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Wednesday round-up

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, in a speech to the Equal Justice Initiative on Monday night, criticized the Court’s recent decision in Connick v. Thompson, in which the Court held that a district attorney’s office cannot be held liable under Section 1983 for failing to train its prosecutors based on one example of misconduct. In the speech, Stevens “urged congressional action to hold prosecutors clearly liable for the civil rights violations of their underlings,” reports Tony Mauro at the Blog of LegalTimes. On her Court Beat blog, Joan Biskupic discusses Justice Stevens’s remarks, which the WSJ Law Blog makes available in full. Stevens also spoke yesterday at a symposium convened by Second Circuit Judge Robert A. Katzmann “to discuss the barriers that deny many immigrants proper legal counsel,” reports the New York Times.

The other major Court-related story in the news is Prince Charles’s visit to the Court yesterday, just days after his son’s wedding in London. Prince Charles attended a reception for Marshall Scholar alumni at the Court and “caused quite a stir at the usually quiet quarters of the nation’s highest court,” writes Tony Mauro for the Blog of LegalTimes. The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports that the Prince also met with Justices Scalia, Breyer, and Sotomayor. The WSJ Washington Wire blog, the Washington Post’s Reliable Source blog, the BBC, and CNN have more general coverage of the Prince’s three-day visit to Washington.


  • Yesterday the Court denied a last-minute request for a stay of execution filed by Texas death row inmate Cary Kerr. Kerr was executed last night, making Texas the third state to use pentobarbital, a sedative used to euthanize animals, to carry out an execution. The Wall Street Journal, the Texas Tribune, Reuters (via the Chicago Tribune), and the Associated Press (via the Washington Post) have coverage of the execution.
  • Mark Sherman of the Associated Press (via the Seattle Times) observes that “spring at the Supreme Court is lacking the scent of change” because “there has not been even a whimsical rumor of a departure.” Sherman also reports on a visit to the Court by renowned chef Alice Waters.
  • In his Sidebar column for the New York Times, Adam Liptak highlights a cert. petition filed by a murder convict alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. (The petition, in Rosario v. Griffin, has appeared as one of SCOTUSblog’s petitions of the day.) Liptak observes that “the question of what may be expected of lawyers in terms of rudimentary competence has lately been high on the court’s agenda.” Debra Cassens Weiss takes note of Liptak’s column at ABA Journal.
  • In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Ken Klukowski describes last week’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion as “welcome news,” explaining that, in his view, “[t]he court’s majority upheld the plain meaning of [the Federal Arbitration Act].”
  • And finally, the Bergen County Record (N.J.) reports that Justice Sotomayor will deliver the commencement address at Ramapo College next week. (Thanks to Howard Bashman of How Appealing for the link.)

Recommended Citation: Adam Chandler, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 4, 2011, 8:03 AM),