WE’RE BACK BABY | RBG Says She’s Alive And Almost Well | SCOTUS Considers A Modern Tale Of Piracy
September 3, 2019
BACK IN ACTION|
The August break was long and not without some interesting Supreme Court news — so good thing SCOTUSDaily is back in action and ready for whatever comes next. Among the news we missed out on last month was word that JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG was treated for cancer for the fourth time in the last two decades. On Saturday, she spoke at the Washington convention center in an on-stage interview with NPR’s Nina Totenberg. The justice said she’s “alive” and on her way to being “very well.” She says she’ll “be prepared when the time comes” to get back to work. The Supreme Court resumes with hearing arguments on October 7.
NOTHING NEW HERE|
During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt today, SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL said he would “absolutely” fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 2019 or 2020. He’s made similar comments before, seemingly changing his tune after blocking MERRICK GARLAND’S nomination to the high court. McConnell defended his prior actions today saying, “There was nothing I did that was, would not have been done had the shoe been on the other foot had there been a … Republican president and a Democratic Senate. So look, they can whine about this all day long. But under the Constitution, there is co-responsibility for appointments,” McConnell added.
In The Hill, Juan Williams discusses what he calls the “hypocrisy” of MITCH MCCONNELL when it comes to Supreme Court appointments. Williams writes, “McConnell’s goal is to secure his political legacy as the man who cemented a conservative majority on the high court to counter the liberal ideas emerging from the rising number of younger, more racially diverse and more progressive voters in the country. He will also go down in history as the man who drained all trust from the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a nation of laws beyond the tyranny of any one political ideology or party.”
ANSWERING FOR THE PAST|
Carl Hulse with The New York Times reports on the war that’s shaping up between Democrats and Republicans for the future of the Senate. He reviews some of the key races worth watching, including what’s expected to be a major challenge to unseat SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS in Maine. Hulse says Collins “is facing the challenge of her political life after supporting the nomination of the Supreme Court JUSTICE BRETT M. KAVANAUGH.”
YO HO YO HO, A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR ME|
“A little more than 300 years ago, the pirate Blackbeard captured a French merchant vessel, renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge, armed it with 40 cannons and used it to pursue his calling of pillage and plunder. In November, the Supreme Court will consider a case arising from the discovery of the ship’s wreckage off the North Carolina coast.” That’s Adam Liptak with The New York Times explaining a case about a modern version of piracy: a claim of stolen copyrighted content as a videographer says his footage of Blackbeard’s ship was taken by the state of North Carolina.
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ASSUMING|
The newest children’s book from JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR, “Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You,” encourages young people to ask questions to better understand differences among their peers. She got the idea for the book from one of her own experiences when a stranger made an assumption about the now-justice’s diabetes when she was in her 30s. Sotomayor said in an interview ahead of the book’s release today, “Differences provide not just beauty in life, but they’re important to the quality of the world we live in. It’s richer because of our differences. We’re not lesser because of it. We’re stronger because of it. My book celebrates the many ways in which kids and adults are different and do things differently.” Jessica Gresko with The Associated Press reports.
DEAD AND GONE|
“The Supreme Court as we once knew it—as a national institution that could at least sometimes stand apart from partisanship—died last year. The ongoing fight over its corpse spilled into public view last week.” That’s Garrett Epps writing for The Atlantic about the high court’s review of a Second Amendment case which “(nominally) tests an obscure New York City ordinance governing how firearms owners could—note the past tense—travel with their weapons.” SCOTUS will decide during its first conference on Oct. 1 whether to go forward with this case, which prompted five Democratic senators to file an “unusual” amicus brief. Epps says the brief “launched into a freewheeling discussion of recent politics surrounding the court” including the blockade of Garland’s nomination, the power of the Federalist Society, and recent polls that suggest Americans want SCOTUS restructured to reduce its susceptibility to politics. Epps argues that the brief was “tone-deaf at best and threatening at worst,” but he said at least it said what it meant.