Yesterday marked the official start of the October Term 2011, but the Court also acknowledged Justice Scalia’s twenty-fifth anniversary on the bench, as Bill Mears of CNN and Joan Biskupic of USA Today noted. Previews of the Term kept rolling in: Opinio Juris laments the “incredibly thin diet” of international law cases, while CNET looks at several technology- and privacy-related cases on the Court’s docket. Damon Root of Reason, Jeff Rosen at the Takeaway (audio), and Michel Martin of NPR also have previews.  And in his online column for the ABA Journal, Erwin Chemerinsky calls this Term “once more, as it has been for each of the last six years… the Anthony Kennedy Court.”

Coverage largely centered on yesterday’s order list, the second to originate from the September 26 Conference. Lyle Denniston of this blog summarizes many of the noteworthy denials of certiorari, as well as the five cases in which the Court invited the Solicitor General to file briefs expressing the views of the United States. The Court denied cert. in cases involving a broad range of topics, including mobile phone safety (Bloomberg), gasoline price-fixing (Bloomberg), royalties on downloaded music (Bloomberg), a $500 million tax refund to AT&T (Bloomberg), the right to carry a gun outside the home (Reuters), cell phone searches (Associated Press), the Ten Commandments in the courtroom (CNN), and privacy protections for medical records (Christian Science Monitor). David Savage of the Los Angeles Times also has an overview of the order list.

The cases on the Court’s docket this week also garnered significant coverage. Tomorrow the Court will consider the scope of the “ministerial exception” for anti-discrimination cases in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. Mark Walsh previews the case for Education Weekly (registration required), while others weigh in on the merits of the case:  at Bench Memos, Carrie Severino argues that eliminating the ministerial exception will mean that “courts will need to open on Sundays to hear the flood of lawsuits second-guessing churches’ decisions on ministers,” while the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor also cautions against interference with the ministerial exception. Finally, the Louisville Courier-Journal (via USA Today) observes that the case has brought together an “interfaith parliament” of support across different sects.  Elsewhere, coverage also focused on Douglas v. Independent Living Center, in which the Court is considering whether Medicaid recipients and providers can sue California for its failure to pay the rates required by the Medicaid Act; Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Michael Doyle of McClatchy, and Lyle Denniston of this blog all report on yesterday’s oral argument. 


  • At Crime and Consequences, Bill Otis considers a new Gallup study on public perceptions of the Court.
  • Randy Barnett and David Kopel of the Volokh Conspiracy both weigh in on how the Court should rule on the Affordable Care Act – and do so on this blog’s new Community portal.
  • At MediaShift, Evelyn Messinger looks at the lasting impact of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, while Jane Mayer of the New Yorker considers the case’s impact on North Carolina politics.
  • Finally, Adam Liptak of New York Times, Adam Cohen at Time, and Geoffrey Stone at the Huffington Post all review Five Chiefs, the new memoir published by Justice John Paul Stevens.

Posted in Everything Else

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 4, 2011, 9:19 AM),