Weekly Roundup–October 28, 2016

Did you miss your Supreme Court news this week? Let our Weekly Roundup help. (To stay on top of the latest Supreme Court happenings, follow @ISCOTUS on Twitter.)

This week, the Court did not hear any arguments, but the Justices are meeting to discuss cert petitions at Conference on October 28. SCOTUSblog reports on some notable petitions, including Packingham v. North Carolina, Purcell v. Arizona, and Sireci v. Florida, which have been repeatedly relisted for Conference.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently suggested that the Senate Republicans might block any nominee from a Democratic president indefinitely. Cruz, speaking at a campaign rally for U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn in Colorado, argued that there is a “historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices” and that “Justice [Stephen] Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the Court to do its job.” Burgess Everett of Politico discusses these comments and Democratic responses. And as ISCOTUSnow noted earlier this week, the Court appears to be avoiding scheduling the most high profile cases up for consideration this term.

Mark Sherman from the Associated Press reports on a recent Clarence Thomas discussion at the Heritage Foundation. Thomas criticized the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees as “broken in some ways” and described the erosion of our political civility: “”We have decided that rather than confront disagreements, we’ll just simply annihilate the person who disagrees with me. I don’t think that’s going to work in a republic, in a civil society.”

Also this week, Dahlia Lithwick of Slate discusses how the Supreme Court might have a diminished ability to intervene in future disputed presidential elections. She argues that increasing partisan polarity rising in the other two branches of government has delegitimized the role of the Court in deciding contested elections.

Finally, Mark Walsh of SCOTUSblog published an interview with lifelong Cubs fan, the retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens, 96, will be attending game four of the World Series on Saturday. The first time Stevens ever visited Wrigley Field was during the 1929 World Series, when the Cubs fell to the Philadelphia Athletics. Justice Stevens, forever the optimistic Cubs fan, concludes with a prediction: “Well, I thought they were going to win in four straight,” he said. “I guess I was wrong on that. I’m confident that they’ll pull it through. They have an awfully good team, and I think they’ll do it in the next four games.”

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