Breaking News

Wednesday round-up

In the wake of the Court’s decision last Term in Brown v. Plata, which affirmed a lower-court decision requiring California to reduce overcrowding in its prison population to remedy an Eighth Amendment violation, California has announced that it will soon release thousands of female inmates who have children and who have been convicted of non-violent offenses. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog and Los Angeles Times both have coverage.

Yesterday a federal district judge in Pennsylvania issued a decision holding that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports on the decision and discusses possible timing for Supreme Court review of the issue. (You can read our symposium on the Court and the ACA here.)

SCOTUSblog’s symposium on arbitration and the Court kicked off yesterday with two posts. Christopher Drahozal of the University of Kansas Law School argues that even if legislation in response to the Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion is appropriate, “a ban on pre-dispute arbitration clauses is an overbroad way to do so.” And David Horton of Loyala Law School Los Angeles explores the possibility that the Federal Arbitration Act may apply to arbitration clauses in testamentary instruments. The symposium can be found here.


  • The Missoulian reports on the brief filed recently by the federal government in PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana, in which the Court will consider what test should be used to determine whether a river should be deemed navigable.
  • In a post at CATO@Liberty, Ilya Shapiro discusses an amicus brief that Cato recently filed in one of next Term’s merits cases, Mayo v. Prometheus Laboratories. He argues that “you can’t patent thoughts” and that the Court should reverse the Federal Circuit’s holdings permitting patents on the process of observing correlations between blood test results and patient health.
  • The Associated Press reports on the diversity of President Obama’s judicial nominations, including his appointments of Justices Kagan and Sotomayor.
  • The Hartford Courant reports that Brooke Shields will play Susette Kelo in a forthcoming Lifetime TV movie about Kelo v. New London, the Court’s 2005 eminent domain case. (H/t Ilya Somin @ Volokh Conspiracy)

Recommended Citation: Joshua Matz, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 14, 2011, 9:29 AM),