Breaking News

Tuesday round-up

Despite the stormy weather brought on by Hurricane Sandy, the Court heard oral arguments yesterday in two cases.  In Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, the Justices considered whether Amnesty International and a group of lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists have standing to challenge the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a federal law that provides for large-scale electronic surveillance of international phone calls and emails. Lyle Denniston of this blog reports that although the Justices seemed “genuinely troubled” by the prospect of lawyers having to limit representation of FISA targets for fear of government monitoring, “it was not immediately clear” which way the Court would rule. Other coverage comes from Laurie Asseo of Bloomberg, Nina Totenberg of NPR, Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, David G. Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Stempel of Reuters, Josh Gerstein of Politico, Steven D. Schwinn of Constitutional Law Prof Blog, AFP, Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal, Jim Harper of Cato@Liberty, David Kravets of Wired, and Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy.

In yesterday’s second case, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Court considered whether copyrighted works made and purchased abroad can be bought and sold within the United States without the copyright owner’s permission.  Greg Stohr and Laurie Asseo of Bloomberg have coverage, as do Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, Jonathan Stempel of Reuters, Mark Walsh of Ed Week, Declan McCullagh of CNET, and Brent Kendall of the WSJ Law Blog. Transcripts of the arguments in both cases are available here.

The Court also issued orders from its October 26 Conference yesterday.  Among other things, it granted review in four new cases, declined to hear several others, and postponed consideration of several cases.  Lyle Denniston covered the order list for this blog; UPI also has coverage.  Coverage of the grant in PPL Corp. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a case involving disputed tax credits for taxes paid abroad, comes from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg and Jonathan Stempel and Patrick Temple-West of Reuters.  The Court also agreed to review two habeas cases; Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal and Jonathan Stempel and Terry Baynes of Reuters cover yesterday’s grant in McQuiggin v. Perkins, while Maurice Chammah of the Texas Tribune covers the grant in Trevino v. Taylor.

Other coverage of yesterday’s orders focused on cases that the Justices did not grant yesterday. Greg Stohr of Bloomberg reports on the Court’s denial of review in a challenge to a multimillion-dollar patent verdict that Dow Chemical Company won from Nova Chemicals Corporation. Also at Bloomberg, Greg Stohr covers the Court’s call for the views of the Solicitor General in Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc., a case presenting the question whether the Fair Housing Act allows disparate impact claims.

The Court also did not act on two challenges to the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Shelby County v. Holder and Nix v. Holder; those cases will be considered at the Justices’ November 2 Conference instead.  Mark Sherman and Jay Reeves of the Associated Press have coverage. Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor, Bill Mears of CNN, Chris Casteel of The Oklahoman, and Reuters all cover the Court’s denial of a petition seeking review of a decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down that state’s “personhood” amendment.

In other news, the Court has scheduled several petitions relating to the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, California’s prohibition on same-sex marriage, for November 20.  Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed, Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News, and Greg Hernandez of Gay Star News have coverage. And at Slate, Emily Bazelon suggests that the Court is postponing action on “hot-button issues” to avoid attention ahead of November’s elections.

Jonathan Stempel of Reuters, Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy, and Adam Liptak of The New York Times preview tomorrow’s arguments in Florida v. Jardines and Florida v. Harris. In Jardines, the Justices will consider whether a drug dog’s sniff of the front door of a suspected “grow house” is a Fourth Amendment search, while in Harris, they will consider whether a drug dog’s alert is sufficient to establish probable cause for the search of a vehicle

Finally, still more coverage focused on the Court’s decision to remain open during Hurricane Sandy yesterday, even while the rest of the federal government shut down. Coverage comes from Lyle Denniston of this blog, Nina Totenberg of NPR, Brent Kendall of the WSJ Law Blog, Debra Cassens Weiss and Stephanie Francis Ward of the ABA Journal, Kashmir Hill of Forbes, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, Zoe Tillman of the Blog of Legal Times, and Joan Biskupic of Reuters. However, the Court has postponed today’s scheduled arguments to Thursday – a development that Lyle Denniston of this blog, Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal, and Joe Palazzolo of the WSJ Law Blog all cover.

The effect that the upcoming presidential election could have on the Court remains a hot topic as well.  Noah Feldman discusses the election and the Court for Bloomberg View, while Erwin Chemerinsky has an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.


  • The Associated Press covers the Court’s denial of review in the case of Texas death row inmate Elroy Chester.
  • Stephanie Francis Ward of the ABA Journal interviews and profiles Tom Goldstein of this blog.
  • Bill Mears of CNN and Ruthann Robson of Constitutional Law Prof Blog cover John A. Jenkins’s new biography of Chief Justice Rehnquist, The Partisan: The Life of William Rehnquist.
  • Dan Tartaglione of the Blog of Legal Times reports on Justice Sotomayor’s remarks at a conference sponsored by Equal Justice Works.

Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 30, 2012, 11:20 AM),