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Tuesday round-up

While the Court continues a busy week, most coverage focuses on yesterday’s opinion in Michigan v. Bryant, in which the Court held that statements from a dying victim were non-testimonial in nature, and could be admitted without violating the Confrontation Clause, because the primary purpose of the interrogation was to deal with an ongoing emergency.  JURIST, CNN, Detroit News, and Adam Liptak of the New York Times have coverage of the decision, as does Courthouse News Service. Both David Savage of the Los Angeles Times and Warren Richey of Christian Science Monitor note that the decision represents somewhat of a departure from the Court’s recent Confrontation Clause rulings.  And as the ABA Journal notes, Justice Scalia minced no words in his dissent, writing that the decision “distorts our confrontation clause jurisprudence and leaves it in a shambles. Instead of clarifying the law, the court makes itself the obfuscator of last resort.” Orin Kerr has excerpts from the Justice’s “absolutely blistering” dissent at the Volokh Conspiracy. And in light of yesterday’s decision in Bryant, Lyle Denniston – reporting for this blog – notes that Justice Scalia will “bear watching” during oral argument tomorrow in another Confrontation Clause case, Bullcoming v. New Mexico. [Disclosure:  Goldstein, Howe & Russell represents the petitioner in Bullcoming.]  Finally, the Albuquerque Journal considers how the Bullcoming case might affect cases involving laboratory analysis.

Yesterday’s oral arguments in DePierre v. United States and Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University v. Roche Molecular Systems also garnered some coverage. JURIST has coverage of DePierre, in which the Court considered whether the term “cocaine base” is limited to “crack” cocaine or might instead include other forms of cocaine chemically classified as base. The Maryland Daily Record also provides excerpts from the oral argument, including an exchange in which Justice Kagan wondered whether “cocaine base” was redundant, like “apple fruit” or “poodle dog”. And both the MIT Tech and the Stanford Daily have summaries of Roche, in which the Court considered whether a university-employed researcher may assign patent rights for federally funded inventions, without the permission of the university.

Today, the Court will hear one hour of oral argument in the consolidated cases of Camreta v. Greene and Alford v. Greene, in which the Justices will consider whether the police must obtain a warrant before interviewing a child about potential abuse, in the absence of parental permission. [AH1] Jennifer Clark of this blog has an argument preview. The Court will also hear argument today in Schindler v. Kirk,  assessing whether an agency’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request is a “report or investigation” within the meaning of the False Claims Act public disclosure bar. Tomorrow, in addition to Bullcoming, the Court will hear oral argument in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd; at issue in that case is whether former Attorney General John Ashcroft is immune from a suit alleging the pretextual use of the federal material witness statute to detain terrorism suspects. The Kansas City Star describes the case initiated by Kansas native Abdullah al-Kidd, while Mary A. Fischer of this blog delves into the details.


-       Courthouse News Service reports on yesterday’s denial of a cert. petition filed by New York City in a case involving its efforts to mandate fuel emissions standards for taxicabs.

-       In a guest post for ACSblog, William Yeomans argues for an “enforceable code of conduct” for the Justices, while at Jason Mazzone of Balkinization considers the unintended consequences of such ethics rules.

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 1, 2011, 9:37 AM),