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Tuesday round-up

This round-up includes highlights of coverage from Wednesday, September 1 through today.  Going forward, we will continue to post daily round-ups on the redesigned SCOTUSblog.

Over the past several days, a number of news sources have reported on the fall-out from last Term’s decisions in the trio of cases involving the federal “honest services” law.  The Washington Post reports that a request by former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling to be released on bail while appealing his fraud conviction has been denied; Bloomberg also has coverage.  Meanwhile, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and JURIST all report that former Illinois Governor George Ryan, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2006 has filed a motion seeking to have his sentence vacated in light of the Skilling decision.  Similarly, former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy have relied on Skilling to seek the dismissal of charges against them, the Houston Chronicle reports.

In an article in the New York Times this week, Adam Liptak discusses the Justices’ hiring practices, and in particular Justice Thomas’s preference for clerks from non-Ivy-League schools.   In another article, Liptak examines the extent to which the Justices’ hiring practices have become politically polarized; in a separate graphic, the Times breaks down this trend, categorizing recent clerks based on the political party of the president who nominated them.


  • At UPI, Michael Kirkland reports on the recent cert. petition filed by the retail giant Wal-Mart to stop a class-action suit against it that could “turn out to be the largest class-action suit in U.S. history.”
  • At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick discusses the National Rifle Association’s increased participation in the debate over Supreme Court nominees in recent years.
  • In this month’s issue of the ABA Journal, Liane J. Jackson examines what she characterizes as the erosion of the Court’s landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona in recent years.
  • At the BLT, Tony Mauro reports that Justice Kagan has indicated that she will not participate in a twelfth case:  Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, which is scheduled for argument in October.
  • At, Tony Mauro and Carrie Levine report that the video game industry has been soliciting the support of state attorneys general in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, a case challenging restrictions on the sale of violent video games to minors.
  • At the WSJ Law Blog, Ashby Jones details the facts in Snyder v. Phelps, scheduled for oral argument in October, and recaps Joan Biskupic’s recent preview of the case.
  • The New York Times has an article on the impact of the Court’s recent McDonald v. Chicago ruling on transit agency advertising policies, many of which prohibit the promotion of firearms.
  • Finally, at the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr highlights comments made recently by Justice Kennedy on the role of the blogosphere in his and his clerks’ thinking about pending cases.