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Wednesday round-up

Commentary on, as well as the fall-out from, the Court’s recent decision in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett continues.  Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Nicholas Riccardi reports that the decision striking down a portion of Arizona’s Clean Elections Act could actually benefit Democrats in that state, because the law’s “greatest beneficiaries” had been conservatives.  Reacting to this report, Rick Pildes of Balkinization considers whether public financing of elections “actually encourages greater polarization, as seems to have been the case in [Arizona.]”  Yesterday Nabiha linked to several articles discussing the effects that the Court’s decision might have on similar laws in San Francisco, New York City, and North Carolina; Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent reports that the ruling might also prompt a change to a pilot state program in New Haven.  In an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun, Christopher Peters reviews possible legislative responses to the Court’s recent campaign-finance decisions but ultimately concludes that “[t]here is only one sure way to decisively reverse Supreme Court decisions that misinterpret our Constitution, and that is to amend the Constitution itself.”  And writing for the Opinionator blog of the New York Times, Stanley Fish discusses the decisions in Bennett and Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association and considers what the First Amendment is protecting in both cases.

ACSblog has two posts on Wal-Mart v. Dukes: the first links to (and summarizes) a video interview with Melissa Hart, who argues that the decision – along with this Term’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion – is part of a trend of limiting individuals’ access to the courts through procedural rulings; the second links to a video interview with the lead plaintiff in the case, Betty Dukes.

At Concurring Opinions, Helen Norton analyzes the Court’s decision in Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri – in which the Court held that public employees with workplace grievances can sue a government employer under the First Amendment’s Petition Clause only if the petition involved “a matter of public concern” – and concludes that Justice Scalia’s opinion dissenting in part “offers a more promising approach to protecting public employees from retaliation while recognizing governmental employers’ legitimate efficiency concerns.”

Andrew Quinn and Jeremy Pelofsky of Reuters (via the Chicago Tribune) report on the brief filed last week by the federal government urging the Court to delay temporarily the scheduled execution of a Mexican national, who was convicted of kidnapping, rape, and murder.  Lyle Denniston of this blog initially covered the case last week.  The AP (via the Houston Chronicle) and JURIST also provide coverage, while the editorial board of the Washington Post contends that the government’s request is “a reasonable [one] that should be granted.”


  • Patrick Lee for the WSJ Law Blog follows up on a recent Associated Press story (included in yesterday’s round-up) reporting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has no plans to retire soon.
  • Adam Cohen of Time previews United States v. Jones, in which the Court will consider whether police need a warrant to put a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s vehicle.
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Erwin Chemerinsky observes that “distrust of the courts” seems to underlie several of the Court’s recent five-four decisions denying court access.
  • Kent Scheidegger of Crime and Consequences criticizes a recent Los Angeles Times article on Justice Thomas (to which Nabiha linked in yesterday’s round-up) as “skewed . . . to give the reader a distorted view of [the Justice’s] jurisprudence.”
  • ACS Blog reports on a University of Maryland law professor who has taken umbrage with Chief Justice Roberts’ recent commentary on the practicality of legal scholarship.
  • The law firm Molo Lamken has released their annual Supreme Court Business Briefing.
  • Matthew Continetti, guest-blogging for the Washington Post blog Right Turn, reacts to Ramesh Ponnuru’s recent column attacking the view that the Supreme Court is pro-business (linked in yesterday’s round-up).


Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 6, 2011, 10:14 AM),