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Friday round-up

With oral arguments over for the calendar year, the media turns its attention to the high-profile cases on immigration, health care reform, and redistricting that lie ahead this Term.

On NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Neal Conan discusses the Term’s most prominent cases with David Savage of the Los Angeles Times. In the interview, Savage suggests a “common theme” to the three sets of cases:  “these are all red-state cases, states’ rights cases, with the Obama Administration on the other side,” and therefore “have this real sort of partisan tone to them.”

In an op-ed for Fox News, immigration lawyer David Leopold weighs both the policy and legal consequences that could flow from the Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States and concludes that if the Court strikes down S.B. 1070, “it will reaffirm the well established principle that immigration policy is exclusively a federal matter; inextricably tied to the idea of the United States as a sovereign nation.” Kate Brumback of the Associated Press (via the Alliance (Ohio) Review) reports on reactions to the cert. grant by states that are defending similar immigration laws in the lower courts.  Bloomberg Businessweek also has coverage, as do the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and CNN. And at the Huffington Post, Kristian Ramos discusses the state laws in light of the cert. grant and concludes that, “at the very least from a practical level, states are ill equipped to deal with enforcing federal immigration laws.”

Alex Isenstadt of Politico provides a guide to the Texas redistricting case. Isenstadt explains how the issue reached the Court, the state’s unique predicament, and what is truly at stake for Texas politicians in this case. In addition, the editorial board of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram predicts that the Court’s decision to take up the case has made it “all but certain” that the state’s March primaries will not be held as planned.

Finally, Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post examines the questions of “corporate personhood” raised by Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which the Court will consider whether corporations are immune from tort liability for violations of the law of nations under the Alien Tort Statute. In light of the fallout from Citizens United, Sacks concludes that, “[s]hould the Court break down on ideological lines with a narrow right-wing majority limiting ATS defendants to natural persons, no casual observer will be able to avoid the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that the Court’s conservatives are eager to grant corporations powerful political rights while exempting them from the consequences of their most egregious behavior.”


  • At the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Sam Favate reports on Justice Clarence Thomas’s visit this week to Yale Law School, his alma mater.
  • This blog’s Amy Howe provides the Plain English versions of the Court’s decisions this week in Judulang v. Holder and Hardy v. Cross. Rory Little, writing for the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section, also has coverage.
  • Also at this blog, Edward Hartnett recaps last week’s oral arguments in Martel v. Clair, in which the Court is considering whether a state death row inmate is entitled to receive a new court-appointed lawyer when he has alleged that his first court-appointed counsel is not pursuing important evidence.
  • At Cato @ Liberty, Ilya Shapiro discusses a cert. amicus brief filed by the Cato Institute in Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States.
  • The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports that musician Phil Spector has asked the Court to review his murder conviction.

Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 16, 2011, 9:35 AM),