Breaking News

Friday round-up

The Court’s cert. grant in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the challenge to the university’s undergraduate admissions policies, continues to attract coverage.  At Verdict, Vikram David Amar explores “how the Justices have gotten to the point where neither wing of the Court seems remotely open to, or trustful of, the other on these matters,” while Esther J. Cepeda argues in an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune that “taking race and ethnicity out of the admissions equation could eventually turn out to be a good thing.” At NPR, Claudio Sanchez explains why  “[c]ollege and university presidents are wringing their hands over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to revisit the issue of affirmative action next fall,” while at Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur suggests that, “barring a shocking change of heart from one of the five Republican-appointed justices, the high court seems set to deal a blow to Affirmative Action.”

The past and future of the Affordable Care Act also remains a popular topic for commentary.  At Concurring Opinions, Sam Singer examines Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s concurring opinion in the Sixth Circuit and argues that “there is no indication that its influence stretches beyond” that court.  At Cato@Liberty, Ilya Somin discusses a poll (first covered by Conor in Wednesday’s round-up) showing that seventy-two percent of Americans think the individual mandate is unconstitutional and concludes with a question: “Are you listening, Supreme Court?”  Damon Root of Reason urges Court watchers to “keep a close watch on Scalia” at this month’s oral arguments in the health care case.

At the Originalism Blog, Michael Ramsey offers a detailed analysis of Tuesday’s oral argument in Kiobel v. Dutch Royal Petroleum Co., a case about corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute.  The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times also weighs in on the case, arguing that, “as long as U.S. courts are open to such suits, there should be no distinction between individual and corporate defendants.”


  • For this blog, Shon Hopwood analyzes the Court’s recent opinion in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products, noting that “[i]t is not often that the Supreme Court becomes entangled in tort matters normally reserved for hypotheticals on first-year law school exams.”  Martina Barash of Bloomberg BNA also provides coverage.
  • Mark Sherman of the Associated Press reports on a closed meeting between several Justices and European human rights judges to discuss such topics as freedom of expression and extraterritoriality.
  • For this blog, Stephen Vladeck reports on oral argument in Elgin v. Department of the Treasury, observing that “the more interesting puzzle in the case is not whether the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is precluded from adjudicating claims that a particular statutory bar to continuing federal employment is unconstitutional, but why, since that conclusion appears to leave the Justices with two equally unappealing alternatives.”
  • Ruthann Robson of the Constitutional Law Prof Blog reports on highlights from the oral argument in Armour v. Indianapolis, in which the Justices will consider whether the Constitution allows a city to refuse to refund taxes that some taxpayers paid up front, even though it forgave the remaining taxes of other taxpayers who paid on an installment plan.
  • Discussing Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act at Slate, Will Oremus contends that “Obama doesn’t want a landmark civil rights law to die on his watch—so he’s letting it wither away.”  Sam Bagenstos responds at the Election Law Blog.
  • At the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Joe Palazzolo discusses a recent study showing that “the current Supreme Court justices share a narrower — as in, less representative — skill set than those of justices past.”
  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost considers the prospect that the Court in the Montana campaign finance case could take a “[f]resh [l]ook” at Citizens United.

Recommended Citation: Joshua Matz, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 2, 2012, 9:37 AM),