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Tuesday round-up

The Christian Science Monitor and the L.A. Times have coverage of the Court’s Monday dismissal of Pottawattamie County v. McGhee.  The Court heard oral arguments on November 4 after the Obama Administration urged the Court to find in favor of the petitioners, contending that a ruling in favor of McGhee and Harrington would “make prosecutors reluctant to aggressively enforce the law.”  However, as Lyle also reported yesterday, the Court will no longer issue an opinion in the case after lawyers from both sides announced a $12 million settlement of the respondents’ claims.

The Associated Press reports on Justice Scalia’s call during a Monday public appearance for a Supreme Court composed of justices from more diverse professional backgrounds.  The justice noted in remarks to the Mississippi College School of Law that all of his peers on the Court have significant previous judicial experience.  Since “every aspect of your career broadens your outlook,” he expressed hope that President Obama would consider nominating justices from other professional fields in the future.

At the BLT, Tony Mauro has this post recapping the recently issued annual report on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.  Mauro suggests that though the Chief Justice may have tempered down his comments given the nation’s tenuous political climate, he missed a potential opportunity to urge the Senate to confirm nominees to some of the 120 judicial vacancies, to address recent impeachment proceedings against federal judges, or to highlight the need for increased judicial security.  Mauro does note that the Chief Justice, probably in light of the nation’s economic climate, avoided appeals for higher judicial salaries – a cause for which he has previously advocated passionately.

Business Week previews American Needle Inc. v. NFL, which is scheduled for oral argument on Wednesday.  The Am Law Daily’s coverage of the case notes that other sports leagues, such as the NBA and the NCAA, joined the NFL in asking the Supreme Court to grant cert. in the case, an unusual step that may indicate that “the leagues are looking for a wide-ranging ruling on antitrust exemptions.”

A New York Times editorial expresses disappointment in the Court’s decision to deny cert. last month in Rasul v. Myers. The op-ed asserts that a decision by the Court to grant cert. in the lawsuit by former Guantanamo detainees against former top Pentagon officials could have sent a “firm message that ordering torture is a grievous violation of fundamental rights.”

Briefly: CBS News legal correspondent Jan Crawford adds to the mounting speculation that Justice Stevens will retire this Term at age 90 and predicts that President Obama will nominate current Solicitor General Elena Kagan, whose name was often mentioned as a Supreme Court candidate last summer, as Justice Stevens’ replacement.  The BLT reports that Justices Ginsburg and Souter and the Chief Justice were the High Court winners of the Green Bag’s “Exemplary Legal Writing” awards.  In its January 11 edition, The New Yorker features an in-depth profile of Justice Sotomayor and recaps her first year on the Supreme Court.  Finally, WQXR, a New York City classical music station, runs this piece with Justice Scalia in which he recounts his distaste for hard rock and his habit of listening to Bach while penning opinions.