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Wednesday Round-up

The New York Times discusses the separation-of-powers issues involved in Kiyemba v. Bush, in which the Court granted certiorari yesterday.  At issue in the case is whether a judge can order a detainee released onto United States soil.  The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times also have coverage of the case, which was filed by thirteen Guantanamo Bay detainees who are Uighurs, or ethnic Muslim Chinese, and are no longer considered enemies of the United States.  NPR predicts that Kiyemba could be either a showdown between the three branches of government or could “fizzle out” if the Uighur detainees are resettled before the decision is granted. The BLT summarizes the Court’s orders released yesterday.

The Washington Post reports on the Chief Justice’s dissent from the denial of cert. yesterday in Virginia v. Harris, in which the Virginia Supreme Court had held that a stop based solely on an anonymous tip that the driver was intoxicated violated the Fourth Amendment.  Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy discusses the similarity between the Chief Justice’s dissent in this case and his dissent from the denial of cert. last year in Pennsylvania v. Dunlap, another Fourth Amendment case about the probable cause required for a police officer to search a suspect.

In Forbes, University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein discusses two cases – Alvarez v. Smith, argued before the Court last week, and Nneme v. Daus New York City, decided recently in a New York district court – that in his view sacrifice libertarian concerns about securing property rights against government intervention.

Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog reports on the Court’s decision to reinstate a federal district court’s order that would protect the privacy of those who signed a petition seeking a referendum on the state’s same-sex domestic partner law.  The decision, which will remain in effect until a petition for cert. is considered, effectively means that the information will remain sealed until after the measure comes to a vote.  Hasen opines the Court will have to address the disclosure issues at some point, whether in this case or a subsequent one.  The Seattle Times also has this coverage of the story.  In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, John Fund focuses on the harassment that the petitioners could face if publicly exposed.

Today at 10 a.m., the Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein hosted a live chat on the Court’s upcoming case American Needle v. NFL, in which the Court will hear arguments this Term about antitrust violations by the National Football League.

In the continuing debate about the Obama Administration’s attempt to suppress photos of detainee abuse by U.S. military personnel, The Los Angeles Times has this opinion piece by Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project.  Jaffer argues that the pending legislation to deny Freedom of Information Act access to the photos is over-broad.  The Justices will consider Defense Department v. ACLU, in which the United States has asked the Court to protect the photos’ confidentiality, at their private conference next week.

Forbes previews United Student Aid Funds v. Espinosa, which is slated for oral argument in December.  At issue in the case are the circumstances in which student loan debt may be discharged.  

Capital Defense Weekly reports on the Court’s first opinion of the Term, which remanded a capital case to the Seventh Circuit to explain why it denied the defendant habeas relief based on one of his arguments but failed to address his other three.  Calling the opinion “cryptic,” Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences suggests that “a practical solution is for the judge to pass on the other issues when he knows the decision is clear but go ahead and rule on them when he knows the decision is in a gray zone where other judges may differ.”

The Associated Press, via the Washington Post, describes the Supreme Court’s denial of cert. in Boim v. Salah, a petition by the parents of an American teenager killed in a terrorist attack in Israel who want to collect damages from a man accused of funding Hamas.

The AP also has this story in the Post on Justice Alito’s frustration with doubts about the trustworthiness of the Court’s six Catholic members.  Alito, who is Catholic – along with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Sotomayor – says he thinks “the Constitution settled the question long ago with its guarantee of religious freedom.”

In light of the October 1 opening of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, PrawfsBlawg provides an outline of its new role and procedures (including a “very friendly looking fill-in-the-box cert petition”).