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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday, the Court granted certiorari in one new case, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., to consider whether Arizona may require proof of citizenship before prospective voters may register for and vote in federal elections. Lyle Denniston of this blog has full coverage of the grant and the case; additional coverage comes from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, David G. Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor, Richard Wolf of USA Today, Terry Baynes of Reuters (via MSNBC), Mary Jo Pitzl of The Arizona Republic, Howard Fischer at the Arizona Daily Star, the Associated Press, UPI, Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal, and Ruthann Robson of Constitutional Law Prof Blog.

The Court also denied cert. yesterday in two class-action cases brought against Citigroup and McGraw-Hill by employees, who alleged that the companies breached their duties as sponsors of the employee retirement plans when they invested in those companies’ stocks, whose value then decreased sharply. Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, Helaine Olen at Forbes, and Reuters (via the Chicago Tribune) have coverage. Reuters (via the Chicago Tribune) also reports on the Court’s denial of cert. in a case involving a dispute between two businesses over certain medical patents.

After the death of former Senator Arlen Specter on Sunday, several commentators discussed his influence on the Court. At The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin argues that “no Senator in fifty years had as profound an influence on the Supreme Court as he did.” At the Huffington Post, Asher Smith considers the possibility that the Court’s make-up could be very different if Specter had “stood by his pro-choice convictions and provided bipartisan cover to a filibuster effort against one or both of Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.” And Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal briefly revisits Specter’s roles in blocking Court nominee Robert Bork and in the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas.

Finally, several articles yesterday touched on perceptions of the Court as a pro-business or pro-corporate institution. At the Huffington Post, Nick Wing reports on a unique protest of the Citizens United v. FEC decision on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, as well as Senator John McCain’s comments calling Citizens United the “worst decision ever.” At Balkinization, John Fabian Witt “point[s] out some of the grave historical flaws” in the theory that the Court is part of “a grand conspiracy to give corporations special privileges in American law.” At Forbes, Stephen Richer pushes back against the notion that the current Court is especially pro-business.


  • Carter Dougherty, Greg Stohr, and Terrence Dopp of Bloomberg report on the possible implications if the Court were to grant review in Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc., in which it has been asked to weigh in on whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act; the Court considered the petition at its Conference last week but did not act on the case.
  • Also at Bloomberg, Margaret Cronin Fisk reports that a federal court in Dallas dismissed class-action bias claims in a lawsuit that had been filed after the Court’s decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes.
  • At this blog, Ronald Mann considers the possible reasons for the relative increase in the number of intellectual property cases on the Court’s docket and concludes that “the decided contraction of the Court’s docket well might bring with it a concerted focus on the kinds of questions that the Justices think are systemically important. And the focus on intellectual property certainly should be one of them.”
  • At Slate, Rick Hasen argues that the Court’s decision in a case involving the shutdown of early voting in Ohio “could help determine who will win the White House.”
  • Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on the effects that the upcoming presidential election could have on the Court.
  • Retired Justice John Paul Stevens recently discussed the Second Amendment at an event held by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project.  C-SPAN has video of the event, which David Ingram also covered for Reuters (via the Chicago Tribune).
  • At the UK Supreme Court Blog, Lyle Denniston reports on the decision by the United Kingdom to file an amicus brief in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum.
  • At Buzzfeed, Chris Geidner discusses one decision that a newly elected President Romney would face almost immediately after his election:  whether to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • At Forbes, Wendy S. Gaffe examines when and how the Court might rule on the same-sex marriage cases.
  • As the Court considers an Eighth Amendment appeal from a mentally disabled man on death row in Texas, the editorial board of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via the Chicago Tribune) urges the Texas legislature to reform the way the state evaluates mental disability for purposes of barring execution.
  • In the wake of arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the Daily Princetonian and the Harvard Crimson both examine the potential impact of the case. (Thanks to Howard Bashman of How Appealing for both links.)
  • At the National Review Online, Jonathan H. Adler reports on new challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance mandate.
  • At the Denver Business Journal, Bill C. Berger reviews several employment law cases from last Term and previews several employment cases on the Court’s docket for this Term.
  • At the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh notes that the Silicon Valley chapter of the Federalist Society will host a lunch with Justice Scalia this Friday (registration).
  • Blair Kuykendall of the UT Daily Beacon reports that Justice Kagan will visit the University of Tennessee campus to participate in a conversation about her background and experiences on the Court.

Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 16, 2012, 9:10 AM),