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Thursday round-up

On Tuesday, Justice Thomas spoke at a dinner for the Augusta Bar Association, where – among other things – he emphasized that a collegial atmosphere continues to prevail at the Court. Adam Folk of the Augusta Chronicle has coverage, along with extensive quotes from the Justice’s remarks.  On Wednesday, he spoke at the dedication of a local courthouse. Greg Bluestein of the Associated Press reports that although some were “upset he was tapped to speak,” Justice Thomas “pushed back against criticism of his conservative record,” voicing his hope that “this courthouse will always be a refuge from the shifting tides of public interest.” Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal also has coverage of Justice Thomas’s visit to Augusta.

Reporters and commentators continue to digest Monday’s decision in Kentucky v. King, in which the Court held that exigent circumstances may permit a warrantless entry into a home even when the police themselves created the exigency, so long as they did not do so through an actual or threatened violation of the Fourth Amendment. Here at SCOTUSblog, Holly Ragan summarizes the opinion. At her Opinionator blog for the New York Times, Linda Greenhouse criticizes the decision, suggesting that the majority’s opinion evokes a “fantasy world of consensual and constitutionally informed encounters with the police” and reminds “us that if we don’t know our constitutional rights, we have only ourselves to blame.” At the Huffington Post, Scott Morgan considers “how this case could impact police practices and constitutional rights.” While he is critical of the decision, he notes that “it’s not exactly the death of the 4th Amendment.”


  • At his Under the Radar blog, Politico’s Josh Gerstein highlights Ted Olson’s suggestion that, “[i]f the legal fight over California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage makes it to the Supreme Court, the Justices could issue an “incremental” decision striking down the ban on narrow grounds that stop short of creating full-fledged constitutional protections for gay relationships.”
  • SCOTUSblog’s own Lyle Denniston highlights a new cert. petition filed by a Guantanamo detainee, Toffiq Nasser Awad Al-Bihani ( the brother of Ghaleb Nassar Al-Bihani, whose petition was denied on April 4). The petition asks the Court to decide whether “the laws of armed conflict,” as developed in international law, determine “who may be indefinitely detained” under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).
  • At the Huffington Post, Mandy Smithberger and Michael Smallberg of the Project on Government Oversight discuss Monday’s decision in Schindler Elevator Corp. v. US ex rel. Kirk, in which the Court held that an agency’s response to a FOIA request for records is a “report” within the meaning of the disclosure bar of the False Claims Act.

Recommended Citation: Amanda Rice, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 19, 2011, 10:06 AM),