Last night the Supreme Court refused to vacate an order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that delayed the execution of John Errol Ferguson – a Florida inmate suffering from a psychotic disorder who was found guilty of committing eight murders in 1977 and 1978.  In addition to Lyle’s coverage at this blog, other coverage comes from Joe Palazzolo at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Tamara Lush and Curt Anderson of the Associated Press (via the Seattle Times), Michael Peltier of Reuters (via CNBC),  CNN’s blog This Just In, and United Press International.  Yesterday the Court also declined to vacate a Ninth Circuit stay that left in place Montana’s limits on political contributions to candidates for state office.  Lyle has coverage for this blog, as does Steven D. Schwinn for the Constitutional Law Prof Blog.

Other coverage considers the effect that this year’s presidential election will have on the composition of the Court.  At USA Today Richard Wolf writes that the “Supreme Court could be transformed by the man elected president [November] 6, but you wouldn’t know it from the campaign the candidates are waging.”  In an op-ed for the Washington Times, Mario Diaz argues that “when it comes to the types of judges [President Obama and Governor Romney] would appoint, the differences . . . could not be more stark.”  Continuing on this theme, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press observes that the “next [appointed] justice could dramatically alter the direction of a [C]ourt closely divided between conservatives and liberals.”  And in an op-ed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, John C. Welch warns about the impact a Romney appointee might have on the Voting Rights Act.


  • In this blog’s latest “Petitions to Watch” post, Ben Cheng lists the petitions under consideration at Friday’s Conference that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted.
  • At this blog, Andrew Taslitz previews next week’s argument in Bailey v. United States, in which the Court will consider whether its decision thirty years ago in Michigan v. Summers, in which the Court held that officers executing a search warrant at a home may detain a resident of the home until the search is complete, extends to a detention of a resident who has left the immediate vicinity of the home before the search warrant is executed.
  • In a post for this blog, John S. Summers and Michael J. Newman examine a common Supreme Court metric: circuit reversal rates.
  • Lyle Denniston reports for this blog on the state of the eight separate petitions challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that are pending before the Court.
  • Jill Tucker of the San Francisco Chronicle and Julia Cheever of Bay City News (via SF Appeal) report on retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s recent discussion at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre.  (Thanks to Howard Bashman for the links.)

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 24, 2012, 9:37 AM),