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Wednesday round-up

Today’s coverage of the Court focuses on the myriad amicus briefs filed earlier this week in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which the Court will examine the University of Texas’s use of race in its undergraduate admissions decisions. JURIST, CBS News, and Politico have coverage of the federal government’s brief in support of the university, which Kiran also featured in yesterday’s round-upHarvard Magazine has coverage of the brief in support of the university filed by the eight Ivy League schools and six other schools, as well as the brief in support of the university filed by the deans of Harvard and Yale Law Schools. The Associated Press (via the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post) reports on the amicus briefs in support of the university filed, respectively, by the leaders of the University of California system and by fourteen states, while Reuters reports on the involvement of Asian-American groups in the case.

At Balkinization, David Gans of the Constitutional Accountability Center summarizes the brief filed by his organization and a group of prominent constitutional law scholars in support of the university. The Texas Tribune covers the case more broadly and also highlights the brief filed in support of the university by the family of Heman Sweatt, the plaintiff in Sweatt v. Painter, in which the Court held that the University of Texas Law School’s continuing segregation and attempt to provide separate but equal facilities for black students violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


  • This blog continues its symposium on the fiftieth anniversary of Alexander Bickel’s The Least Dangerous Branch with posts by Michael Seidman and Kathryn Watts.
  • At the Daily Beast, David R. Dow argues that Texas has been openly flouting the Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in Atkins v. Virginia, in which it held that executing mentally retarded individuals violated the Eighth Amendment.
  • At this blog, Lyle reports on the Court’s recent order instructing the parties to brief a potential mootness problem in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, in which the Court granted certiorari to determine whether a floating structure not used in maritime transportation or commerce qualifies as a “vessel” and thereby triggers federal maritime jurisdiction. Daniel Fisher also has coverage for Forbes. [Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the petitioner in this case.]
  • The Associated Press (via the Anchorage Daily News) reports on an upcoming visit by retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to Alaska to promote her civics education program.
  • The Ninth Circuit (here and here) has coverage of its Circuit Conference, which began with a review of Supreme Court cases from the past Term and featured a talk by Justice Kennedy, the Circuit Justice for the Ninth Circuit.
  • At The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen concludes his two-part series on the Court and the military by addressing what he describes as “the disconnect between the current Court and our military personnel.”
  • At Lawfare, John Bellinger comments on several of the supplemental amicus briefs filed in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which the Court will consider whether the Alien Tort Statute applies to conduct that occurs in other countries.
  • The Associated Press reports that Oklahoma has executed Michael E. Hooper, after the Supreme Court denied his final request for a stay.

Recommended Citation: Rachel Sachs, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 15, 2012, 9:43 AM),