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Thursday round-up

During today’s Conference, the Justices will consider (among other cases) five petitions asking the Court to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Lyle Denniston of this blog previews the issues before the Justices, as does Laura Green of the Palm Beach Post.  At Slate, Simon Lazarus discusses the weight that the D.C. Circuit’s recent decision upholding the Act’s constitutionality, authored by well-respected conservative Judge Laurence Silberman, could carry with some of the Court’s conservative Justices.

Yesterday, the Court heard arguments in two cases, National Meat Association v. Harris and Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp.  Transcripts of yesterday’s arguments are available here (Harris) and here (Kurns).  Media coverage focused almost exclusively on the argument in National Meat Association, with Greg Stohr and Stephanie Armour of Bloomberg reporting that the Justices “signaled they are poised to overturn a California law that requires slaughterhouses to immediately euthanize animals that are too sick to stand up.” The Associated Press, Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, Ben Goad of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Bill Mears of CNN, and Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers also have coverage.

Tuesday’s arguments in the GPS surveillance case United States v. Jones have continued to generate commentary and analysis. At the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr contends that because both the installation of the GPS device and the subsequent use of that device could be considered a search, “[t]he tricky question is, what happens if a majority of the Court concludes that somewhere in the process of installing and using the GPS there is a search or seizure, but there is no agreement as to which steps triggers the analysis or what constituties [sic] reasonableness?”  In a post at Cato@Liberty, Julian Sanchez argues that the Court should impose “a categorical warrant requirement on a class of technologies and let[] the issuing magistrate evaluate the bounds of reasonableness in the instance.” The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times also weighs in, arguing that the Constitution, “interpreted in light of technological advances, supports a ruling that GPS surveillance without a warrant violates the 4th Amendment,” while the editorial board of the San Diego Tribune also expressed concern about “unlimited government surveillance.” Daniel Fisher of Forbes and Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal also have coverage of Jones.

Finally, coverage of the Court’s aggressive questioning during Tuesday’s arguments in the prosecutorial misconduct case Smith v. Cain continues, with stories by Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal.


  • Nathan Gorenstein of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the Court’s opinion Tuesday in Greene v. Fisher. [Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell served as co-counsel to petitioner Eric Greene.]
  • Ilya Shapiro of Cato@Liberty discusses the petition for certiorari in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin; he also summarizes some of the amicus briefs filed in the case, which he characterizes as demonstrating “the detriment everyone in society suffers when state action based on race rather than merit dictates the path of young Americans.”

Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 10, 2011, 9:26 AM),