Breaking News

Thursday round-up

Wal-Mart’s filing of a cert. petition in a massive gender discrimination case dominates today’s headlines.  In the petition, the company – which is the nation’s largest private employer – asks the Court to review an en banc ruling of the Ninth Circuit allowing over one million women to pursue their claims for damages as a class.  Lyle Denniston covered the story for this blog; the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, the ABA Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg, NPR,  ABC, MSNBC, USA Today and UPI also have coverage.


  • At the National Law Journal, Tony Mauro interviews Frank Wagner, who is retiring from his position as the Court’s reporter of decisions after twenty-three years on the job. In another post for the National Law Journal, Mauro reports on a request made by former Solicitor General Paul Clement – who represents a group of former Justice Department prosecutors and civil rights officials – to argue on behalf of a criminal defendant in Connick v. Thompson, a prosecutorial misconduct case scheduled for argument on October 6.
  • Elsewhere at the National Law Journal, Marcia Coyle previews Pepper v. United States, a case involving the weight to be given to post-sentencing rehabilitation.
  • Also in the National Law Journal, Arthur Woodard has an opinion piece in which he examines last Term’s decision in Conkright v. Frommert, a case involving the deference to be given to the decision of an ERISA fiduciary.  Woodard argues that although “liberal” Justices are often criticized for using cases to “set social policy,” the majority in Conkright “arguably ignored or misconstrued precedent to reach a decision that severely curtails the rights of participants in benefit plans.”
  • The National Law Journal also provides findings from recent research on how Americans view the Court.
  • The BLT remembers former Supreme Court columnist Jack Kilpatrick, who died earlier this month, as an advocate of free expression.
  • At Concurring Opinions, Gerard Magliocca explores the implications of the Gold Clause Cases, in which the Court upheld a decision by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to take the United States off the gold standard.  He concludes that – contrary to conventional wisdom – the Court’s decision in the Gold Clause Cases, was “the most important Supreme Court decision in 1935.”
  • CrimProf Blog posted a link to Sara Sun Beale’s article, “An Honest Service Debate,” which criticizes and explores the Court’s recent decision in Skilling v. United States.
  • PrawfsBlawg links to a summary of a recent panel discussion on the effects of Ricci v. DeStefano