Weekly Round-Up #3: Looking Backward/Forward and Stumbling Through the Present

Fall is here, and with Fall comes pumpkin everything, hoodie weather, Halloween, and the start of a new Supreme Court term. Although, through Senate inaction, this is a somewhat limited Court that is likely to stay that way for a while. The posts this week are a nice blending of domestic and international,  as well as current, forward-looking, and retrospective, making for a nice combination of approaches to discussing the Court and governmental power.

Image result for scotus

Much like how I chose to begin this post, Erin and Selma J. also discuss the limited capacity of the Court, while Selma O. indirectly addresses the limited Court by discussing an upcoming case this term. Erin explicitly focuses her post on discussing the eight-member Court. She uses Fisher and her blog’s focus on affirmative action to continue to explore how having an eight-member Court due to Congressional inaction on Garland’s nomination shapes affirmative action and other topics. Selma J. also opens up her post with a look to the Court’s new term, an upcoming case, and the challenges of having only an eight-member Court. Specifically, Selma discusses Venezuela v. Helmerich and Payne, a case the Court is hearing involving Venezuela and an Oklahoma-based oil company accused of violating international law. Selma O., in her post, addresses at yet another the upcoming case Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, which has been granted cert, but not scheduled yet for oral arguments. The case pertains to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, and whether an autistic child was provided with an adequate education. Selma goes into details on this case, as well as on how the Court has previously handled related cases.

While this first set of posts is largely looking forward to the new term, Taylor and Elise offer contemporary takes on topics that, themselves, involve a degree of looking backward to understand the specific controversy as well. Taylor talks about Roy Moore and his being officially disciplined over his persistent resistance to the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. Her post discusses what Moore did, as well as what the role of judges is supposed to be in our legal system. I’d say more but, honestly, I think everyone should read this post as I could not possibly do it justice (see what I did there). Elise, in following up on some of the points of contention from the first presidential debate, dedicates her blog post this week to talking about stop and frisk. Elise discusses Terry v. Ohio and the Court’s interjections into stop and frisk. In this sense, her post really does address a contemporary issue by looking back to the sources of some of the controversy, but as she acknowledges, this is an ongoing legal issue, and thus also looks forward.

The last grouping (for purposes of this review) of posts is more retrospective, with Ben looking back to a recent case, and Grace looking further back at a rather famous case questioning executive authority and power. Ben continues to examine religion and the Court as he talks about Reed v. Town of Gilbert in his post this week. He talks about the case, as well as the general place of signs and advertisements in our political structure. Grace, in her post, discusses the separation of powers in our system through the question of executive privilege. She discusses Watergate, Nixon’s subsequent attempts to assert executive privilege, and the Court’s role in determining how far this privilege goes. Both of these posts involve examinations of cases, while also linking these cases and their doctrines to our present understanding of constitutional law.

And, while not wholly relevant to this post, in honor of the Court’s new term (and because it makes me happy), Puppy SCOTUS!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9prhPV2PI


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