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Tuesday round-up

With the Court’s November sitting scheduled to start in less than a week, previews of upcoming cases continue to roll in. At CATO@Liberty, Julian Sanchez responds to Orin Kerr’s preview of United States v. Jones, in which the Court will decide whether the installation and/or use of a GPS device on a suspect’s car violates the Fourth Amendment. Although Sanchez finds the clarity of Kerr’s “inside/outside” rule for deciding when to invoke Fourth Amendment protections appealing, he argues that “clarity is not a virtue if it is achieved at the price of the underlying interests the Fourth Amendment protects.” On this blog, the Community will be discussing Jones all week. And the Harrisburg Patriot-News previews Lafler v. Cooper, in which the Court will consider the proper remedies for unconstitutionally deficient legal advice.  [Disclosure:  The author of this post contributed to an amicus brief in support of the respondent in Jones.]

Other coverage focuses on pending petitions for certiorari. Stephen Wermiel discusses the petitions in Utah Highway Patrol Association v. American Atheists and Davenport v. American Atheists for this blog, describing the cases as falling “at the intersection of the First Amendment’s free speech and freedom of religion provisions – a stretch of road that has not been entirely mapped out.” The Blog of Legal Times and the International Business Times report on a petition filed by four former Blackwater guards charged with manslaughter for the shooting of Iraqi civilians; the case is Slough v. United States. And Lyle Denniston of this blog reviews the status of, and arguments made in, the challenges to various state laws seeking to crack down on undocumented immigrants.


  • At ACSblog, John Schacter reports on Justice Scalia’s “pizza originalist” inclinations.
  • Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will appear at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to honor the opening of an exhibit dedicated to her, the Dallas Morning News reports.
  • At the National Review Online, Joel Alicea discusses the brewing “fight over whether the decisions of the Court are the final word on the meaning of the Constitution.”
  • At the Huffington Post, Nan Aron argues that “the ethics code is not an onerous straitjacket designed to keep Supreme Court justices out of the public eye,” but instead “builds a common-sense ethical firewall built around political activity, fundraising, and relationships that create an appearance of impropriety.”
  • In Slate, David Weigel responds to an article on Robert Bork by Joe Nocera in the New York Times, which Joshua covered in yesterday’s round-up.
  • And finally, Damon Root of Reason responds to recent critiques of Justice Thomas, in light of his twentieth anniversary on the Court.  He argues that the public should “not pretend Thomas is the only one who disregards precedent when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.”

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 25, 2011, 9:23 AM),