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Tuesday round-up

Today the Court begins its February sitting, kicking off with two arguments per day on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Orders from the February 17 Conference are expected today, as are opinions.

Coverage of the Court continued steadily throughout the holiday weekend, focusing on the Court’s stay of a decision by the Montana Supreme Court upholding that state’s century-old ban on corporate campaign spending. Lyle Denniston of this blog has coverage of the stay, as does Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, while Tom Goldstein, also of this blog, has an extended analysis of the case’s potential implications.  Other coverage comes from Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, Josh Gerstein of Politico, James Vicini of Reuters, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post, and Charles Johnson of the Billings Gazette. And at Slate, Rick Hasen focuses on Justice Ginsburg, arguing that she seems “poised to use the Montana case to expose the false premise at the heart of the Citizens United case.”

Today the Court will hear argument in two cases. In Freeman v. Quicken Loans Inc., the Court will consider whether the Real Estate Settlement Services Act prohibits a bank or title company from charging fees for services it did not perform; at this blog, Ronald Mann previews the case. (Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog, represents the petitioners in this case.) And in Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd., the Court will hear arguments on whether whether a prevailing party in a federal lawsuit can obtain reimbursement for costs incurred to translate documents into English. Brian Wolfman previewed the case for this blog, while the WSJ Law Blog also provides a brief summary of the case.

Elsewhere, coverage looks ahead to Wednesday’s scheduled oral argument in United States v. Alvarez, in which the Justices will consider the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, a federal law that criminalizes lies about having received military honors. In Alvarez, as Lyle Denniston of this blog explains in an argument preview, the Court “faces a new kind of utterance that can rouse deep emotions, often stirred by patriotic fervor.” The Washington Post, McClatchy, Associated Press, and Los Angeles Times all provide more coverage of the upcoming argument. At the New York Times, William Bennett Turner argues in a guest op-ed that “a few instances of dubious characters lying about medals does not require the government to deploy the heavy artillery of criminal sanction.” And finally, Jonathan Turley discusses the case at NPR’s Talk of the Nation, arguing that the Court should deem a law against lying unconstitutional. 



  • At Dorf on Law, Lisa McElroy discusses Justice Sotomayor’s recent appearance on the television show Sesame Street.
  • For those readers in search of a new hobby, the Daily Beast explains why Justice Breyer and others enjoy playing bridge.
  • At the New York Times, Jodi Kantor reports on the security surrounding the Justices – and observes that “the nine justices often slip around Washington like ordinary citizens, causing barely a pause at stop signs, parties, supermarkets, and houses of worship.”
  • On a related note, the Associated Press reports that a “person of interest” is in custody related to last week’s robbery of Justice Breyer during his Caribbean vacation.
  • David Savage and Ian Duncan examine the Justices’ travel at the Los Angeles Times.
  • Michael Kirkland of UPI reports on Tom Goldstein’s predictions that Justice Ginsburg may well retire in 2015.
  • At USA Today, Joan Biskupic discusses the possibility that the Anti-Injunction Act could preclude the Court from reaching the merits of the challenges to the Affordable Care Act this year. 
  • The Sacramento Bee reports that the state of California will ultimately incur legal costs of nearly two million dollars related to last year’s decision in the violent video games case, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.
  • The editorial board of the New York Times urges the Justices to “to find ways to bolster the public’s confidence without diminishing the court’s independence.” 

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 21, 2012, 9:54 AM),