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Thursday round-up

Much of yesterday’s coverage of the Court focused on whether the Court would review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Perry v. Brown, striking down California’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, and in particular on what role Justice Kennedy might play if the Court does take up the issue. In his column for Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman characterizes the Ninth Circuit’s opinion as a “memo to Justice Kennedy,” while Karen Gullo and Andrew Harris of Bloomberg similarly observe that Kennedy is likely to be the “fulcrum” of the Court if it decides to review the case.  Other coverage of, and commentary on, Justice Kennedy’s possible role in a Supreme Court decision comes from David G. Savage of the Los Angeles Times , Carlos Ball in the Huffington Post, Daniel B. Wood of the Christian Science Monitor, and Geoffrey Fowler and Jess Bravin at the Wall Street Journal, while Orin Kerr pushes back against the Kennedy narrative at the Volokh Conspiracy. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Erwin Chemerinsky argues that if it does grant cert., the Court is likely to affirm the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Finally, Maura Dolan of the Los Angeles Times and Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News report on possible next steps for supporters of Proposition 8.

The Court refused to lift a stay of execution for an Ohio convict yesterday. A federal district judge had granted the stay (and the Sixth Circuit upheld it) because he was dissatisfied with the state’s changes to its lethal injection procedures.  James Vicini and David Bailey of Reuters have coverage, as do Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press and Reginald Fields of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Finally, Justice Ginsburg’s recent interview on Egyptian television continues to garner commentary (video). In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby responds to critics who accused Justice Ginsburg of “insulting the Constitution or being ‘mealy mouthed’ in its defense” during the interview. Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy uses Jacoby’s op-ed as a jumping-off point for a discussion of recent comments by both Justices Ginsburg and Scalia on foreign constitutions.


  • At the Volokh Conspiracy, Kenneth Anderson discusses Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell, scheduled for argument later this month; he contends that Kiobel’s “basic question is whether the ATS is a statute about international law or whether it is instead a statute that enforces something we might call the ‘law of the hegemon.’”
  • The editorial board of Bloomberg joins a growing chorus calling for the Court to allow cameras to film oral arguments.
  • At this blog, Scott Dodson previews arguments in Wood v. Milyard, in which the Court will consider whether federal appellate courts can raise timeliness limitations sua sponte in habeas cases.
  • Writing for ACSblog, Anthony Renzo criticizes the Court’s decision in Minneci v. Pollard, in which it refused to allow a federal inmate to bring suit against private prison corporation employees who had allegedly violated his Eighth Amendment rights, as both “bad law” and “promot[ing] a long list of bad policy choices.”
  • Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News reports on a recent decision by a federal district judge holding that the Office of the Solicitor General “may have misled the Supreme Court about resources the government provides wrongly deported immigrants who win their appeals” in its briefing in Nken v. Holder, argued and decided in 2009.
  • In the Christian Science Monitor, Terry Hartle reviews James F. Simon’s new book about the relationship between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Supreme Court in the New Deal era.
  • Julie Watson of the Associated Press (via the Chicago Tribune) reports that supporters of a cross placed on San Diego’s Mt. Soledad in honor of combat veterans plan to file a cert. petition requesting reversal of a lower court decision deeming the cross unconstitutional.
  • The Associated Press (via The (Columbus, Ind.) Republic) reports that the Court refused yesterday to block Mississippi’s execution of convicted murderer Edwin Turner, who had argued that he was mentally ill.
  • Kristen Bonilla of the University of Hawaii News reports that Justice Sotomayor spent a week in Hawaii, during which she taught classes, served as a moot court judge, and met with faculty and students at the university’s law school.
  • News Channel 5 in Nashville reports that retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke about her career yesterday at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • The Associated Press (via the Chicago Tribune) reports that Justice Scalia will deliver an address at the University of Chicago Law School next week.



Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 9, 2012, 9:45 AM),