Biden Announces First Slate Of Judicial Nominees | Justices Yesterday Struggled With A Case Brought Against Goldman Sachs
March 30, 2021
AND THE NOMINEES ARE|
This morning, PRESIDENT BIDEN announced his first judicial nominations, including potential Supreme Court contender JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON for the seat vacated by now U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND. Biden’s first round of nominations sought to make good on his campaign promise to put forward more diverse candidates in his effort to reshape the courts post-Trump. Eleven nominees were announced today, including three Black women for appeals courts vacancies as well as candidates who, if confirmed, would be the first federal judge who is Muslim, the first Asian-American woman to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit and the first woman of color to serve as a federal judge in Maryland.
YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH|
The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a securities fraud class-action against Goldman Sachs. The justices struggled with how to determine when shareholders can sue publicly traded companies for fraudulent statements that keep their stock prices artificially high. Adam Liptak with The New York Times reports, “The case was brought by pension funds that said they had lost as much as $13 billion as a consequence of what they called false statements about the investment bank’s sales of complex debt instruments before the 2008 financial crisis.” Liptak notes the justices appeared puzzled by what to do given both parties seemed to agree about the governing legal standard in the case.
THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS|
Jess Bravin with The Wall Street Journal also covers yesterday’s Goldman Sachs case over whether the bank’s statements about its integrity in the lead-up to and fallout from the financial crisis could expose it to a shareholder class action. Bravin writes, “The case is the latest in a series in which the court has calibrated the standards and burdens of proof between plaintiff shareholders and defendant corporations in big-dollar class actions. But the tenor of Monday’s argument suggested that the court was leaning toward a minor clarification rather than a major revision of class-action procedures.”
ENOUGH ABOUT THE EMAILS|
SCOTUS yesterday left in place a lower court order blocking Judicial Watch from deposing former Secretary of State HILLARY CLINTON about her use of a private email account. A federal appeals court had ruled last year that Clinton cannot be compelled to appear for a deposition. The president of Judicial Watch said in a statement that Clinton “received special protection from both the courts and law enforcement.” Clinton’s emails were already investigated by Congress, the State Department inspector general, and the FBI. She also gave written answers about her email use in another lawsuit. Ariane de Vogue and Devan Cole with CNN report.
POD DU JOUR|
Adam Cohen, author of Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle For A More Unjust America, joined Dahlia Lithwick for a recent episode of her podcast, Amicus, to discuss the Supreme Court’s role in America’s growing inequality gap. Cohen explains that at one point SCOTUS was a champion of the poor, but then all that changed.
In The New York Times, Ian Millhiser notes that once upon a time Republicans had “one of the most ambitious legislative agendas of any political party in modern American history.” But that feels like a distant memory given the GOP’s current state. Millhiser writes, “While the party appears to have no legislative agenda, it’s a mistake to conclude that it has no policy agenda. Because Republicans do: They have an extraordinarily ambitious agenda to roll back voting rights, to strip the government of much of its power to regulate, to give broad legal immunity to religious conservatives and to immunize many businesses from a wide range of laws. It’s just that the Republican Party doesn’t plan to pass its agenda through either one of the elected branches. Its agenda lives in the judiciary — and especially in the Supreme Court.”
HERE HE GOES AGAIN|
Ian Millhiser also writes in Vox about the new abortion case the Supreme Court announced yesterday it will take up. It’s a case challenging a Kentucky state law that “effectively requires abortion providers to kill a fetus in utero before performing an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation.” But as Millhiser explains, the question before justices won’t be whether this law is constitutional. Instead, their review is limited to the narrow question of whether the Kentucky AG can bring this case to SCOTUS “when no other state actor will defend the law.”