PUBLISHED:July 06, 2016

Duke Law reviews the 2015-2016 Supreme Court term

The Supreme Court’s 2015-2016 term included significant rulings on immigration policy, women’s reproductive rights, and race-conscious university admissions, among others. Court-watchers, legal scholars, and members of the public will also remember the term for the death, on Feb. 13, of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia; his passing, marked by many tributes, launched a political battle over the appointment of a successor and affected the outcome of some pending cases.

Duke Law faculty members, alumni, and jurists enrolled in the Master of Judicial Studies LLM program contributed to the discussion of Justice Scalia’s legacy and the appointment process in a variety of ways; they penned tributes and essays relating to his “originalist” theory of constitutional interpretation and other aspects of his jurisprudence and offered analyses of constitutional conventions that can affect judicial nominations. They also shared memories of meeting the justice at Duke Law, where he spoke to audiences of students, lawyers, and judges, taught in the Judicial Studies program and in the Duke-Geneva Institute on Transnational Law, and judged the final round of the Dean’s Cup moot court competition.

Duke Law scholars remained engaged with the cases before the Court throughout the term through scholarship, friend-of-court briefs, and commentary. Among the term’s notable rulings were those that affirmed an injunction against an executive order shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, upheld the race-conscious admissions policies of the University of Texas at Austin, and found state laws drastically restricting access to abortion to be unconstitutional.

A summary of community contributions to and commentary on the recently concluded term follows.

Amicus briefs filed by Duke Law scholars

Ernest Young, Bank Markazi v. Peterson

Walter Dellinger, United States v. Texas

Ernest Young, United States v. Texas

Walter Dellinger, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Neil Siegel, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Commentary on the 2015-2016 decisions

American Constitution Society: Charles, Dellinger review 2015-2016 Supreme Court term

Duke Law News: Young, Dellinger reflect on implications of Supreme Court's one-sentence order in U.S. v. Texas

Duke Today: Siegel: Supreme Court victory should still give pause to abortion rights advocates

ACS Blog: Siegel analyzes Supreme Court's "reassuring and concerning" abortion ruling

Modern Healthcare: Rai: Supreme Court ruling upholding USPTO's broad patent review likely to displease brand-name drug makers

Bloomberg BNA: Young comments on Supreme Court verdict in Bank of Iran case

New York Times: Dellinger, Young comment on Supreme Court immigration case

Huffington Post: Michaels: The silence of Justice Thomas is overrated 

Bloomberg Politics: Buell comments on Supreme Court's decision to review insider trading case

Commenting on Justice Scalia’s legacy, succession

The New Yorker: Purdy looks at Scalia's "contradictory originalism"

Balkinization: New article by Siegel and Bradley sheds light on constitutional conventions and replacing Justice Scalia

The TraceBlocher: Scalia’s gun rights legacy is likely to stand, no matter who replaces him

New York Times: Powell article cited in discussion of Scalia's jurisprudence

ABA Journal: Siegel on Senate's Supreme Court stall: "We’re dealing with territory we haven’t ventured into for 150 years"

The Hill: Siegel analyzes GOP's Supreme Court confirmation stance

Media Matters: Levy: Don't read into Supreme Court nominee's gun case votes

The Trace: Blocher looks at Supreme Court nominee's gun rights record

WRAL: Siegel says Supreme Court nominee is most "plausibly confirmable" judge Obama could choose

The Hill: Siegel: American people will decide Supreme Court's future anyway

Here and Now: Carrington discusses Supreme Court term limits

American Constitution Society: Siegel, Blocher join constitutional law professors urging President Obama and U.S. Senate to fill Supreme Court vacancy

Boston Globe: Benjamin co-authors paper on effects of Supreme Court vacancies on appellate decisions

Christian Science Monitor: Carrington discusses the fight over Scalia's successor and Supreme Court term limits

Remembering Justice Scalia

Judicature: Dean Levi recalls Justice Scalia through the lens of three memorable meals

Independent Journal ReviewMaster of Judicial Studies candidate Willett JD/MA '92 describes Scalia's influence on his jurisprudence

Jacksonville Daily RecordMaster of Judicial Studies candidate Judge Virginia Norton describes meeting Scalia at Duke Law

Lives in the Law, May 22, 2015

Teaching at the Duke-Geneva Summer Institute in Transnational Law, 2011

Lives in the Law, 2009

Judging the 2009 Dean’s Cup Moot Court Competition