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Thursday round-up

The Court heard argument yesterday in Samantar v. Yousuf, a case involving whether a foreign state’s immunity from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act extends to an individual acting in his official capacity on behalf of a foreign state.  Highlights from the argument appear in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, ABC News, NPR, and on this blog.  At the L.A. Times, David Savage also  reports on the argument, with a focus on the story of Somali expatriate Bashe Abdi Yousuf, the lead respondent.  At the BLT, Tony Mauro uses Chief Justice Roberts’s willingness to extend yesterday’s oral argument beyond the allocated sixty minutes as an example to contrast Roberts’s leadership style with that of his predecessor, the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist – who was known as a stickler for time.  [Disclosure: Howe & Russell and Akin Gump represent the respondents in this case.]

Commentary on the oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago continues full bore.  Adam Winkler at ACSblog hones in on questions by Justice Stevens regarding whether the Second Amendment might apply differently against the federal and state governments.  At the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr predicts that the Court’s silence on the Privileges or Immunities Clause incorporation option indicates that the Justices “clearly had it in mind to incorporate the Second Amendment via Due Process”; by contrast, Randy Barnett interprets that same silence as a sign of tacit agreement on the point.

In a Bloomberg editorial titled “Give Us the Right to Be Free of Those Who Bear Arms,” Ann Woolner laments the increasing readiness of states and towns to pass laws permitting guns in public paces, a trend she hopes the Court in McDonald will at least not exacerbate by acknowledging “reasonable restrictions” on any Second Amendment recognized against local government.

A ten-minute video of interviewing Eugene Volokh, founder of The Volokh Conspiracy, on the First and Second Amendments appears on Overlawyered (warning: it takes awhile to load).

In an article focusing on the overhaul of immigration detention generally, the New York Times briefly discusses Tuesday’s oral argument in Hui v. Castaneda, reporting that the Court seemed “receptive to the government’s argument that Public Health Service doctors were immune from suit” for failing to provide medical treatment to an imprisoned immigrant.

The Boston Globe editorial staff criticizes recent Court decisions narrowly interpreting the Clean Water Act for “undermin[ing] the ability of the US Environmental Protection Agency to stop pollution of the nation’s waterways.”

After the Court’s opinion in the copyright case Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, Howard Wasserman at PrawfsBlawg praises the opinion for getting a jurisdictional issue “just right and in a straight-forward way, with a minimum of complications or confusion.”

A Washington Post editorial yesterday concluded that the Court “rightly dismissed” Kiyemba v. Obama, the case remanded to the D.C. Circuit last week in light of the offers to resettle all seven petitioners.

Ruben Castaneda of the Washington Post has a story on the potential impact of Monday’s decision in Maryland v. Shatzer, in which the Court held that police can resume questioning of a suspect who has invoked her Miranda rights – following a break in custody of at least fourteen days.  Castaneda interviewed several defense attorneys, who disagreed about the decision’s effect.

Finally, David Ingram at the BLT reports on Tuesday’s speech by Gregory Craig on the selection of federal judges.