Breaking News

Tuesday round-up

The Chicago Tribune and Christian Science Monitor report that on Monday the State of Michigan filed an original action against the State of Illinois.  Michigan seeks to force the closure of shipping locks near Chicago to prevent carp from invading Lake Michigan and thereby damaging the state’s fishing industry.  The Detroit Free Press and the Huffington Post have more details.

On the opinion page of the L.A. Times, two lawyers for the group Hastings Outlaw, one of the respondents in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which the Court granted earlier this month, respond to an editorial last week in the same newspaper that described the Christian group as having a “strong case.”  The authors emphasize that the Hastings College of Law policy at issue in the case – which denies school funding to student groups that discriminate on the basis of religion when admitting members – applies to all groups that discriminate among their members, not just religious groups.  In an ongoing debate with David French of the National Review Online (see his latest post here), Eugene Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy defends the law school.

An editorial in the New York Times calls on Congress to pass legislation overturning last Term’s decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, a case that required judges to “assess the ‘plausibility’ of a plaintiff’s claims before allowing her to collect evidence for a lawsuit.”

In anticipation of oral argument in the gun rights case McDonald v. Chicago in March, David Kopel at The Volokh Conspiracy recommends a list of articles on revitalizing the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities clause, one approach the Court could take to “incorporate” the Second Amendment against state and local governments.

As Elena Kagan wraps up her first four months as Solicitor General, Nina Totenberg of NPR has a feature on the first woman to serve in that office.  The story describes her core beliefs as a well-kept secret; when asked about her views, Totenberg reports, Kagan responded that “what my constitutional values are are wholly irrelevant to the job, and so neither you nor anyone else will know what they are.”

Adam Liptak’s new Sidebar column in the New York Times reports on a recent academic article arguing that legal employers who hire former Supreme Court clerks are increasingly hiring those of one ideology.  Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy concurs based on his personal experience, but is dubious about the significance of this trend.  At the same blog, Ilya Somin argues that the trend Liptak portrays as worrying is actually the positive result of increasing “ideological and jurisprudential diversity” among the justices.   Meanwhile, TheRacetotheBottom blog examines the potential influence of legal blogging on law clerks, including Supreme Court clerks.

Concurring Opinions has a post on how the torts of privacy and libel were used to achieve racist ends in the past, offering as examples two 1960s Supreme Court cases, Afro-American Publishing v. Jaffe and New York Times v. Sullivan.

Following an AP story yesterday, the WSJ Law Blog discusses Justice Sotomayor’s concern about the “commercialization” of her image.