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Wednesday round-up

Yesterday the Court heard oral argument in three cases.  Of those, Bruesewitz v. Wyeth – in which the Court is considering whether the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act preempts all vaccine design-defect claims – garnered the lion’s share of media coverage. Many of the Bruesewitz headlines describe the Court as “divided” on the issue, and indeed, NPR’s Nina Totenberg reports that “[a]t day’s end, there were few willing to bet on how the court will decide the case.” The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal (and a pre-argument post at the WSJ Law Blog), CNN, the National Law Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg, USA Today, C-SPAN, PBS NewsHour, Nature’s The Great Beyond blog, and Courthouse News Service all have coverage of the Bruesewitz argument. Meanwhile, yesterday’s argument in the Sixth Amendment case Harrington v. Richter is covered by Courthouse News Service, by Crime & Consequences, and by Dana Milbank in his column for the Washington Post (“Almost makes one long for a campaign-finance case,” he concludes.). JURIST and Crime & Consequences briefly cover the third argument yesterday, in Premo v. Moore.

Yesterday’s order list also generated plenty of headlines, as well, with an uncommon focus on cases in which the Court denied certiorari. SCOTUSblog has summaries of the list’s highlights here and here, as does the National Law Journal.  The order attracting the most attention is the denial of certiorari in Weise v. Casper (10-67), a First Amendment case brought by two people who were turned away from a public event featuring then-President Bush because of a bumper sticker implying their opposition to the Iraq War. Justice Ginsburg dissented from the denial of certiorari, in an opinion joined by Justice Sotomayor. The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, Politico, Bloomberg, Courthouse News Service, and TIME’s NewsFeed all have coverage of the Weise denial. Other notable denials include a case on Utah’s adult-oriented entertainment tax (The Hill’s On the Money blog) and a case on removal and fraudulent misjoinder (Courthouse News Service).

In addition to the denials, the Court added seven new cases to its docket (two of which are consolidated). The cert. grant in Bond v. United States, a Tenth Amendment case, drew notice from David Kopel at the Volokh Conspiracy, CBS News, the Christian Science Monitor, and Crime & Consequences. The consolidated cases, Camreta v. Greene and Alford v. Greene, drew attention, as well. Those cases are about the constitutional limits on interviewing schoolchildren about claims of sexual assault. Education Week’s School Law blog and Courthouse News Service have coverage of those cases. Meanwhile, the Utica Observer-Dispatch has an article on Madison County v. Oneida Indian Nation, an Indian law case that was also granted yesterday. JURIST has a post summarizing all of the new cases.


  • NPR’s Nina Totenberg and the Dallas Morning News editorial board both preview this morning’s argument in Skinner v. Switzer, a case in which the Court will grapple with whether a prisoner may bring a claim under Section 1983 to gain access to biological evidence for DNA testing.
  • NASA contractors have asked Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal to retract a statement made last week during oral argument in NASA v. Nelson. The statement concerns the extent of access to agency facilities that the contractors’ identification badges provide. The Department of Justice says it will not take action to amend the record because the statements were accurate. The Washington Post has the story.
  • The editorial board of the New York Times contends that donations from undisclosed donors to Justice Thomas’s wife’s nonprofit organization “raise a serious issue of ethics for Justice Thomas.”
  • At ACSblog, Sherrilyn Ifill looks critically at the disparity in media attention between Snyder v. Phelps and Connick v. Thompson.
  • The Associated Press (via MSNBC) discusses the prospect that the Court could soon consider the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, a statute that criminalizes false claims of having won military medals.
  • Todd C. Peppers and Christopher Zorn respond to a recent New York Times editorial on Supreme Court law clerk hiring, in the National Law Journal.
  • The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Justice Scalia will give the keynote address at the inaugural meeting of the St. Thomas More Lawyers’ Society for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay later this month.
  • And finally, the Boston Globe covers a speech delivered by the late Justice Thurgood Marshall’s widow to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Boston African American National Historic Site.

Recommended Citation: Adam Chandler, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 13, 2010, 10:13 AM),