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Tuesday round-up

Adam Liptak of The New York Times has this article on City of Ontario v. Quon, in which the Court granted cert. yesterday.  He suggests that although the legal issue in the case is limited to text messaging in government workplaces, the decision may nonetheless hint at the Court’s views on the broader issue of privacy rights in the Internet era.  The Wall Street Journal Law Blog and Robert Barnes at the Washington Post also have coverage of the case, as does Warren Richey of the Christian Science Monitor.

In the blogosphere, Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy attributes the grant in Quon – which he describes as a “splitless” and otherwise “factbound” case – to “that old Ninth Circuit magic”:  a “liberal” panel and a “vigorous dissent” from the denial of rehearing en banc.  The ACS Blog also discusses the case’s ramifications for employee privacy at work.  In a separate Volokh post, Kerr breaks down how the case may affect the protection of government workers’ privacy rights, which the Court last addressed in 1987 in O’Connor v. Ortega.

John Elwood at the Volokh Conspiracy adds his take on the continued wait for a decision in Citizens United v. FEC.  Elwood speculates that the delay, especially given the Court’s desire to issue an opinion before the upcoming political primaries, may indicate that there will “be more than just a majority opinion and a dissent” when the decision is finally issued.  Tony Mauro at the National Law Journal also opines that the Court’s lengthy decision-making period signifies that the Citizens decision will feature a “proliferation of concurrences and dissents.”

Also at the Volokh Conspiracy, Harvey Silverglate offers his critique of the “honest services doctrine,” which in his view reflects a tendency in the American justice system to create and enforce increasingly vaguely defined criminal statutes.

The Bankruptcy Litigation Blog covers the Court’s Monday action in Indiana State Police Pension Trust v. Chrysler, speculating that the Court took the notable step of vacating a lower court judgment in a now-moot case in order to overturn the precedent that would still be set by the Second Circuit’s decision.  Reuters and the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) also have coverage.

In the Legal Intelligencer (PA), Howard Bashman of How Appealing reports on how Justice Sotomayor’s first opinion in Mohawk Industries Inc. v. Carpenter may affect pending litigation in Pennsylvania state and federal courts (note: link will open in PDF format after download).

Briefly, the Sentencing Law Blog notes that several of the cases in which the Court granted cert. on Monday (Ontario v. Quon; Robertson v. U.S.; Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder) are significant because they address criminal justice issues “outside traditional criminal justice settings.”  Eugene Volokh and David French of the Alliance Defense Fund continue their debate on Christian Legal Society v. Martinez at the Volokh Conspiracy.  The Election Law Blog reports on the election law-related anecdotes that Joan Biskupic notes in her recent biography of Justice Scalia.