on Mar 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm
In Turner, the Court is considering whether there is a constitutional right to court-appointed counsel in civil contempt proceedings that result in incarceration and whether the Court has jurisdiction to hear the claim in the first place. After the oral argument, Jesse Holland of the Associated Press reported that â€œthe Court sounded reluctant to extend the right to a taxpayer-provided lawyer . . . to civil proceedings where a person faces jail time.â€ Â Similarly, Adam Liptak of the New York Times described the Justices as â€œappear[ing] frustratedâ€ during the argument, as â€œ[i]t seemed that there were procedural and practical problems with almost every potential ruling.â€
In J.D.B., the Court is considering whether a minor has a right to a Miranda warning when being questioned about a crime by a police officer at school. SCOTUSblogâ€™s Lyle Denniston remarks that it is â€œa truly rare case when [a â€˜slippery slopeâ€™ argument] occupies the Court and the lawyers for an entire, unrelieved hour,â€ and this was â€œ[s]uch a case.â€ At Crime and Consequences, Â Kent Scheidegger concludes that the caseâ€œ[l]ooks like 4-4 with Justice Kennedy in the middle,â€ while Jesse Holland of the Associated Press is more confident that the Court is â€œready to force courts to consider age when examining whether a child in custody and must be given Miranda rights.â€ USA Today, CNN, McClatchy Newspapers and Education Weekâ€™s School Law blog have additional coverage of and commentary on the arguments (Thanks to How Appealingâ€™s Howard Bashman for the last two links.)
The two opinions that the Court issued on Tuesday also continue to generate commentary. Barbara Leonard of Courthouse News Service discusses the Courtâ€™s opinion in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., which concluded that, for purposes of the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the phrase â€œfiled any complaintâ€ includes oral complaints. Writing for the National Law Journal, Tony Mauro notes that the two opinions both â€œfavor[ed] the â€˜little guyâ€™ over corporationsâ€ and suggests that â€œ[t]he rulings . . . gave anecdotal ammunition to those who insist the Roberts Court does not deserve its reputation as a reflexively â€˜pro-businessâ€™ Court.â€
- Writing for the New York Timesâ€™ Opinionator Blog, Linda Greenhouse provides a â€œportrait of a term in progress.â€ Greenhouse â€œlook[s] at voting patternsâ€ in the twenty-five decisions the Court has issued thus far, arguing that â€œthis preliminary snapshot reminds those of us . . . who think they have taken the Courtâ€™s measure that assumptions are a poor substitute for close observation.â€
- SCOTUSblogâ€™s own Amy Howe discusses Tuesdayâ€™s oral argument in Fox v. Vice, the Section 1988 attorneysâ€™ fees case. She suggests that, â€œ[a]t the end of the argument, it was not at all clear how the Court would rule â€” nor, for that matter how much the two partiesâ€™ proposed rules would be that different in the mine-run of cases.â€
- Also writing for SCOTUSblog, Sophia Lin Lakin discusses Mondayâ€™s argument in Tolentino v. New York. She observes that the Justices â€œ[f]ocus[ed] on the practical implications for the policeâ€ and â€œsought an administrable rule.â€
- At Balkinization, Jason Mazzone considers what Maples v. Thomas, a habeas case in which the Court recently granted cert., â€œtells us about pro bono work at big law firms,â€ where Â â€œthe lawyers representing Maples in the post-conviction proceedingâ€ worked; he argues that the errors committed below raise important â€œquestions about big law representation of pro bono clients.â€
- In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage previews Wal-Mart v. Dukes and features an interview with the plaintiffsâ€™ lawyer Brad Seligman â€” â€œa determined civil rights lawyer with a small office and a powerful idea for turning a single lawsuit into a nationwide class action claim against Americaâ€™s largest employer.â€
- Ed Whelan of the NROâ€™s Bench Memos responds to the â€œthe Leftâ€™s . . . ethics charges against Justice Thomas and Justice Scaliaâ€ and â€œhighlight[s] some conduct by liberal Justicesâ€ in a three-post series (Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here, and Part 3 is here).
- At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger responds to what he describes as Emily Bazelonâ€™s New York Times Magazine â€œhit pieceâ€ on Justice Alito (which James featured in Mondayâ€™s round-up). He points to the two decisions issued on Tuesday and Justice Alitoâ€™s recently issued opinion in Wall v. Kholi as evidence that â€“ contrary to what Bazelon suggests â€“ Justice Alito does not always vote for corporations and against criminal defendants as Bazelon suggests.