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Thursday round-up

After a quiet week at the Court, the Justices will convene tomorrow for the April 15 Conference; our list of petitions to watch for that Conference is available here. Among the petitions scheduled for consideration at the Conference is Virginia v. Sebelius, in which Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, has asked the Court to take up the issue of the constitutionality of the administration’s health-care legislation at once, without waiting for the federal courts of appeals to weigh in.  Joan Biskupic reports on the case and predicts in USA Today that “[e]ven if the court rejects Virginia’s request and chooses to wait — a likely scenario based on court tradition — the justices inevitably would confront the health care overhaul by next year.”

Also up for consideration at tomorrow’s Conference (for the fourth time) is the petition in Kiyemba v. Obama, a case filed by five Chinese Uighurs held at Guantanamo Bay; at Lawfare, Larkin Reynolds provides excerpts from a supplemental brief recently filed by the petitioners in the case. And Lyle Denniston of this blog focuses on the response to this brief by the Obama Administration, which counters that “the writ of habeas corpus is effective at Guantanamo Bay.”

Elsewhere, coverage continues to center upon some of the Court’s recent decisions. At the American Prospect, Scott Lemieux opines that last week’s decision in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn “is the latest illustration that the supposed difference between minimalists like Roberts and Samuel Alito and fundamentalists like Scalia and Thomas is entirely cosmetic.” Dorf on Law also discusses Winn, asking whether it is “possible that Justice Kennedy (who authored the Court’s opinion) and CJ Roberts and Justice Alito (who joined without joining the Scalia concurrence) actually do think there is something to the distinction between expenditures and tax credits?” And in the aftermath of the Court’s decision in Snyder v. Phelps, holding that protesters at a military funeral could not be held liable for inflicting emotional distress on the soldier’s family, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine has introduced legislation that would restrict protests at military funerals held at federal cemeteries.  The Portland Press-Herald has coverage.

Finally, supporters of California’s Proposition 8 accuse the judge who presided over the trial on same-sex marriage of defying a Supreme Court order against public broadcast of the trial’s proceedings. As Lyle Denniston of this blog explains, the challenge “revives a controversy” over whether Judge Walker had any legal authority to arrange for TV coverage of the case; by a vote of five to four last year, the Court held that he did not.  The San Francisco Chronicle also has coverage.

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 14, 2011, 8:19 AM),