote many more separate opinions. “While members of each bloc of justices banded together in most cases, the liberal justices more often stuck together overall. Of the 60 votes cast this term, the liberals voted as a unified group 80% of the time. The four most conservative justices voted together in 70% of cases.”
BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT|
“The Supreme Court decimated Congress’ investigative power. Or it reinforced it. Or it totally punted.” Which is it?! Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein with POLITICO report on the various interpretations of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the House’s effort to obtain PRESIDENT TRUMP’S financial records. They note, “Without direction, Democrats and Republicans ave drawn starkly different conclusions about the court’s message, and the legal community is still grappling with its implications.”
FINDING THE RIGHT MOMENT|
Marcia Coyle with The National Law Journal reviews the Trump administration’s efforts to curb the power of federal judges to issue nationwide injunctions. So far, the Justice Department has failed twice to succeed in this endeavor. It’s possible that the lack of action from justices on this issue stems from the fact that they haven’t had before them the type of cases that would allow them to get involved and tackle the issue head-on.
THE WOMEN HOLDING IT ALL TOGETHER|
Nina Totenberg with NPR profiles the first women to hold top staff jobs at SCOTUS: Pamela Talkin, the Supreme Court’s first female marshal, who is retiring after 19 years at the nation’s high court, and Christine Fallon, the court’s first female reporter of decisions. In her first months on the job, Talkin had to handle evacuating the Supreme Court building after getting word of the 9/11 attacks, and then one month later she had to help respond to the anthrax attack that forced justices to abandon the building and conduct oral arguments at a federal courthouse. Meanwhile, Fallon “checks every jot and tittle in each opinion,” striving for perfection through her editing process.
CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS earned the ire of conservatives when, in some surprising recent decisions, he sided with the liberal wing to strike down an abortion law, save immigrants from possible deportation, and extend workplace protections to gay and transgender employees. Yet his moves to the middle will likely assist conservatives in the long run by dooming plans by Democrats to pack the Supreme Court with justices.” That’s Kent Greenfield and Adam Winkler writing in The Hill that the chief justice’s recent votes in controversial cases make it harder for Democrats to advance a compelling case for overhauling the Supreme Court’s structure. And apparently, this isn’t the first time a chief justice used this strategy to avert efforts to pack SCOTUS.
WHY WALK AWAY FROM A GOOD THING|
Fix the Court and 15 other groups sent a letter to CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS this morning asking that SCOTUS continue offering live audio of its oral arguments to the public — a practice the high court embraced this term due to the pandemic. In addition, notes were sent to the GOP and Democratic platform committees yesterday requesting that any efforts to ensure that public servants are held responsible for their actions include those in the historically unaccountable judiciary.