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Friday round-up

The impending decision in the Affordable Care Act litigation continues to capture headlines.  As Lyle Denniston reported for this blog yesterday, on Thursday a coalition of news organizations asked the Court to release a recording of the Justices’ oral announcement of the decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. While Lyle predicts that “the chances that [the Court] will grant this request appear to be remote to non-existent,” Gerard Magliocca of Concurring Opinions argues that “there is no good reason for the Court to deny this request.” The Associated Press and the Blog of Legal Times also have coverage. At The New York Times, Jonathan Weisman and Michael Shear report on political maneuvering in anticipation of the Court’s decision, while elsewhere, discussion over the broccoli-based rhetoric in the case (which Cormac noted in yesterday’s round-up) continues: at the Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin contends that “broccoli analogy is not a significant point in itself, but merely a useful shorthand for the key flaw in the federal government’s defense of the mandate.”

In other news, yesterday Justice Kennedy issued an order that temporarily stayed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invalidating an Arizona law which would require residents to provide proof of citizenship before they may register to vote. In his report for this blog, Lyle Denniston characterizes the case as “involv[ing] a fundamental constitutional dispute over the twin roles of Congress and the state legislatures in setting up the methods for conducting elections for federal offices.” Bill Mears also has coverage for CNN.

On Wednesday the government filed a supplemental brief in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which the Court will consider whether and in what circumstances lawsuits can be brought in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute for human rights abuses committed abroad. Lyle covered the filing that night for this blog; other coverage comes from Alison Frankel of Reuters, who describes the government’s brief – which was not signed by the Department of State – as “tepidly” argued, and JURIST.

Campaign finance continues to be a hot topic.  In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock argues that the Court should grant cert. in American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock so that the Court can “reconsider its Citizens United decision and return sanity – and transparency –to all elections in this country.”


  • At Newsday, Lane Filler argues that the Court “should be unpopular” because it “protects unpopular ideals, and people.”
  • Reuters reports on the thirty-six current Supreme Court clerks, describing them as young lawyers who “who serve the justices, do their research, help draft their opinions and exert a not insignificant influence on their thinking.”
  • At the Consumer Law and Policy Blog, Leah Nicholls and Brian Wolfman analyze Monday’s decision in Elgin v. Department of Treasury, in which the Court held that the Merit Systems Protection Board is the exclusive forum for judicial review of adverse employment action against government employees covered by the Civil Service Reform Act.

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 15, 2012, 9:57 AM),