So, what do the justices of the U.S Supreme Court do during these summertime months when the Court is not in regular session?
Some head to their hometowns, like Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Speaking at an event Saturday at Lehman College in her native Bronx, Sotomayor told a group of children that, in a way, she is really just “Sonia from the Block.” Like her friend Jennifer Lopez, Sotomayor explained, she too can be called “J.Lo.”
“I’m the justice of law and order from the Bronx,” Sotomayor joked to the group of children participating in the Bronx Children’s Museum’s Dream Big Initiative, according to the New York Daily News.
Justice Antonin Scalia, on the other hand, spent part of the summer at a more distant locale: Italy. There he taught a course as part of the overseas program of Loyola University’s Law School. And according to one student, he was a hit – despite his reputation for being tough.
“We didn’t know if he would be mean,” student Lauren Anderson, told the Illinois-based Southtown Star. “He’s really funny and sarcastic. He definitely keeps you interested in the class.”
The Court’s newest member, Justice Elena Kagan, wasted no time preparing for next term. She has already hired her law clerks, The National Law Journal reports.
Justice Samuel Alito did a little work as well – and it raised a few eyebrows in the blogosphere. But just because Alito referred a request for a stay by Orly Taitz – a persistent litigant in the so-called “birther” movement who is fighting a $20,000 court fine – to the full Court doesn’t mean Alito is questioning President Obama’s citizenship.
“The Justices have a policy of referring these second requests to the full Court so that applicants don’t succeed in cherry-picking who will hear their stay requests,” Tom Goldstein, a lawyer and publisher of SCOTUSblog, told TPMmuckraker.
And while we don’t know where Justice Stephen Breyer was yesterday, but we do know that he turned 72. Happy Birthday, Justice!
In other news:
Background checks backfiring? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is stepping up scrutiny of hiring policies – including the use of criminal background and credit checks – that can have a negative impact on members of minority groups. (AP via Lawyers USA)
Small biz bankruptcy bill filed: When Congress returns from summer recess, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to consider a measure that would change the way small businesses reorganize in bankruptcy. (Lawyers USA)
Tougher drug device rules? The Food and Drug Administration is considering measures to strengthen and clarify a premarket review process for medical devices that do not need to undergo a full premarket approval review. (Lawyers USA)
Putting the brakes on Toyota claim: An initial federal investigation shows no signs of problems with Toyota’s electronic throttle system. (Lawyers USA)