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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued three opinions in three argued cases, as well as orders from the May 17 Conference.

In Holder v. Gutierrez and Holder v. Sawyers, the Court held that the position of the Board of Immigration Appeals that an alien seeking cancellation of removal must individually satisfy the requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a) – lawful permanent resident status for at least five years and at least seven years of continuous residence in the United States after a lawful admission – rather than relying on a parent’s years of continuous residence or lawful permanent resident status is based on a permissible construction of the statute.  James Vicini of Reuters (via the Chicago Tribune) and UPI have coverage of the unanimous decision, which Kevin Johnson of the ImmigrationProf Blog characterizes as, “at first glance, . . . a run-of-the-mill Chevron deference case.”

 In the second opinion of the day, Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, the Court held – by a vote of six to three – that costs for document translation do not fall into the category of “compensation of interpreters” for which the prevailing party can receive reimbursement in a federal lawsuit.  The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) and Courthouse News Service have coverage of the decision, which Peter Landers of the Wall Street Journal called “simple enough for anyone with a dictionary to play along.”

And in Astrue v. Capato, the final opinion of the day, the Court unanimously held that children conceived after their father’s death qualify for Social Security survivors benefits only if state intestacy law permits them to inherit from their father. Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Bill Mears of CNN, Ashby Jones of the WSJ Law Blog, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, and Barbara Leonard of Courthouse News Service all have coverage.

Orders from the May 17 Conference included only one new grant:  Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, in which the Court will consider whether a group of lawyers, activists, and journalists have standing to challenge amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that increase the government’s ability to monitor international communications. Lyle reported on the grant for this blog; other coverage comes from Bob Drummond of Bloomberg Businessweek, Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Bill Mears of CNN, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, James Vicini of Reuters, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Timothy Lee of Ars Technica, David Kravets of Wired, JURIST, and the Associated Press.  Discussing the grant at the Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler notes that “thus far, the Roberts Court has stood pat on standing, neither raising nor lowering the hurdles to Article III standing. In this case, it will be interesting to see whether this trend continues.”

Other coverage focused on the cases in which the Court denied review. The Justices declined to review the case of Joel Tenenbaum, against whom a jury returned a damages award of $675,000 for downloading thirty songs through an unlicensed file-sharing service. NPR and Wired have coverage of the case, while Greg Sandoval of CNET, Jared Newman of Time’s Techland blog, and Ben Sisario of the Media Decoder blog of the New York Times all explain why the case is not yet over.

Others are already looking forward to petitions that may be considered during the May 24 Conference.  Lyle Denniston of this blog reports that the Court will consider all seven of the Guantanamo Bay detainee petitions on Thursday, while Matthew Bush, also of this blog, highlights several petitions to watch. Kent Scheidegger of Crime and Consequences looks at three habeas cases relisted for next week.


  • Tony Mauro of the National Law Journal (registration required) explains why it is “pressure cooker time” at the Supreme Court.
  • Justice Stevens spoke at the American Law Institute annual meeting yesterday. C-SPAN has video coverage, while Rick Hasen of Election Law Blog provides a brief synopsis.
  • At the Atlantic, Wendy Kaminer argues that the belief that Citizens United granted the right to “indulge” in independent political expenditures is a “pervasive and probably un-correctable” misconception.
  • PBS features an interview with Marcia Coyle, who comments that the Court “has increasingly been confronting cases that involve legal fallout from modern technology.”


Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 22, 2012, 10:09 AM),