Breaking News

Wednesday round-up

Late yesterday, by a vote of five to four, the Supreme Court lifted a stay of an Arizona inmate’s execution. The inmate, Jeffrey Landrigan, had filed a challenge to the use of drugs obtained overseas in his execution. A district court judge issued the stay shortly before the scheduled execution, and the Ninth Circuit upheld it. Landrigan was executed at 10:26 p.m. (12:26 a.m. EST). CNN, AFP, the New York Daily News, and the Associated Press (via the Washington Post) have the most recent developments in the story.

The Federal Reserve did not join a group of large commercial banks in petitioning the Court to reverse a ruling ordering it to name the banks to which it gave emergency loans at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. (I noted the case in an August round-up when the Second Circuit denied rehearing en banc.) The Wall Street Journal notes that “[w]ithout the government directly supporting the appeal, the banking group faces longer odds in getting the Supreme Court to review the case.” Bloomberg and the Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times) also have coverage.

Yesterday the Constitutional Accountability Center released a study – conducted in part in response to a statement by Justice Breyer that business groups are not faring better now than in the past – comparing the treatment of business cases by the Burger and Roberts Courts. The study contends that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has fared much better recently than during the Burger Court era, and it also concludes that the business rulings have become more ideologically splintered. Doug Kendall, the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, discusses the study’s results at the Huffington Post. Bloomberg, ACSblog, and the Wonk Room at Think Progress also take note of the study.

Two stories involving retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor are in the headlines. Sitting by designation on a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit, Justice O’Connor voted to strike down one part of an Arizona law that requires Arizonans to prove their citizenship before registering to vote. Justice O’Connor joined an opinion by Judge Sandra Ikuta finding the requirement inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act. The Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times), Bloomberg, Constitutional Law Prof Blog, and Election Law Blog have coverage of the decision. At How Appealing, Howard Bashman notes an unusual – and possibly unprecedented – aspect of the decision:  Judge Ikuta clerked for both of the two other members of the three-judge panel, Judge Alex Kozinski and Justice O’Connor.

The second O’Connor story comes from the state of Nevada, where voters are considering a ballot initiative that would change the way the state judges are selected. Justice O’Connor, who supports the initiative, recorded a “robo-call” message that, by mistake, went out to voters at 1 a.m., rather than 1 p.m., yesterday. The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the New York Times’s The Caucus blog, Al Kamen’s column in the Washington Post, Crime & Consequences, and Bench Memos report and comment on the story. (For even more Justice O’Connor, ABC News features a Diane Sawyer interview with Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg at the Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California.)


  • In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that “[b]ecause of loopholes in tax laws and a weak enforcement policy at the Federal Election Commission,” Justice Kennedy’s prediction of transparency in Citizens United has not come to fruition in this election cycle.
  • In her Washington Post column, Kathleen Parker discusses the recent news stemming from Ginni Thomas’s phone call to Anita Hill.
  • At National Review Online’s The Corner blog, Richard Epstein responds to Rep. Peter DeFazio’s suggestion that Chief Justice Roberts be impeached (covered in Monday’s and yesterday’s round-ups). Epstein’s reaction? “Wonders never cease.”

Recommended Citation: Adam Chandler, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 27, 2010, 9:17 AM),