Breaking News

Tuesday round-up

Today the Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in two cases, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum and Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority. In Kiobel, the Court will consider whether corporations can be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute for human rights violations committed abroad, while in Mohamad the issue is whether entities can be held liable under the Torture Victim Protection Act. Lyle previewed the cases for this blog, while Stephen Wermiel of this blog discusses the legal issues in his column for law students.  Other previews of the cases come from Nina Totenberg of NPR and Jonathan Hafetz for the ABA Preview; Ariane de Vogue of ABC News and Ed Pilkington of The Guardian have stories focusing on Kiobel only. Some of the pre-argument coverage of the case – including Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post, Marco Simons in a guest editorial at CNN, and Michael Bobelian at Forbes  – discussed Kiobel in the context of Citizens United and corporate personhood. [Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog, serves as counsel to the petitioners in Mohamad, but the author of this post is not involved in the case.]

Court coverage also turned to cases in which the Court denied certiorari yesterday.  Lyle Denniston of this blog reports on the Court’s denial in two public employee free-speech cases, Byrne v. Jackler and Bowie v. Maddox. Also in the news was the Court’s denial of certiorari in Michigan v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a case in which five states had asked the Court to order the installation of barriers to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes; Bob Drummond of Bloomberg, Lawrence Hurley of Greenwire, James Vicini of Reuters, AFP (via Google News), the Associated Press, and Bill Mears of CNN all have coverage, while Trevor Quirk discusses the threat posed by Asian carp in the Christian Science Monitor.

Coverage of the Court’s decision to grant certiorari in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of the University of Texas’s admissions policies, also continues.  At the Huffington Post, Ediberto Roman argues that affirmative action must be upheld, while at Dorf on Law Mike Dorf offers an alternative explanation of why the “critical mass” argument in Fisher may be valid.


  • Lyle Denniston of this blog previews this week’s oral argument in Armour v. Indianapolis, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of a tax forgiveness program.
  • At the Daily Beast, Adam Winkler argues that Republicans should consider as their presidential nominee a “more inspired and game-changing pick”: Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • Ilya Shapiro dissects Perry v. Perez for the National Law Journal, arguing that the Voting Rights Act “has served its purpose but is now outmoded and unworkable.”
  • In her column for the Boston Herald, Kimberly Atkins explains the importance of the resolution passed by the Massachusetts legislature condemning the Court’s decision in Citizens United, while at the same time acknowledging that “the measure itself won’t change a thing.”

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 28, 2012, 9:32 AM),