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Friday round-up

In her New York Times Opinionator column, Linda Greenhouse dismisses speculation that healthcare legislation would not withstand constitutional scrutiny at the Supreme Court.  She emphasizes that Justice Alito has almost never “cashed a paycheck in his adult life that wasn’t issued by the federal government” and describes Chief Justice Roberts as an “acutely image-conscious chief justice” who would never “place his court in the same position as the court that has been rewarded with history’s negative judgment for thwarting the early New Deal.”  At the American Prospect’s Tapped blog, Scott Lemieux also concludes that the Court is not likely to strike down the legislation, both because the legislation is in his view “constitutional under current case law” and because (as the justices would be aware) striking down the individual mandate in particular would not “ultimately advance conservative policy goals.”

Peter Baker at the New York Times discusses the possible retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens.  Naming Solicitor General Elena Kagan, D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, and Seventh Circuit Judge Diane Wood as the forerunners to replace him, Baker comments that the ultimate choice of nominee will “depend in part on what kind of fight Mr. Obama is willing to wage amid other tough legislative battles.”

Recapping Tuesday’s oral argument in New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board, Think Progress’s Wonk Room and the ACSBlog zero in on a question Chief Justice Roberts asked the government’s lawyer, about the possible use of the recess appointment power to fill the Board, which is missing three of five members.

Crime and Consequences has a new recap of Wednesday’s oral argument in Magwood v. Patterson. [Disclosure: Howe & Russell and Akin Gump represent petitioner Billy Joe Magwood.]

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg previews Monday’s oral argument in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, a case in which Australian citizens seek to sue an Australian bank under U.S. securities law.  A ruling in the bank’s favor would likely restrict efforts by plaintiffs’ lawyers and overseas investors to bring class-action suits in U.S. courts against foreign companies.

Tomoeh Murakami Tse at the Washington Post reports on efforts to challenge other regulations governing state and federal elections in the aftermath of the Court’s decision in Citizens United.  James Bopp, vice-chair of the Republican National Committee, currently has twenty-seven lawsuits pending.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the State of Washington filed its brief yesterday in Doe #1 v. Reed, in which the Court will consider whether the state can disclose the identities of initiative petition signers.  The case will be argued in April.

Finally, Marcia Doyle at the BLT has another report, in addition to those we linked to yesterday, on the Court’s stay of execution for Henry Skinner on Wednesday.