Breaking News

Tuesday round-up

This weekend’s coverage focused on the Court’s addition of two cases to its docket for the coming Term. As Lyle Denniston reported for this blog on Friday, the Court granted cert. in The Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, a case involving the Class Action Fairness Act, and Descamps v. United States, a challenge to the use of a state burglary conviction as a basis for enhancing a sentence for a federal crime under the Armed Career Criminal Act. Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, the Associated Press, and Jonathan Stempel of Reuters have additional coverage of Standard Fire, while Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers and Douglas A. Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy have coverage of Descamps.

As Conor noted in Friday’s round-up, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week relied on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to bar Texas from enforcing its photo ID requirement for voters in this fall’s election. Tom Schoenberg of Bloomberg has additional coverage on the Texas Attorney General’s decision to immediately appeal the panel’s decision to the Court, while Patrik Jonsson of The Christian Science Monitor reports on the prospect that the Court could weigh in on the voter ID issue before this November’s election.

Finally, commentary on Justice Scalia and Bryan Garner’s new book Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts continues to roll in. Kenneth Jost of Jost on Justice criticizes the book as “flawed,” while – commenting on a critical review of the book by Judge Richard Posner – Howard Wasserman of PrawfsBlawg notes that Justice Scalia may have avoided Judge Posner’s criticism by citing in his book to his “votes [that] have been ideologically unexpected while also arguably adhering to some form of originalism–the Confrontation Clause cases of the last decade, beginning with Crawford v. Washington.”


  • Adam Liptak of The New York Times reports on the “extraordinary lengths” to which the Court goes to get ready for last-minute appeals for stays of execution.
  • As Lyle Denniston reported for this blog on Friday, the federal government notified the Court that it will file two new requests for the Justices to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Robert Barnes of The Washington Post reports on the brief that the challengers to Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, filed last week opposing Supreme Court review in the case.
  • Craig Seligman of Bloomberg reports on the story of Shon Hopwood, who drafted a successful petition for certiorari while serving a prison sentence for armed robbery and now has a new book, Law Man, out.
  • At ACSblog, Jeremy Leaming reports on comments made by President Obama (which Cormac covered on Thursday) suggesting that “a constitutional amendment might be the only way to go about staunching or at least curbing America’s increasingly disconcerting grip on elections for public office” following the Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
  • At the ABA Journal, Terry Carter and James Podgers report on how the Court’s 2009 decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. affected discussions at the ABA Annual Meeting program on judicial disqualification.
  • The editorial board of The New York Times criticized the Court’s decisions in Citizens United, Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom PAC v. Bennett, and McComish v. Bennett in calling for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to approve a disbursement to a candidate as part of that state’s judicial public campaign financing pilot program.
  • At UPI, Michael Kirkland reports on the efforts of the Catholic Church to challenge the “contraception mandate” in the Affordable Care Act and speculates that, like “all big legal and political disputes,” this one may end up before the Court.
  • Scott Graham of The Recorder reports on a debate over whether dissenting and concurring opinions from the denial of en banc review are effective in urging the Court to grant cert.
  • The editorial board of The New York Times criticizes California’s inability to comply with an order (upheld by the Court in its 2011 ruling in Brown v. Plata) to reduce its prison population.
  • At the Huffington Post, Jamin Raskin criticizes presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s selection of Robert Bork as his top legal adviser, and suggests that a “Bork-infused Supreme Court” will “continue promoting the basic infallibility of corporate power.”
  • Martin Finucane of the Boston Globe reports that two Boston College researchers who interviewed former combatants in the Irish Troubles will ask the Court to stop the British government’s efforts to obtain access to the interviews.
  • In an op-ed for the Seattle Times, Brian J. Boyle argues that if the Court were to reverse the 2010 decision by the Ninth Circuit now at issue in Decker v, Northwest Environmental Defense Center and Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, then “it will affirm that protecting clean water through state forest-practice rules is better than duplicative federal permits.”
  • Daniel Fisher previews the upcoming Term at Forbes.



Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 4, 2012, 3:14 PM),