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Tuesday round-up

Joan Biskupic of USA Today discusses what Citizens United may portend for the rest of the current Term, in which the Court will hear several “momentous” cases.  Biskupic opines that the contentious Citizens decision may have reinforced the Court’s “caustic ideological divide” as it moves forward in reviewing and deciding pending cases, and in particular other high-profile cases such as McDonald v. City of Chicago, Doe No. 1 v. Reed, and Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB.  Meanwhile, at the Huffington Post, Frances Moore Lappe criticizes the decision as eliminating “the freedom to choose among a range of political candidates far wider than those favored by our society’s vast concentrations of wealth.” Also at the Huffington Post, Chris Weigant discusses how the decision might affect politics “out of sight of the viewing public,” exploring scenarios in which a corporation could manipulate media airtime or use the threat of election spending to influence pending legislation.  Finally, at Politico, Jeanne Cummings reports on public opposition to the Citizens United decision and its possible effects for both parties in the upcoming midterm elections.

Adam Liptak of The New York Times reports on the story of Shon Hopwood, a former bank robber from Nebraska who became a jailhouse lawyer and drafted (among other things) a successful petition for cert. for a fellow inmate in Fellers v. United States.  Hopwood was released from prison in 2008 and now plans to attend law school.  Kashmir Hill of Above the Law and Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy also have coverage of the “jailhouse lawyer of the day.”

At, Daniel Prywes previews City of Ontario v. Quon, in which the Court “will have to determine for the first time the privacy rights of public employees in their electronic communications.”  He notes that although the ruling will not explicitly affect the privacy rights of employees in the private sector, it will nonetheless significantly affect private employees’ common-law privacy rights, which are currently used in court challenges to employers that monitor their employees’ electronic communication.

Briefly, Ashby Jones at the WSJ Law Blog adds to Jess Bravin’s speculation in the WSJ regarding future Supreme Court appointments (featured in yesterday’s Round-up).  The Boston Globe and the Harvard Crimson report that retired Justice David Souter, who attended both Harvard College (’61) and Harvard Law School (’66), will deliver the keynote address at the university’s 2010 commencement.  Finally, the WSJ Law Blog also covers the argument-sharing controversy in McDonald v. Chicago, asserting that the Court likely chose to grant argument time to the NRA because of the different approaches that the two groups plan to take to arrive at the same conclusion.