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Tuesday round-up

The court heard oral arguments in three cases yesterday. In Sackett v. EPA, the Justices considered whether the two Idaho property owners could seek pre-enforcement judicial review of an order by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring compliance with wetlands regulations. Lyle Denniston covered the oral argument for this blog; other coverage comes from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, , James Vicini of Reuters, Lawrence Hurley of E&E (via Greenwire), David Savage of the Nation Now blog of the Los Angeles Times, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, Joan Biskupic of USA Today, Jonathan Adler of the Volokh Conspiracy, Jesse Holland of the Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times), Sean Cockerham of McClatchy Newspapers (via the Miami Herald), and UPI.  Ilya Shapiro of CATO@Liberty argues that the Court should rule for the Sacketts.

In Kappos v. Hyatt, the Court considered whether an inventor can introduce new evidence in court that he could have (but did not) present to the Patent and Trademark Office, and if so, whether the court is nonetheless required to give deference to the Patent and Trademark Office’s prior decision. Finally, the Court heard afternoon arguments in the Texas redistricting cases, early coverage of which Kali gathered in yesterday’s evening round-up, and which Nina Totenberg also covered for NPR.  The transcripts from all three of yesterday’s arguments are available here.

Yesterday morning’s orders also generated coverage and commentary. Lyle Denniston of this blog characterized the Court’s decision to summarily affirm in Bluman v. Federal Election Commission, in which a federal district court upheld a federal ban on campaign contributions by foreigners, as limiting the scope of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to U.S. citizens. Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, James Vicini of Reuters, Warren Richey of the Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press and the Election Law Blog also have coverage. Elsewhere, Lyle Denniston of this blog, Barbara Leonard of Courthouse News, Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle, David Savage of the Nation Now blog of the Los Angeles Times, Alexandra Natapoff of Snitching Blog, and the Associated Press all cover the Court’s denial of cert. in Cash v. Maxwell, in which the Ninth Circuit had upheld the dismissal of several murder convictions that were overturned because of their reliance on an unreliable criminal informant. The Associated Press also has coverage of the Court’s denial of cert. in a case involving a man convicted of bank robbery in Mississippi. Kali has more details on yesterday’s orders for this blog.

This morning the Court will hear arguments in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox on whether the FCC’s standards for indecency on television are too vague to be constitutional. Lyle Denniston previewed the case for this blog; other previews come from Nina Totenberg of NPR, Joan Biskupic of USA Today, Eric Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq. blog, the Associated Press (via the Washington Post), and Amy Schatz of the Wall Street Journal. In an op-ed piece for Forbes, David Coursey contends that “[i]f the FCC loses here – as I expect – it will be the biggest change in broadcast content regulation since enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to present both sides of controversial issues, stopped in 1987.” The Court will also hear arguments today in Knox v. Service Employees Int’l Union, Local 100 on whether the First Amendment gives state employees the right to decline to pay union dues used for political advocacy by the union. Ross Runkel previewed the case for this blog; Michael P. Tremoglie also previewed the arguments for Legal Newsline.


  • Writing at the Atlantic, Andrew Cohen considers some of the reasons why the Court may have so many cases of political interest on its docket ahead of the 2012 presidential election
  • In a follow-up to a piece that Joshua noted in yesterday’s round-up, Jacob Sullum of Reason reports on a Brennan Center study challenging the notion that the Roberts Court is a staunch supporter of free speech.
  • Writing for the California Lawyer, Lawrence Hurley reports on the fallout from attacks by criminal defendants on the competency of their trial lawyers years later.
  • Andrea Bottorff of JURIST covers the Court’s grant in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, in which the Court will consider whether the federal government must repay Indian tribes all of what they actually spend when they run a federal program in place of a government agency. 
  • Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal and Sam Favate of the WSJ Law Blog report on Justice Breyer’s remarks Saturday defending the Justices’ recusal and ethical practices.
  • At his Jost on Justice blog, Kenneth Jost looks back what he characterizes as the decline in candor from Supreme Court nominees over time.
  • At this blog, Kali has our Petitions to Watch for this Friday’s conference.
  • The editorial board of the Des Moines Register argues that all of the Justices should hear the health care case.
  • In an op-ed article for Slate addressed to those who would second-guess the drafting of the Affordable Care Act, Simon Lazarus contends that “there is no way opponents [of health care] would have failed to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, no matter how it was drafted.”

Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 10, 2012, 9:29 AM),