Category Archives: Bench & Bar

U.S. Senate unanimously approves Wyoming Attorney General Greg Phillips to 10th Circuit

The Roberts Court and the First Amendment

Supreme Court advocates becoming D.C. Circuit judges (updated)

A Nuclear Summer? Filibuster Wars Return As Senate Considers Key Nominations

Heritage to Host Review of Supreme Court Term on July 11

More on How the FISC Justifies the Legality of Requiring Telephone Providers to Turn Over Entire Databases of Metadata

The FISA court is acting like a legislature, and that’s a problem

How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students | Orin Kerr at GWU via SSRN

Meet The Chief Justice Of America’s Secret Supreme Court

Senate Confirms Wyoming AG For Appeals Court Seat

Former Judge Admits Flaws In Secret Court

    AP: A former federal judge who served on a secret court overseeing the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs denied Tuesday that the judges act as “rubber stamps.” But James Robertson said the system is flawed because of its failure to allow legal adversaries to question the government’s actions.

  • Posted: 07/09/2013
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A Proposal To Reform FISA Court Decisionmaking

    Orin Kerr at Volokh ConspiracyYesterday’s New York Times story on the secret legal opinions of the FISA court prompts a natural question: How should the FISA court reach its decisions, and how do we know it is doing so correctly? That breaks down into two questions. First, what procedures should the FISA court use to reach legal conclusions? And second, when or how should those legal conclusions be made public? The latter has received much more attention than the former. Like a lot of people, I tend to think that it wouldn’t impact national security for the FISA court to release more information about its decisions, at least in those cases when the judges consider abstract legal issues..

  • Posted: 07/08/2013
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Chief Justice Roberts Is Awesome Power Behind FISA Court

    Bloomberg: Chief justice of the U.S. is a pretty big job. You lead the Supreme Court conferences where cases are discussed and voted on. You preside over oral arguments. When in the majority, you decide who writes the opinion. You get a cool robe that you can decorate with gold stripes. Oh, and one more thing: You have exclusive, unaccountable, lifetime power to shape the surveillance state.

  • Posted: 07/02/2013
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“Is Gay Marriage The Product Of Judicial Activism?” | David Davenport at Forbes

Silly Attack on Judicial Selection in Kansas

High court subverts initiative process | U-T San Diego

Thinking Outside the Box of Judicial Supremacy

NOM Chairman: Imposing Same-Sex Marriage Is ‘Judicial Tyranny’ | Video

Supreme Court Names New Clerk

The Attorney General of the United States is “Delighted” That a Federal Law was Declared Unconstitutional

Chief Justice Roberts: Sequester cuts hitting federal judiciary ‘hard’

Public Approval of Supreme Court Falls to All-Time Low | Rasmussen Reports

    Rasmussen: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 28% believe the Supreme Court is doing a good or an excellent job. At the same time, 30% rate its performance as poor. That’s the highest-ever poor rating. It’s also the first time ever that the poor ratings have topped the positive assessments. Thirty-nine percent (39%) give the court middling reviews and rate its performance as fair.

  • Posted: 07/01/2013
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Justice Anthony Kennedy’s contempt | Rich Lowry at Politico

Judge Correale Stevens to fill Pa. Supreme Court seat left vacant by Joan Orie Melvin

Procedural Wrangling Tries To Delay Same-Sex Marriages In California

Children, parents, families & tribes: SCOTUS and the troubling state of the nation | Richard Garnett at Mirror of Justice

ABA Proposal Alarms Law School Diversity Advocates

Vault Rankings Are Out: Which Firm Is The Most Prestigious In The Land?

    Above the Law: The new Vault list is substantially similar to the old Vault list; number one, once again, is Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz & Awesome. No drama at Wachtell, people are working too hard to generate much drama I guess. Cravath is in the second spot . . .

  • Posted: 06/25/2013
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Judicial Activism, Defined

Is Congress’s Power Under the “Necessary and Proper” Clause a General Police Power? | Ed Whelan at NRO

Senate Judiciary Chairman Vows ‘Immediate Action’ After Voting Rights Ruling

“Hagel, Obama Advisor Salute Gay, Lesbian Military Community” | U.S. Department of Defense

“First openly gay US Ambassador for Australia nominated”

“Eric Fanning, Out Gay Man, Takes Over As Acting Secretary Of The Air Force”

Thoughts on the Koontz Takings Clause Case

Large Firms in a Hiring Mood Again

Supreme Court Declines Appeal on IDEA Residential Placements

Were Obama recess appointments constitutional? Supreme Court takes case

High Court To Hear Obama Recess Appointments Case

Supreme Court makes it harder to sue businesses for discrimination

NALP: Law Grads’ Jobs Rate Falls for Fifth Straight Year

The judges who preside over America’s secret court

CNN Poll: Judging the Supreme Court

SCOTUS adopts revised Rules of the Court effective July 1, 2013

Washington-area Law School Deans Weigh in on Civil Rights

SCOTUS Blog FAQs: Opinion announcement days (UPDATED: June 20)

    SCOTUS Blog: We expect the Court to issue opinions tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. We will be live blogging beginning at around 9 a.m. (All times are Eastern.) We have put together a list of some of the commonly asked questions about opinion announcements that we have gotten during recent live blogs, along with our responses, but please let us know during the live blog if you have a question that you don’t see answered here.

  • Posted: 06/20/2013
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Durbin Asks High Court to Go Live with Opinions

Fisa court oversight: a look inside a secret and empty process

McConnell To Reid: If You Go Nuclear On Nominations, I’ll Go Nuclear On Everything When I’m Majority Leader

Supreme Court to resolve circuit split on timing of appeals

Law School Application Reductions, Last Minute Scholarships

Senate Dems Schedule Hearing For D.C. Circuit Nominee Patricia Millett

Pa. high court rejects changing mandatory retirement for judges

What Is a FISA Court?

Reading the Tea Leaves on the Supreme Court’s Outstanding Cases

Conservatives likely to write most remaining decisions in Supreme Court’s term

5th Circuit Judge: Accused of Speaking of the Primacy of Religion Above Law

ACLU: Obama Worse Than Bush On Civil Liberty Issues

A note about opinion distribution at the U.S. Supreme Court

    SCOTUS Blog: Trying to predict the author of any given Supreme Court opinion is often a fool’s errand. The pattern by which Justices are assigned opinions isn’t entirely fixed. And the original author can lose the majority to some other member of the Court. That said, across an entire Term, the Chief Justice — who does most of the opinion assignments, because he generally is in the majority — does attempt to distribute the workload evenly. If that pattern holds this Term as well, then one feature of the remaining cases is noteworthy.

  • Posted: 06/14/2013
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Rare formal review ordered for federal judge

Report: Campaign Contributions Influence State Courts

Corbett plans to pick Stevens for Pa. high court

Judge’s New Job Opens Seat on D.C. Federal Court

Federal Court: U.S. Supreme Court plaza ordered open to protests

Justice O’Connor’s Hypocritical Crusade Against Judicial Elections

Judicial Selection Reform: All Over The Map

Misconduct Charges Against 5th Circuit Judge Include Her Religious Justifications For Capital Punishment

Indiana Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Oral Arguments in Brewington

Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens predicts court will overturn Defense of Marriage Act

What Happened to Eric Holder?

Three questions for Clarence Thomas | CNN