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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday was a busy day at the Court. The Court released three opinions in argued cases – in Chase Bank v. McCoy, Ortiz v. Jordan, and Thompson v. North American Stainless – and a summary reversal in Swarthout v. Cooke. (The full text for each of the decisions is available here.)

Thompson v. North American Stainless, in which the Court held that a man fired after his fiancée filed a sexual discrimination complaint against their mutual employee can file a lawsuit under Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision, grabbed the most headlines. The ABA Journal, Bloomberg, AFP, CNN, and the New York Times all have coverage of the case, as do Nina Totenberg of NPR and Joan Biskupic of USA Today. Ed Whelan, writing for the National Review Online, opines that “critics of the Roberts Court will do their best to ignore” the Court’s decision in Thompson, which he notes is “certainly not a pro-employer result from our supposedly ‘corporatist’ Court,” while Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal similarly notes that the decision was “the latest in a string of employee victories on retaliation.” And JURIST observes that the Court has another Title VII case on its docket: Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the gender discrimination class-action lawsuit in which oral argument is scheduled for March.

The other two decisions released by the Court also garnered attention. In Chase Bank v. McCoy, the Court – in an opinion by Justice Sotomayor – held unanimously that lenders do not have to provide written notice before increasing interest rates for those who default on their credit card payments. Bloomberg, Courthouse News Service, and JURIST all have coverage; the Associated Press, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal also have brief summaries of the case and decision. And in Ortiz v. Jordan, a case brought by a former prison inmate who alleged that two prison employees had failed to protect her from rape, the Court held that a party may not appeal the denial of summary judgment once there has been a full trial on the merits. Courthouse News Service, the Ohio Dispatch, and the ABA Journal all have more coverage.

Two California papers — the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times — have coverage of yesterday’s summary reversal in Swarthout v. Cooke, in which the Court limited the power of federal courts to overturn state parole decisions.  The Court also granted certiorari yesterday in two cases Howes v. Fields and Reynolds v. United States — both of which had been relisted from previous conferences. John Elwood, writing for this blog, reports on this week’s relists. JURIST recaps the issues in both Howes and Reynolds, while Lyle Denniston of this blog focuses on the Miranda issues at the heart of Howes.

Finally, the Wall Street Journal and the Blog of Legal Times report that President Obama has selected Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., to be the next U.S. Solicitor General, assuming the position previously held by Justice Elena Kagan. Bloomberg also has coverage, as does Lyle Denniston here.


  • ACSblog features a symposium on Citizens United to mark the one-year anniversary of the campaign finance decision. Eliza Newlin Carney of the National Journal suggests that we should not be surprised if President Obama “declines to weigh in [on Citizens United], particularly in his State of the Union speech.”
  • Roger Pilon at CATO@Liberty opines that there is “nothing inappropriate” about Justice Scalia’s speech to the Tea Party Caucus yesterday, while an op-ed piece by David Rivkin and Lee Casey in the Wall Street Journal argues that the “liberal lobby [is trying] to quiet two conservative voices.” Politico reports that Justice Scalia “charmed the crowd.” The Los Angeles Times rounds up reactions to the meeting, and how it might affect today’s State of the Union.
  • As the New York Times reports, Justice Thomas acknowledged that he erred in not disclosing his wife’s employment as required by federal law, citing  “a misunderstanding of filing instructions.”
  • Steve Jakubowski of Bankruptcy Litigation Blog analyzes Justice Kagan’s opinion – her first – in Ransom v. FIA Card Services.
  • At the New York Times, Adam Liptak revisits the subject of laughter at the Court.

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 25, 2011, 10:18 AM),