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Wednesday round-up

Yesterday’s coverage of the Court largely focused on the cases in which the Court granted certiorari on Monday.  In United States v. Alvarez, the Court will consider the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a federal crime to lie about having received military honors.  At the Kansas City Star, Lee Hill Kavanaugh reports on the grant and the Act, as does Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Writing for the First Amendment Center, Tony Mauro analyzes the issues in the case and the prospect that the Court’s “pro-First Amendment trend” could “soon take a sharp U-turn,” while TJ Chiang of PrawfsBlawg suggests that trademark law could be a better analogy for the case than the defamation analogy on which the government relies.  (Thanks to Howard Bashman for providing the first link.)  Finally, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times weighs in on the case, arguing that, “disgusting as such an impersonation may be,” misrepresenting oneself as a decorated combat veteran should not be a crime. 

Also garnering attention yesterday were the two cert. grants in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum and Mohamad v. Rajoub, in which the Court will consider whether corporations and organizations can be sued in U.S. courts for human rights violations perpetrated abroad.  Tom Ramstack of All Headline News has coverage, as does David Savage of the Los Angeles Times.  The various constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act were in the news yesterday, with several new (and early) filings by both the federal government and a group of twenty-six states.  At Bloomberg Businessweek, Greg Stohr reports on the government’s filings, while Lyle Denniston has extensive coverage at this blog.

Finally, at the Opinionator blog of the New York Times, Stanley Fish dissects the issues in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, which was argued earlier this month.  A central issue in the case, Fish observes, is “one of boundaries – how far does the ministerial exception extend?  To whom does it apply?  Not only are there no answers to such questions, it is not obvious who is empowered to ask them.”  Lisa Keen at Keen News Service also discusses the case.


  • At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger discusses the possible reasons for the Court’s decision to re-list two cases challenging sentences of life without parole for juveniles convicted of murder. 
  • The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports on the impact that the Court’s decision in United States v. Jones could have on the use of GPS tracking devices by law enforcement officials inFlorida.
  • David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times reports on the status of the Arbitration Fairness Act, a bill intended to supersede the Court’s holding in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.
  • At this blog, Ronald Collins discusses Linda Greenhouse’s forthcoming book, The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction.
  • The Associated Press (via the Chicago Tribune) and the ChicagoSun-Times both report on a recent visit by Justice Scalia to the Chicago-Kent College of Law.  Among other things, the Justice expressed his preference for deep-dish pizza which, he added, should really be called a “tomato pie.”

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 19, 2011, 9:33 AM),