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Monday round-up

On Friday, the Court granted certiorari in three cases. Lyle has coverage here, while the cert. papers and opinions below are collected here.  In one case – actually a consolidated set of three – the Court will consider whether generic drug manufacturers have a duty to change their labels to warn consumers of a new threat of harmful side effects, and whether state court lawsuits may be filed for failure to do so.  James Vicini of Reuters and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg cover those cases, as does the Associated Press (via Minneapolis Star-Tribune).

On Friday, the President signed a law to replace the statute struck down by the Court as overbroad in United States v. Stevens.  The old law reached many depictions of animal cruelty; the new law is more narrowly targeted to so-called “crush videos.”  Kent Scheidegger of Crime and Consequences reprints the crucial section of statutory text and notes that “[t]he definition of ‘obscene’ is punted to the courts.”  Bill Mears has coverage at, where he suggests that because the “crush videos do not specifically depict a sexual act… there may be questions over whether the videos are in fact ‘obscene,’ at least by traditional legal and social standards.”  At the Blog of Legal Times, Tony Mauro suggests that the “Court may have more to say about the definition of obscenity” in Schwarzenegger v. EMA, “which asks the Court to treat violent video games like obscenity, at least for minors.” 

Sunday marked the tenth anniversary of the decision in Bush v. Gore.  George Will of the Washington Post and Brad Knickerbocker of the Christian Science Monitor both look back.  Knickerbocker surveys some commentators’ reflections on the case, including a fictional “Memories of the Gore Administration”; he concludes that “as it’s turned out, truth may indeed be stranger than fiction.”   Meanwhile, Will contends that “remarkably little damage was done by the institutional collisions that resulted when control of the nation’s supreme political office turned on 537 votes out of 5,963,110 cast in Florida.”  NPR speaks about the case with Jeffrey Toobin.  At Balkinization, Nate Persily concludes – based on the results of a survey he conducted – that although “we are still divided as a country when it comes to perceived fairness of the Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore,” the decision “is fading in the public memory.”  Election Law Blog offers six reflections on the case, including one by Lyle Denniston of this blog.  Howard Wasserman of PrawfsBlawg notes those posts and others.

Justice Stephen Breyer appeared on Fox News Sunday this week.  He argued that James Madison, who included a version of the Second Amendment in his initial proposal for a bill of rights, “was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize them” rather than the protection of an individual right to bear arms.  Video of the appearance is here; also has an article.  Politico and Aaron Blake of the Washington Post’s 44 blog note Justice Breyer’s comment that he thinks “it’s very, very, very important — very important — for [the Justices] to show up at that State of the Union.”

Briefly, the editorial board of the New York Times writes that, in his recent book review, “the retired Justice John Paul Stevens makes a compelling argument for abolishing the death penalty.”

Recommended Citation: James Bickford, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 13, 2010, 10:00 AM),