With a busy week expected at the Court, the weekend"™s coverage focuses on the cases that are scheduled for oral argument this week.  The San Jose Mercury News previews Stanford v. Roche Molecular Systems, which will be argued this morning.  In the Washington Post, Robert Barnes looks at Camreta v. Greene and Alford v. Greene, two consolidated cases (to be argued tomorrow) presenting the question whether the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement and its traditional exceptions apply differently to children.  The Associated Press (via the Albany Times-Union) also has a report on the case.

Wednesday"™s oral arguments in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd have also garnered considerable coverage and commentary; in that case, the Court will consider whether government officials can use the material witness statute to detain suspects whom they lack probable cause to arrest.  Michael Doyle of McClatchy has a preview of the case; the Associated Press (via the Austin Statesman) also has coverage, including an interview with al-Kidd.  At Commentary, Alana Goodman discusses the Obama administration"™s defense of a Bush official prominently involved in that administration"™s anti-terrorism policies.

Recently on this blog, Orin Kerr suggested that Ashcroft v. al-Kidd is a "strange case" in that although "DOJ wants a ruling on whether it can use the material witness statute for national security reasons, DOJ is not making any arguments that actually relate to its national security detention powers," arguing instead "that in the criminal law setting, courts permit pretextual seizures, and thus, based on those powers, DOJ should be allowed to use the material witness statute pretextually."   At PrawfsBlawg, Steve Vladeck responds that "DOJ does not, in fact, have available the alternative "national security detention"™ argument that Orin believes it is avoiding."  At the Volokh Conspiracy, Kerr replies that "DOJ is saying that it can pretend that it cares about Al-Kidd for a criminal case, even when it doesn"™t, and that the reasonableness of his seizure should be evaluated based on a fictional government interest instead of the real one. I find that argument quite strange."

Politico.com reports on Justice Clarence Thomas"™s speech Saturday night at the Federalist Society"™s annual student symposium.  Addressing the scrutiny that his wife"™s political activities have received, the Justice said "that he and his wife "believe in the same things"™ and "are focused on defending liberty."™"  Politico has posted a partial recording of the speech, which has received coverage from an ABC News blog and the ABA Journal.


  • At Slate, Simon Lazarus and Timothy Jost argue that the Supreme Court should not expedite its consideration of the new health care law; they note that "premature Supreme Court intervention would also pre-empt the ongoing policy and political debate about the new law, and the individual mandate in particular."
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Rick Hills comments on the Court"™s recent decision in Williamson v. Mazda Motor, which he declares "welcome to all friends of federalism."
  • Finally, Enterprisenews.com has coverage of the fate of Luis Melendez-Diaz on remand to the local Boston courts.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: James Bickford, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 28, 2011, 9:25 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2011/02/monday-round-up-66/