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Wednesday round-up

Following up on yesterday’s New York Times editorial on access to federal courts, and in particular the Court’s recent decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the ACSblog – relying on Tony Mauro’s article in the National Law Journal – suggests that motions to dismiss (and decisions dismissing the complaints) based on Iqbal have already become “commonplace.”  ACS is hosting a conference next month entitled “Access to Justice in Federal Courts” that will feature a panel on the Iqbal decision. Details on the conference are available here.

A recent Vanderbilt Law Review study, which concludes that most Supreme Court clerks now take jobs that reflect the ideology of the justice for whom they clerked, continues to attract attention.  At Cato @ Liberty, Roger Pilon posits that the study demonstrates a systematic politicization of law schools, courts, and the law.  The ABA Journal has more details.  And on the subject of former Supreme Court clerks, the WSJ blog has a post on Monday’s swearing-in by Chief Justice Roberts of the new U.S. ambassador to Australia, Jeff Bleich, who —like the Chief Justice – clerked for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

In the Detroit News, Laura Berman has a column on the State of Michigan’s recent filing of an original action against Illinois.  SCOTUSblog’s own Lyle Denniston also analyzes the case.

At Court Beat, Joan Biskupic, author of a recent biography on Justice Scalia, recounts her conversation with the justice at the Court’s Christmas party.  And finally, Above the Law’s Kashmir Hill suggests potential holiday gifts for lawyers.  Her first recommendation is Supreme Court merchandise, including a visual history poster, trading cards, or bobble heads.