SCOTUSBlog’s New Editorial Policy

January 8th, 2014

Tom Goldstein offers a summary of SCOTUSBlog’s “evolve[d]” editorial policies. The key change (as far as I can tell) is that Goldstein acknowledged that Amy Howe is no longer affiliated with Goldstein & Russell (something I observed last year), but she will not write about any of the cases the firm has involvement in. And, as usual, Lyle remains the “person who has complete independence from the publisher and the Firm – i.e., a person other than the blog staff and Firm staff.”

So at this point, it seems the only connection between SCOTUSBlog and Goldstein & Russell is, well, Goldstein who remains the publisher. Kevin Russell remains listed as a contributor on the masthead (he has not published anything since June 2013).

Here are the changes:

Over time our editorial policies evolve, and we like to be transparent about such evolutions. We have updated our policy on the blog’s editorial independence, particularly regarding the relationship between the blog and my firm, Goldstein & Russell, P.C. The relevant changes appear below the jump.

  • The blog is financially independent from the firm of Goldstein & Russell, P.C. (the Firm).  All of the blog’s salaries and expenses are paid from outside sources other than the Firm (currently Bloomberg Law’s sponsorship of the blog).  Conversely, the blog does not pay any compensation to any attorney or staff member of the Firm.
  • The blog provides comprehensive coverage of all cases heard on the merits at the Supreme Court and all significant petitions for certiorari.  However, to ensure that there are no actual or apparent conflicts of interest or factors that could diminish the blog’s editorial independence, the following rules apply:
    • No person shall have any role in reporting on any case in which he or his firm plays any role, including attorneys of the Firm.
    • With the sole exception noted below, the blog will not report on, comment on, or otherwise promote matters in which the Firm serves as counsel, including (but not limited to) the suggestion that a petition for certiorari filed by the Firm is deserving of review on the merits by the Court or (alternatively) the suggestion that a case in which the firm has filed a brief opposing review is not worthy thereof.
    • Because the blog covers every merits case, it will report on merits cases in which the Firm serves as an attorney to a party.  But all reporting on those cases shall be done by a person who has complete independence from the publisher and the Firm – i.e., a person other than the blog staff and Firm staff.
    • Notwithstanding that Amy Howe no longer has any affiliation with the firm, Amy Howe shall not report on any of the Firm’s cases.