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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued an opinion in Hall v. United States, holding that the federal income tax liability resulting from petitioners’ post-petition farm sale is not incurred by the estate under Section 503(b) of the Bankruptcy Code and thus is neither collectible nor dischargeable in the Chapter 12 plan. Robyn Hagan Cain of Findlaw describes the opinion as “unusual,” explaining that she “didn’t expect to see Justice Sotomayor aligned with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito in a tax decision ruling against struggling farmers,” while Calvin Massey of the Faculty Lounge wonders whether Justice Sotomayor “is a convert to the Justice Scalia approach to statutory interpretation, or whether this is just an aberration that is peculiar to bankruptcy.” The Associated Press also has coverage of the case, as does Mark Giangrande at the Law Librarian Blog.

Monday’s order list did not contain any new grants, nor did the Court call for the views of the Solicitor General in any new cases. With no new grants, coverage focused on the cases in which the Court denied review, including cases involving the trademark rights to Cuban rum (Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, as well as Greg Stohr and Clementine Fletcher for the Miami Herald), shipwrecked treasure (Warren Richey of the Christian Science Monitor), Congressional representation of Puerto Rico (the Associated Press), a victim of Whitey Bulger (Boston Globe), and a guilty plea from a sailor suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (David Nelson of the New York Times). At the New York Times, Adam Liptak looks ahead to the May 24 Conference and a petition challenging the use of a Taser on a pregnant woman.

At the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin discusses the impact of Chief Justice John Roberts on the Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.  Several writers praise the behind-the-scenes details in the story: John Hudson of the Atlantic Wire focuses on the news that now-retired Justice David Souter drafted a dissent, “which remains unpublished, [that] accused Roberts of engineering the outcome of” the case; at his Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen similarly describes the unpublished Souter dissent as the “big news” of Toobin’s story.  Meanwhile, at Salon, Joan Walsh argues that “the most important revelation” from Toobin’s story is “the extent to which modern conservatism is trying to restore the Gilded Age.” Joe Palazzolo of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog also has coverage of the story.  Finally, at this blog, Tom Goldstein calls the article a “must-read,” but at the same time argues that although it “is a fascinating and full accounting of the case and the background of the Court’s rapid movement to the right, the facts reported by Toobin don’t seem to support his conclusions about the Chief Justice.”


  • The University of California-Irvine will host its second annual Term in Review program on July 17.

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 15, 2012, 9:41 AM),