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Friday round-up

The five opinions handed down this week continue to dominate the headlines today.  At the National Law Journal, Marcia Coyle reports on Wednesday’s ruling in Shady Grove Orthopedic Insurance v. Allstate, which cleared the way for certain class action suits which were formerly limited by state laws.  Coyle notes that the ruling in Shady Grove reflected an unusual split within the Court, pitting Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Sotomayor against Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Kennedy, Breyer, and Alito.  She also characterized the issue at stake as “a classic civil procedure conundrum that only law professors could love,” while the WSJ Law Blog’s Ashby Jones quips that the ruling might only be read in full by professors, “insomniac litigators,” or “a Supreme Court junkie who’s had four too many cans of Red Bull.”  Lyle Denniston also covered the Shady Grove ruling at SCOTUSblog on Wednesday.

At USA Today, Joan Biskupic covers another of this week’s rulings, Graham County Soil & Water Conservation Dist. v. U.S. ex rel. Wilson, predicting that the decision – which affects suits brought in response to whistleblower claims relating to health care, will likely have only a narrow effect due to subsequent changes in the law.  ACSblog reports on Wednesday’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, in which the Court held that the Sixth Amendment rights of a noncitizen criminal defendant were violated when he was misadvised by his attorney about the immigration consequences of a guilty plea, and the broader implications of the decision are addressed at Sentencing Law and Policy.  SCOTUSblog had coverage of the Padilla decision yesterday, as well.

Looking back at Tuesday’s ruling in Jones v. Harris Associates, William Birdthistle writes at The Conglomerate that the decision seems to defy categorization, and has been claimed as a victory both by industry and by investors.  Perhaps the only clear loser in the case, Birthistle speculates, is the Seventh Circuit, whose “imaginative economic reinterpretation of Section 36(b)” the Court rejected.  The Associated Press (via the New York Times) recaps the opinion and, in a separate piece, echoes Birdthistle’s observation that both parties in the case seem satisfied with the ruling in Jones; at the Wall Street Journal, Sam Mamudi recaps the decision as well.  (Connor Williams of Stanford Law School also has a recap of the decision on this blog.)

At The Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr previews the upcoming argument in City of Ontario v. Quon, with a focus on the case’s implications for the privacy rights of the individuals with whom city employees were exchanging text messages.  Because Quon is a case brought by both the senders and the recipients of the text messages in question, Kerr explains, the Court will need to address not only the rights of Quon – who sent the messages – but also those of the three individuals who received them.


  • Above the Law’s David Lat updates readers on the Justices’ clerk hiring for the coming term, noting that Duke alums have had particular success this year.
  • The Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog has coverage of Rent-a-Center v. Jackson, which is scheduled for oral argument later this month.
  • CBS News reports that Albert Snyder, whose suit against the Westboro Baptist Church will be considered by the Court next Term, has received an overwhelming number of donations from supporters ever since a lower court ordered him to pay court costs to the church.