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Tuesday round-up

The Court granted certiorari in three cases yesterday and called for the views of the Solicitor General in St. Gobain Ceramics v. Siemens Medical Solutions.

Coverage of the Court’s cert. grants focused on Jackson v. Hobbs and Miller v. Alabama, cases in which the Court will once again consider whether the Eighth Amendment’s bar on cruel and unusual punishment limits the severity of punishment for juveniles who commit serious crimes.  Lyle discussed these cert. grants here, as did Greg Stohr for Bloomberg Businessweek.  The New York Times, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Education Week, and Reuters also provide coverage.  The Court also granted cert. in Magner v. Gallagher, which presents the question whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act and, if so, what test should be used to analyze them; American Banker and the Courthouse News Service have coverage.

The Court issued two summary reversals yesterday.  In KPMG LLP v. Cocchi, it vacated the decision below and remanded to a Florida state court for it to determine whether arbitration is required for some of the claims alleged.  Both Lyle Denniston (for this blog) and Greg Stohr (for Bloomberg Businessweek) have coverage of the decision, which arises out of a lawsuit against KPMG for its role in the Bernie Madoff scandal.    In its second decision, the Court summarily reversed the Sixth Circuit’s grant of habeas corpus in Bobby v. Dixon (covered by the Associated Press and the Toledo Blade).  It also declined to act on a motion by the respondent in Knox v. SEIU, slated for oral argument later this Term, to dismiss the case as moot; the Court indicated that further consideration of the motion would be “deferred to the hearing of the case on the merits.”

The Court’s denial of certiorari in Buck v. Thaler, in which a Texas death row inmate alleged that race played an improper role in his sentence, prompted a statement from Justice Alito (joined by Justices Breyer and Scalia) defending the Court’s action against a dissent by Justice Sotomayor (joined by Justice Kagan). Lyle covered the denial for this blog; other coverage comes from the Associated Press, NPR’s Nina Totenberg, Andrew Cohen at the Atlantic, Warren Richey at the Christian Science Monitor, Mike Sacks at the Huffington Post, Allan Turner at the Houston Chronicle, Ariane de Vogue at ABC, Barbara Leonard at Courthouse News Service, and Debra Cassens Weiss at the ABA Journal.

The Associated Press, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Reuters discuss several other noteworthy cert. denials announced yesterday, including in Pilgrim Films & Television v. Montz, a copyright dispute involving the television show Ghost Hunters.

Yesterday’s oral argument in M.B.Z. v. Clinton, in which the Court confronted questions relating to the separation of powers, drew heavy news coverage (Lyle previewed the case here, and Amanda discussed it in her recent academic round-up).  Lyle recapped the argument for this blog, while Greg Stohr did the same for Bloomberg.  Dahlia Lithwick at Slate, Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Nicole Flatow of ACSblog, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, Allison Hoffman at Tablet (where Daniel Halper previewed the case and Hoffman profiled Nathan Lewin, counsel for the petitioner), Joan Biskupic of USA Today, Warren Richey of the Christian Science Monitor, Steven Schwinn of Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Josh Gerstein of Politico, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, James Vicini of Reuters, Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post, and NPR’s Nina Totenberg also covered the oral argument.  At Post Politics, Robert Barnes discusses a “supremely funny moment” involving Justices Ginsburg and Kagan during the M.B.Z. argument.

Today, the Court will hear oral argument in United States v. Jones, the GPS tracking case.  Lyle previewed the case for this blog, Orin discussed the case here and here, and Amanda covered it in her academic round-up.  Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, Daniel Solove at ACSblog, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, Michael Price at the Brennan Center, David Kravets at Wired, Nina Totenberg of NPR, Jamie Dupree of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kashmir Hill at Forbes, and Arin Greenwood at the Huffington Post all have previews of the case.    At CNN, Amitai Etzioni and Catherine Crump have dueling op-eds on the case, while Bennett Gershman weighs in with an op-ed at the Huffington Post.

In Smith v. Cain, today’s second argument, the Court will consider another challenge involving alleged misconduct by prosecutors in the New Orleans district attorney’s office.  Lyle previewed the case here.

Tomorrow, the Court will hear oral argument in National Meat Association v. Harris, a case involving the preemptive effect of the Federal Meat Inspection Act.  Tom previewed the case yesterday, noting that it will allow the Court a chance to clarify whether the oft-invoked “presumption against preemption” remains good law.  Michael Doyle of McClatchy also provides coverage.


  • Harvard Law School reports on comments by Justice Breyer and retired Justice Souter at a recent alumni event.


Recommended Citation: Joshua Matz, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 8, 2011, 9:42 AM),