Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wednesday notes

1. Can't get enough of the Judge Camp story. How Appealing is keeping track of all the articles.
R. Robin McDonald has this article -- my favorite coverage because of the shout-out to the blog! -- in the Fulton County Daily Report.

2. The Supreme Court heard a case today that tests the limits of free speech, Snyder v. Phelps. Basically, the Court asked whether there should there be a funeral exception to the First Amendment. SCOTUS Blog covers the argument here. Not an easy one.

3. Tony Mauro says yes to cameras in the Supreme Court. He's so right:

You've probably already read about Monday's historic moment in the life of the Supreme Court and of the nation. When the Supreme Court convened for the beginning of its new term, three of the nine justices who emerged from behind the marble columns to take their seats were women — the first time ever that the court's membership has included that many women at once.

But you only read about it. You did not see it, unless you were among the 250 or so people lucky enough to secure a seat inside the court that morning. As one of those fortunate people, I can tell you it was low-key but dramatic. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan took their places at the bench alongside their male colleagues without comment, and only the barest of smiles. Kagan looked awestruck at first but soon was asking questions with confidence, and no trace of freshman jitters.

When was the last time such a symbolic public event was so invisible? We have grown accustomed to seeing such moments — from the inauguration of the first African American as president, to the launch of the first woman into space — on television. But not at the Supreme Court of the United States. Its stubborn resistance to modern means of engaging with the public it serves is annoying every day it is in session, but especially so on a day like Monday, when it should have let the people in to see history in the making.

4. Judicial nominations are going forward. Confirmations, not so much.


Anonymous said...

David, it is Judge Camp. Not Kemp. Recent allegations to the contrary, he is a good jurist.

Anonymous said...

That article from the SCOTUS blog was very interesting. Thanks for posting it. I think the justices will find a way to allow such suits to go forward. The defendants can say what they want, but they should be ready to incur the costs of doing so when that speech is aimed at private individuals. They key to this case, as I see it, is that the target of the speech was a private individual who was thrust in the position of having to bury his son--not through any decision of his own--but because his son chose to serve his country. The speech was directed at a private event (the funeral/burial). In short, the only thing "public" or "government" related was the time, place and manner restrictions. But that is all, the rest I think can be obejctively viewed as private. I think the plaintiffs/appellants constructed a good "theme of the case": that this is a case of private harrassment, not a free speech matter (at least not at its core). These people were not protesting a government building or government event.