Where in the World Is the Supreme Court?
Over at the Blog of Legal Times, they're predicting that the Supreme Court will wrap up their term within the week. The BLT points to
the start of a conference featuring Justice Breyer and former Justice O'Connor on June 29 to back up its assertion.
That conference is in Colorado, but some of the other justices are traveling even greater distances this summer. Four justices are traveling out of the country, in fact. That makes an even 50% of the Court, considering Justice Souter's retirement.
(I assume that Judge Sotomayor, who technically isn't a justice until sworn in, will be spending her time stateside preparing for her imminent confirmation hearings.)
It's not unusual that Justice Kennedy is going to Salzburg, Austria for
the summer, since he's been teaching at the McGeorge School of Law's
summer program for 20 years straight. Nor is it much of a shock that
Justice Ginsburg will be in Rome for the summer as an instructor for
the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Hopefully she'll have
many opportunities to take in some opera while there.
little more surprising is that two members of the Court's conservative
wing, a group of justices typically known for their aversion to the
encroachment of international legal principles into American
constitutional jurisprudence, will also be spending time abroad during
the recess. Chief Justice Roberts will be teaching a course on Supreme
Court history for the New England School of Law program in Galway,
Ireland, and Justice Alito will be instructing students at St. Mary's
University School of Law's summer program.
While this probably
doesn't mean much - after all, conservative justices like European
vacations as much as the rest of us - it could have a significant
effect on the Court over time. After all, Jeffrey Toobin credits
Justice Kennedy's international experiences for softening the Justice's
conservative stance on many issues. Perhaps all this globetrotting
will eventually move the Court leftwards? Let's give it a few decades
and find out.
No word on what Justices Thomas, Scalia or Stevens
will occupy themselves with this summer. I imagine that Justice Thomas
will take the RV out for a spin and Justice Stevens will most likely
add to his bow tie collection. As for Justice Scalia, maybe he'll
spend some time in his basement office at Hogwarts
. . .