The petition of the day is:
Issue: (1) Whether the federal savings bond statute and regulations impliedly preempt longstanding state unclaimed property laws, where the statute and regulations are wholly silent on the treatment of unclaimed bonds and where Congress has expressly preempted state unclaimed property laws in numerous other contexts; and (2) whether application of state unclaimed property laws to unclaimed U.S. savings bonds owned by state residents violates the intergovernmental immunity doctrine, where these laws reflect the states’ exercise of constitutionally reserved escheat power.
The following is a series of questions posed to Floyd Abrams by Ronald Collins on the occasion of the publication of Abrams’s new book, Friend of the Court: On the Front Lines with the First Amendment (Yale University Press, 2013).
Welcome, Floyd. Thank you for taking the time to participate in this Question and Answer exchange for our readers. And congratulations on the publication of your second book.
You’re seventy-six years old and still quite active in litigating First Amendment cases. And now another book about your life in the law, the law of the First Amendment, that is. Would it be fair to say that you love your work?
Yes. I’ve been very lucky in a lot of ways — my family, my law firm, and my good fortune in being able to devote a good deal of my professional and personal time to seeking to protect and expand First Amendment principles.
The title and subtitle of your latest book suggest that you are venturing, on the one hand, to help the Court better understand the First Amendment while, on the other hand, battling those who would undermine the First Amendment. Can you say a few words about your roles as educator and combatant?
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We asked, over two thousand of you responded, and – as we will discuss further down in this post – we are already at work to try to implement some of your suggestions. Many thanks to all of you who took the time to fill out our online survey.
We thought that some of you might be as interested as we were in the responses to the survey – which describe, among other things, who our readers are, where they work, how often they visit the blog, and what features they like the most. (An even more detailed summary of the responses is available here.) Continue reading »
On Tuesday, May 21, the Washington, D.C., chapter of the American Constitution Society will host a discussion of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. Moderator Kimberly Atkins, staff writer at Lawyers US, will be joined by Lori Alvino McGill, who serves as counsel for the birth mother, Kelsi Brown Corkran, counsel to the guardian ad litem, and Charles A. Rothfield, counsel to the birth father. More information is available here.
- Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the nomination of Principal Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. At USA Today, Richard Wolf reports on the committee’s vote and discusses the prospect that Srinivasan could eventually be nominated to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court; Matthew Huisman of the BLT also has coverage of the vote. Continue reading »
At its May 23, 2013 Conference, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as the denial of federal funding to health care providers for offering elective abortions, the constitutionality of copyright judge appointment procedures, the reassignment of disabled employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the elements of aiding and abetting in the use of a firearm.
This edition of “Petitions to watch” features petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them here without consideration of whether they present appropriate vehicles in which to decide those issues. Our policy is to include and disclose all cases in which Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents either a party or an amicus in the case, with the exception of the rare cases in which Goldstein & Russell represents the respondent(s) but does not appear on the briefs in the case.
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The petition of the day is:
Issue: (1) Whether the court failed to cure the violation of the Appointments Clause because, despite the judicial revision of 17 U.S.C. § 802(i) to permit the Librarian of Congress to fire Copyright Royalty Judges without cause, Copyright Royalty Judges are principal officers because they retain the power to render a final decision on behalf of the United States; and (2) whether, even if the court’s remedy demoted the judges, it failed to cure the constitutional violation because the Librarian of Congress is not the Head of an Executive Branch Department and thus may not appoint officers of the United States; and (3) whether, even if the remedy chosen by the court cured the constitutional defect, the court nevertheless should have let Congress select the appropriate remedy.
To those who haven’t explored the wonders of federal transportation preemption, the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday in Dan’s City Used Cars v. Pelkey may appear limited to a narrow issue that doesn’t come up often: Does federal law trump state-law claims stemming from a towing company’s storage and disposal of a car? The answer, explains Justice Ginsburg’s opinion for a unanimous Court, is no.
But Dan’s City is about much more than the storage and disposal of towed vehicles. The Court’s opinion will have implications for preemption defenses raised by the trucking and airline industries in a wide range of cases under consumer, employment, labor, and environmental laws. As I explained in my preview of the case, the Justices’ challenge was to identify some sound limits on a preemption statute, the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA), that was designed to prevent states from thwarting federal transportation deregulation but whose application often strays well beyond that goal. A lack of guidance from the Supreme Court, coupled with the statute’s open-ended text – it broadly preempts state laws “related to” carriers’ prices, routes, or services “with respect to the transportation of property” – has led lower courts to find preemption in unexpected places, like cases involving state-law bribery and racketeering claims. Continue reading »
- Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic reports on how Angelina Jolie’s decision to be tested for a gene mutation that indicates an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers and undergo a preventative double mastectomy has drawn renewed attention to Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, in which the Court will decide whether human genes are patentable. At USA Today, Richard Wolf notes the story’s potential influence on the Court and observes that although it is “not clear the justices can be swayed by developments that don’t change the legal questions before them . . . it is clear is that [they] take note of current events, often commenting on them in their remarks and opinions.”
- Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal reports on the Court’s unanimous decision in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., in which the Court held that the doctrine of patent exhaustion does not allow a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission.
- At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Schapiro and Trevor Burrus discuss the arguments that they make in their amicus brief in Bond v. United States, a case involving a criminal prosecution under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act that is scheduled for oral argument in October.
- With the Court expected to issue several major decisions next month, Public Policy Polling published the results of its survey exploring “what Americans think about the body as a whole and each of its members individually.”
If you have (or know of) a recent article or post that you would like to have included in the round-up, please send a link to roundup [at] scotusblog.com so that we can consider it.
The petition of the day is:
Issue: (1) Whether the Second Circuit erred by holding that respondents had Article III, § 2 standing to prosecute this action in federal court under § 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78p(b), in the absence of any allegation that petitioner’s statutory violation injured any respondent; and (2) whether the Second Circuit erred by holding that § 16(b) creates a “fiduciary duty,” (found nowhere in the statute) which is owed by every 10% stockholder of a public company and whose breach is always an “injury-in-fact” to the company.