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Thursday round-up

Four recent requests for Supreme Court review have attracted some attention.  The San Jose Mercury News reports on the Schwarzenegger administration’s “one last plea” for the Supreme Court to review a three-judge panel’s order to ease overcrowding in California prisons. The panel ordered California to deplete its prison population by nearly 40,000 inmates over the next two years. California’s application will be considered at the January 15, 2010 conference.

Also next month, Cablevision will “ask the Supreme Court to revisit (or narrow) a key Supreme Court case that casts a shadow over communications law—the second Turner Broadcasting v. FCC case, decided in 1997, and known to some as ‘Turner II,’” writes Marvin Ammori at Balkinization. Broadcasting & Cable notes Cablevision’s successful application for a stay of the lower court’s order pending the Court’s decision on cert.

The BLT highlights a strange circumstance surrounding another new petition: plaintiffs in the protracted Indian trust litigation are “filing a petition for certiorari just two weeks after the sides announced a $1.41 billion settlement to end the case.”  

And one last petition story today: the state of Kentucky has asked the Court to decide whether the state’s sex offender residency restrictions may be applied retroactively to offenders convicted before the restrictions hit the books, according to the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky.

In nomination news, Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan, acknowledged in a media roundtable that she was vetted for the Supreme Court vacancy filled by Justice Sotomayor. According to The Detroit News, Granholm says she would have been “honored” to be nominated but was more interested in finishing her job in Michigan.

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr shares a scan of his latest eBay purchase: an 1865 letter from the Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court, on Court stationery. The letter itself is a response to an inquiring law firm, informing the firm that a case was dismissed because the appellants’ lawyers failed to appear in court.

At Above the Law, David Lat continues the commentary on Adam Liptak’s column about ideology and Supreme Court clerks’ career choices. (See Tuesday and Wednesday’s round-ups for links to the column and some reactions). Lat also reports the names of a handful of recent clerk hires for October Term 2010.

The New York Times has a story on retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s new role as chairwoman of the O’Connor Judicial Selection Initiative, a group that will encourage states to end direct judicial elections. (A CNN story linked in last Thursday’s round-up offers additional coverage.)

The DC Dicta blog has a post on Justice Ginsburg’s speech last week at the Harvard Club of Washington, DC. When asked about the success of her 55-year marriage, Justice Ginsburg reflected on some pre-wedding advice from her mother-in-law-to-be: “‘Dear, it pays sometimes to just be a little deaf.’ … I have followed that advice throughout my long married life, but also with respect to some of my colleagues.”

Finally, at the Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum, Philip J. Loree, Jr. offers a detailed analysis of the oral argument in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., a class action arbitration dispute that was argued on December 9.