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Wednesday round-up

Monday’s opinions and orders continue to generate coverage.  At this blog, Kristine Knaplund analyzes Monday’s decision in Astrue v. Capato, in which 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; Robert Barnes of the Washington Post also covers the case.  And at JURIST, Julia Zebley reports on Monday’s decision in the consolidated cases Holder v. Gutierrez and Holder v. Sawyers, in which 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. 

Monday’s cert. grant in 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, received additional coverage from Warren Richey at the Christian Science Monitor and Adam Liptak at the Take Away (audio segment).  (Thanks to Howard Bashman for the latter link.)  And the Court’s decision not to review the case of Joel Tenenbaum, against whom a jury returned a damage award of $675,000 for downloading thirty songs from an unlicensed file-sharing service, generated continuing coverage from Milton Valencia at the Boston Globe, Michael Haggerson at JURIST, and David W. Kaufman at the Harvard Crimson.  (Thanks again to Howard for the last link.)

Commentators also continue to anticipate the Court’s decision in the challenges to the Affordable Care Act.  The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board criticizes what it characterizes as “one last attempt” by the law’s supporters to “intimidate the Justices” by “taunting Chief Justice Roberts that if the Court overturns any of the law, he’ll forever be defined as a partisan activist.”  Striking a similar chord is Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post, who summarizes “[t]he left’s narrative” as “[v]ote our way, Chief Justice Roberts, or you will go down in history as having abrogated your duty” – a description that Mark Tushnet describes as “silly” at Balkinization.

And looking ahead to what may be on the Court’s docket next Term, Lyle Denniston reports on the pending challenges to the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act for this blog; at the New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog, Jeffrey Toobin predicts that “[t]he future of the Voting Rights Act—probably the Great Society’s greatest landmark—will almost certainly be in the Court’s hands next year.”


  • At the New York Times blog Taking Note, Andrew Rosenthal reports on a recent appearance by retired Justice John Paul Stevens at the American Law Institute’s annual meeting (which Nabiha covered yesterday).

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 23, 2012, 9:13 AM),