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Wednesday round-up

As Lyle Denniston reported for this blog, yesterday in Perry v. Brown the Ninth Circuit struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, kicking off extensive discussion of whether the case will eventually wind up at the Supreme Court.  At the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr hypothesizes as to the panel’s strategy with regard to possible Supreme Court review, while Eugene Volokh’s analysis of the decision begins by predicting that the case “is going up to the Supreme Court.”  Writing for the Los Angeles Times, David Savage, Carol J. Williams, and Maura Dolan have a contrary take on the decision, suggesting that the narrowness of the decision may mean that “the high court might choose to steer clear of the dispute” – a sentiment echoed by Mike Sacks at the Huffington Post, Lisa Leff of the Associated Press, and Nina Totenberg in an interview with NPR’s Talk of the Nation.  At Concurring Opinions, Gerard Magliocca analyzes the decision; he argues that although “the panel majority really wants to say that any ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional,” it “came up with a narrower rationale” based on its “concern that the Supreme Court will not agree.”   Other stories addressing the prospect that the Supreme Court will review the case come from Robert Barnes of the Washington Post and Peter Henderson and Dan Levine at Reuters.

Looking ahead to this Term’s upcoming cases, at this blog Anne Poulin previews Blueford v. Arkansas, in which the Court will hear arguments on issues relating to jury deadlocks, mistrials, and double jeopardy, while Max Slater of JURIST reports that Arizona attorneys have filed their opening brief in Arizona v. United States, in which the Court will consider whether federal immigration laws impliedly preempt Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070.

Finally, at the (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Times Leader, Terrie Morgan-Besecker reports that Pennsylvania prosecutors have filed a cert. petition seeking review of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling holding that a mass murderer is incompetent to be executed.  (Thanks to Howard Bashman for the link.)  And at the Salt Lake Tribune, Lindsay Whitehurst reports on a cert. petition filed by an alleged gang member who is challenging an injunction barring him from associating with other gang members.


  • As part of the Washington Legal Foundation’s media briefing series, former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh moderates a panel on the “High Court at Halftime.”  (Free online registration required; thanks to Howard Bashman for the link.)
  • At the Constitutional Law Prof Blog Professor Ruthann Robson posts a clip of Justice Sotomayor making a guest appearance on the children’s television show Sesame Street, where she resolved a dispute between Goldilocks and one of the three bears.
  • The website Tunisialive reports that Justice Ginsburg recently visited the U.S. embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, where she “hailed the participation of Tunisian women in political life.”

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 8, 2012, 9:46 AM),