Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases. First up was Samsung Electronics v. Apple, a dispute over the proper scope of a damages award for design patent infringement. Coverage comes from Nina Totenberg and An-Li Herring at NPR, Adam Liptak at The New York Times, Tony Mauro at, and Susan Decker and Greg Stohr at Bloomberg. Commentary comes from Michael Bobelian at Forbes. Next was Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, which involves racial bias in jury deliberations. Amy Howe analyzes the argument for this blog. For NPR, Nina Totenberg previews the case and reports on the argument. Andrew King weighs in on the case at Mimesis Law. In the afternoon, the court heard argument in Manrique v. United States, centering on an appeal of a restitution award.

The court also issued a per curiam decision in Bosse v. Oklahoma, a death penalty case, ruling that an Oklahoma appeals court was wrong to assume that it was not bound by the Supreme Court’s decision in Booth v. Maryland barring admission of testimony by a victim’s family about the crime and the defendant’s sentence. Amy Howe reports on the decision for this blog; commentary comes from Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences.

Yesterday the court also added three hours of oral argument to its docket when it granted review in five cases, Hernandez v. Mesa, which involves the cross-border shooting of a Mexican citizen; Ziglar v. Turkmen (consolidated with Ashcroft v. Turkmen and Hasty v. Turkmen), suits against former high-ranking federal officials stemming from detentions in the wake of the September 11 attacks; and Midland Funding v. Johnson, a case at the intersection of bankruptcy law and fair debt collection practices law. Amy Howe reported on the grants for this blog. Coverage of the Turkmen cases comes from Adam Liptak of The New York Times, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Adam Steinman at the Civil Procedure and Federal Courts Blog.

In an op-ed in The New York Times, Gabe Roth argues that although “the court’s self-referential docket” includes “a handful of suits that have parallels with how they act as stewards of their institution,” such as cases involving judicial recusals and mandatory retirement ages, the justices fail to change “their own practices in light of their holdings in these cases.” In Balkinization, Marty Lederman takes issue with one of the assertions in the op-ed, noting that because Justice Elena Kagan delegated responsibility for the Affordable Care Act litigation to her deputy while she was solicitor general, “it was perfectly appropriate, and not the least bit hypocritical, for Justice Kagan to participate in ACA-related cases when they reached the Supreme Court.”


  • In an op-ed in The Huffington Post, Brianne Gorod responds to commentators who have argued that an 8-member Supreme Court offers advantages because it leaves significant “questions to be worked out through the political process,” arguing that we “should not limit the Supreme Court’s ability to perform its critical role in our democracy.”
  • In The Federalist, P.H. Guthrie argues that the court “is one liberal away from jettisoning democracy and enacting legislative policy via judicial fiat” and that rather than “accepting these usurpations as the ‘law of the land,’ Republicans should reject automatic respect and obedience for the judiciary, and restore the court’s coequal status with Congress and the presidency.”
  • At Bloomberg BNA, Patrick Gregory profiles Alan Sears, the president of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy organization that has taken several high-profile religious liberty cases to the Supreme Court, including Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley, which will be argued later this term.

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Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 12, 2016, 7:28 AM),