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Wednesday round-up

Monday’s news that the Court has ordered reargument in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum to address whether, and under what circumstances, the Alien Tort Statute allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for acts committed abroad, continued to spark coverage from Court watchers.  Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog sees the “fingerprints of Justice Alito all over the” reargument order, while at the Volokh Conspiracy Kenneth Anderson lists some of the questions that he wishes were before the Justices.  And in her column at Thomson Thompson Reuters News and Insight, Alison Frankel notes that the “recasting of Kiobel has the potential to devastate U.S. human rights litigation based on overseas conduct.”

The Court’s recent cert. grant in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which the Court will consider whether the University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in college admissions decisions violates the Equal Protection Clause, continues to draw coverage.  At USA Today, Mary Beth Marklein reports on the pending challenges to several states’ bans on the use of race by public universities – challenges that may not be resolved by the Court’s ruling in Fisher.  At the Huffington Post, Stephen Menendian suggests that “[o]ne way or the other, Justice Kennedy will decide the fate of affirmative action”; at Concurring Opinions, Khiara M. Bridges considers the likelihood that the Justice will vote to uphold the university’s admissions policies.


  • At this blog, Edward Hartnett analyzes Monday’s opinion in Martel v. Clair, in which the Court unanimously held that federal courts should use an “interests of justice” standard when a death-row inmate requests that his appointed counsel be replaced.
  • Joe Palazzolo of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that Antoine Jones, the respondent in United States v. Jones, may be able to revive his civil suit against federal officials for violating his constitutional rights, while the Washington Examiner reports that prosecutors are moving forward with a new case against him.
  • At Crime and Consequences Kent Scheidegger discusses the Court’s decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, decided one hundred and fifty-five years ago yesterday.
  • Bob Egelko at the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the Court’s denial on Monday of a petition seeking review of a California Supreme Court decision allowing that state’s game wardens to stop motorists leaving hunting or fishing grounds without a warrant.  (Kiran covered the denial in yesterday’s round-up as well.)

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 7, 2012, 9:36 AM),