Bench Memos

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Feingold’s Round 2


Arrived mid-round.

Feingold asks about supposed pro-government tendency on death penalty. (Although I haven’t read the case, I understand that the Court’s 5-4 decision today vindicates one of Alito’s rulings — in a case called Flamer — that the Left has criticized.) Alito discusses rulings that have gone both ways.

Feingold asks about Atkins and Roper cases barring, respectively, execution of those mentally retarded (at time of penalty, not crime) and of 17-year-olds. Alito says cases are entitled to respect as precedent, would work within that body.

More questioning on Vanguard and “initial service”! Was Feingold listening before? He says he was, so why is he asking this?

Will you recuse from Vanguard cases on Supreme Court? Alito: Supreme Court recusals are different. Obligation to sit if you don’t have an obligation not to. Feingold seems not to understand that all ethics experts (so far as I know) agree that Alito does not have an obligation to recuse from Vanguard cases.

It would now appear to me that I have dramatically overestimated Feingold’s intellect.


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