on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:39 am
The Court heard argument yesterday in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., a class action arbitration dispute previewed by Vivian Wang on Tuesday. Courthouse News Service provides a recap of the argument.
Events from earlier in the week continue to garner attention.Â Concurring Opinions has a post from Adam Steinman on Tuesdayâ€™s opinion in Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter, an attorney-client privilege dispute.Â He raises the question whether â€œJustice Thomasâ€™s opinion contravenes the Supreme Courtâ€™s â€˜traditionâ€™ that a new Justiceâ€™s first opinion be a unanimous one.â€ Ashby Jones at the WSJ Law Blog follows up on Tuesdayâ€™s argument in the honest services fraud cases, Weyhrauch v. United States and Black v. United States, predicting that if the fraud statute is struck down in full, â€œ[e]xpect defendants convicted under the law to rush the courthouse door.â€
Mondayâ€™s argument in the Sarbanes-Oxley case, Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB, also continues to generate commentary.Â Rick Pildes, the author of an amicus brief in the case, has a two–part analysis of the argument at Balkinization.Â Pildes writes that he was surprised by â€œviews from the Court about big issues in administrative agency design that have never been expressed before, [and] uncertainty even about what an independent agency is.â€ Donna Nagy offers her own two-part analysis at The Conglomerate, and Bob Thompson weighs in, too, also at The Conglomerate.Â
At the BLT, Tony Mauro reports on a panel discussion on the role of the Solicitor General, hosted by Justice Kennedy at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Former solicitors general Paul Clement, Drew Days, and Kenneth Starr discussed a â€œless visible, but enormous part of the SG’s responsibility[:] serving as gatekeeper or traffic cop for the large body of litigation involving the United States as it goes through the appeals process.â€
The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports that fourteen of the victorious plaintiff firefighters in last Termâ€™s Ricci v. DeStefano will be promoted today to either lieutenant or captain.
Looking to the lower courts, How Appealing and Sentencing Law and Policy both take note of a recent en banc ruling of the Ninth Circuit which overturned a death sentence for ineffective assistance of counsel. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, in a lengthy dissent, predicts that the Supreme Court will reverse the ruling, writing â€œPinholsterâ€™s death sentence must be reinstated. If we do not do it ourselves, it will surely be done for us.â€