• June 19, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    The Senate Committee on the Judiciary conducted hearings for three judicial nominees on Wednesday, June 10. The Committee heard testimony from Luis Felipe Restrepo, nominated to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, Travis Randall McDonough, nominated to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., nominated to be a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee.

    The problem of judicial vacancies is clear from the federal appeals court vacancy on the Seventh Circuit that has remained vacant for over 2,000 days. At the Huffington Post, Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, takes a look at why this this key judgeship has remained unfilled for so long and why action must be taken on this long-standing vacancy.

    The problem of judicial vacancies in Wisconsin is particularly severe. The Editorial Board of The Des Moines Register recently called for Senator Chuck Grassley to take action and begin sending nominees out of committee at a faster rate.

    Judge L. Felipe Restrepo’s long wait for confirmation hearings could mean that the Third Circuit will have two simultaneous vacancies. The blog for People for the American Way discusses how Senator Pat Toomey could help avoid this situation.

    There are currently 59 vacancies, and 27 are now considered judicial emergencies. There are 17 pending nominees. For more information see

  • June 19, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    The staff of The Root provides statements from civil rights organizations responding to the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina at a historically black church.  

    Nina Totenberg of NPR takes a look at the two major Supreme Court free speech cases that were decided yesterday.

    At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps discusses Justice Clarence Thomas’s position in the recently decided Texas license plate case and how his vote was deciding in taking on “a symbol of white supremacy.”

    Other coverage of the Texas license plate case comes from Noah Feldman at Bloomberg View who argue that Justice Thomas “was telling us that the Confederate battle flag still means something” in his decision to join the majority.

    At the Los Angeles Times, David Savage and Noam Levey consider the legal arguments that have a chance of swaying the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell.

  • June 18, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Dahlia Lithwick writes in Slate that the restrictive abortion laws in Texas and Mississippi will force the Supreme Court to act in the coming term.

    At The New Yorker, Richard Socarides considers the work remaining after marriage equality in the United States.

    Richard Wolf of USA Today profiles Evan Wolfson, “the godfather of the same-sex marriage movement” and Freedom to Marry’s founder.

    The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times examines the decision in the recent Supreme Court visa case and argues that “Congress should require more transparency in the visa process.”

    Adam Liptak reports for The New York Times that a federal appeals court in New York has revived a lawsuit brought by immigrants for post-September 11 detentions.

  • June 17, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Theresa Amato argues in The New York Times that the American legal system needs to do a better job of placing lawyers where they are most needed.

    At Slate, Chanakya Sethi explains how the Supreme Court could reach an agreeable compromise in its same-sex marriage decision.

    Adam Benfordado presents doubts about the fairness of the jury system at The Atlantic.

    At The Nation, Ari Berman discusses the North Carolina voting restrictions that have disenfranchised thousands of voters.

    Brian Beutler writes at The New Republic that a Supreme Court ruling against the Affordable Care Act would be disastrous for Republican candidates.

  • June 16, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    ACS Board of Directors member Linda Greenhouse considers in The New York Times the Supreme Court’s slowness in delivering the last opinions of the term.

    Adam Winkler, ACS Board member and faculty advisor for the UCLA Law School ACS Student Chapter, discusses at Slate two cases in which Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the liberals of the Supreme Court.

    At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Marci A. Hamilton argues that the big question following the Obergefell decision will be how states treat discrimination against LGBT persons.

    Noah Feldman explains at Bloomberg View that a recent Supreme Court case on terrorism in Afghanistan provides insight into the possible ruling on same-sex marriage.

    At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the government’s visa denial to a spouse of an American citizen.