Today in the News, 3.4.09

  • “Scalia is not a big fan of allowing others to act as his conscience. He’s got the conscience market cornered.” Dahlia Lithwick reflects upon yesterday’s oral argument in Caperton v. Massey Coal in Slate Magazine. (A rundown of media coverage of the argument is here, and our own Elizabeth Wydra’s analysis is available here.)
  • “[T]he tight standing requirements—‘imminent’ not ‘realistic likelihood’ of harm, and judicial skepticism of groups’ uncontroverted assertions about the size and scope of, and harm to, their own memberships–will make it tougher for groups like Earth Island Institute to get federal court attention for their claims.” Constitutional Law Prof Blog discusses the implications of yesterday’s sharply divided ruling in Summers v. Earth Island Institute, in which the Supreme Court denied standing to environmental groups challenging a U.S. Forest Service action.
  • “Wednesday, March 4, 1789. This being the day for the meeting of the new Congress, the following members of the Senate appeared and took their seats: From New Hampshire…” Finally, on this day exactly 220 years ago, the government of the United States officially began operations under the newly-ratified Constitution, thus ending government under the Articles of Confederation. (This quotation appears in the Annals of Congress, in the official record of the first session of Congress.)