Coverage of the Court was light this weekend, but it focused on Sorrell v. IMS Health (in which Goldstein, Howe and Russell represents one set of respondents). At issue in the case, which is scheduled for argument tomorrow, is whether a law violates the First Amendment when it restricts access to information in nonpublic prescription drug records and gives prescribers the right to consent before their identifying information in prescription drug records is sold or used in marketing. Lyle Denniston previews Sorrell for this blog. As Natasha Singer reports for the New York Times, "[t]he concern over marketing based on doctor-specific prescription records revolves around the argument that it makes commercial use of private health treatment decisions "” initiated in nonpublic consultations between doctor and patient, and completed in government-regulated transactions with pharmacists." Joan Biskupic covers the case for USA Today, while Andrew Cohen of the Atlantic predicts that "no matter which way they vote, the justices will offer a trove of new talking points (and legal precedent) to everyone else who pays attention to this particular corner of the world of information technology."
On Wednesday, the Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan, a case involving a Sparks (Nevada) city council member who voted to approve a casino project for which his campaign manager had lobbied. The Nevada Supreme Court applied strict scrutiny in striking down a reprimand by the state ethics commission, reasoning that "voting by public officers on public issues is protected speech under the First Amendment." In the Washington Post, Robert Barnes describes the case as "a major constitutional showdown with national implications for how states may police public officials who face a potential conflict of interest in conducting the people's business."
Elsewhere in the Post, Barnes also has coverage of the government's recent cert. petition in United States v. Jones, in which the D.C. Circuit ruled that a warrant was required to place a GPS device on a car for long-term surveillance.
- At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Kopel has an extensive discussion of a recent cert. petition challenging Maryland's de facto ban on the transportation of handguns.
- Also at Volokh, Jonathan Adler looks at the issue of standing in American Electric Power v. Connecticut; he concludes that "Mass. v. EPA does not establish standing here. More is required. The Court must either a) place even greater weight on its newfound "special solicitude' doctrine of state standing, b) further lower the requirements of causation and redressability, c) conclude that in a common law nuisance action the requirements of standing are subsumed into the inquiry as to whether there is a cause of action, or d) do something else to help the state plaintiffs clear the standing bar."
- Jason Grant of the Newark Star-Ledger takes an early look at Florence v. Board of Freeholders, which will be argued next Term; the issue is whether the Fourth Amendment permits a jail to conduct a suspicionless strip search whenever an individual is arrested, even for minor offenses. (Thanks to How Appealing for the link.) (Disclosure: Goldstein, Howe & Russell represents the petitioner in the case.)
- At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost compares the class action of Wal-Mart v. Dukes to BP's efforts to compensate the many victims of the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Recommended Citation: James Bickford, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 25, 2011, 8:06 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/04/monday-round-up-75/