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Thursday round-up

Yesterday a Christian legal group filed a petition asking the Court to review the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The petitioners in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama have asked the Court to grant cert. and overturn a Sixth Circuit decision (which Lyle Denniston covered last month for this blog) upholding the Act’s health insurance purchase mandate. The Blog of Legal Times summarizes the arguments made in the petition, while Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Associated Press (via the Washington Post) all have coverage.

At her On the Case blog for Thomson Reuters News & Insight, Alison Frankel reports on subsequent developments in Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton, in which the Court vacated a decision by the Fifth Circuit requiring securities fraud plaintiffs seeking class certification to prove “loss causation.”

And in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Alicia Mundy examines the impact of PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, in which the Court held that federal regulations governing generic drug manufacturers preempt state-law tort claims alleging a failure to provide adequate warning labels. Pliva’s parent company had faced numerous Nevada lawsuits, but Mundy concludes that “it’s uncertain whether the [PLIVA] decision will neuter” the pending suits.


  • In the ABA Journal, Martha Neil explains why the Court’s denial of class certification in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion was actually “something of a quixotic victory” for a law firm that had frequently filed class arbitrations against AT&T.  Also in the ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss reports that the ABA recently filed an amicus brief in a pair of merits cases, Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye, urging the Court to hold that “criminal defendants have a right to effective assistance of counsel at the plea bargain stage.”
  • Dennis Romboy of the Deseret News reports that a group of atheists has recently filed its brief opposing certiorari in Utah Highway Patrol Ass’n v. American Atheists, in which Utah has asked the Court to decide whether crosses may be placed on public land as a memorial to state troopers killed in the line of duty.  (H/t to Howard Bashman of How Appealing for the link.)
  • The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports on a petition that was recently filed by an Oregon sheriff, seeking review of a lower court decision that he cannot deny a concealed handgun license to a medical marijuana patient.

Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 28, 2011, 9:02 AM),