Breaking News

Monday round-up

At 10 a.m., the Court is expected to issue orders from its December 9 Conference, as well as one or more opinions.  One of the cases that the Justices considered at their Conference last week was Arizona v. United States, in which the state has asked the Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision blocking enforcement of four provisions of S.B. 1070, its controversial immigration law.  The Los Angeles Times, UPI, the Associated Press (via the Washington Post), and the International Business Times all have coverage.  Last summer this blog held a symposium on the case, which Stephen Wermiel also discussed last week in his column for law students and which was also a recent topic of discussion in the blog’s Community.  Also on last week’s Conference was Bluman v. FEC, a case about the constitutionality of limits on independent expenditures and campaign contributions made by individuals who lawfully reside in the United States, but are neither U.S. citizens nor “permanent residents.”  Rick Hasen of the Election Law Blog has coverage of that case.

On Friday, the Court agreed to rule on a challenge to the constitutionality of three redistricting plans drawn up by a federal court for the two houses of the Texas legislature and its thirty-six-member U.S. House of Representatives delegation (the Court’s order is here).  Lyle covers the grant of review here and analyzes the issues here.  Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, the Election Law Blog, The Hill, the Austin American-Statesman, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the San Antonio Express News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Associated Press, the Texas Tribune, Reuters, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and Politico provide coverage.

The debate over whether the Court should televise oral arguments continues.  At, guest columnist Peter G. Verniero argues that, particularly with the “historic” decision in the health care cases looming, the Court should televise its proceedings – a sentiment apparently shared by seventy-two percent of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll.  But in an op-ed for the (UK) Independent, Rupert Cornwell reviews the arguments on both sides of the debate and concludes that “the best to expect is a gesture from the court itself: maybe a live audio feed for the healthcare arguments; maybe, just this once, a closed circuit TV feed into overflow rooms.”  In his column for the Miami Herald, Dick Polman argues in favor of televising the proceedings generally; that topic is also the focus of yesterday’s New York Times Sunday Dialogue.

This blog also featured more reports on last week’s oral arguments.  Tom Goldstein discussed the argument in Williams v. Illinois, which he described as revealing a “solidifying Confrontation Clause majority,” while Thomas Merrill predicts that PPL Montana v. Montana, a case about ownership of three rivers beds in Montana, will likely hinge on “what counts as a sufficiently arduous portage to defeat navigability.”


  • Nina Totenberg of NPR reports on a cookbook compiled by the spouses of the Justices as a tribute to the late Martin Ginsburg, husband of Justice Ginsburg.
  • Cockle Printing reports on the briefing schedule for filing merits and amicus briefs in the Affordable Care Act litigation.  The editorial board of the New York Times criticizes what it describes as an “attack on the courts” by presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
  • At UPI, Michael Kirkland previews the issues in Reichle v. Howards, a case granted last week that will explore the “twilight zone of the First Amendment in a case involving a man arrested after ‘touching’ then Vice President Richard Cheney.”


Recommended Citation: Joshua Matz, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 12, 2011, 9:20 AM),