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Friday round-up

On Thursday, the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, by a vote of eight to seven, held that the 2006 voter-approved amendment to the Michigan constitution, which prohibited any use of race in the admissions process to any of Michigan’s public colleges and universities, was itself unconstitutional.  The court held that the amendment had impermissibly “reorder[ed] the political process in Michigan to place special burdens on minority interests.”  Coverage of the opinion often focused on its relationship to Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which the Court is currently considering whether the university’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions decisions violates the Equal Protection Clause.  Coverage of the Sixth Circuit’s opinion comes from this blog, The New York Times, the Associated Press, ReutersCNN, the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Detroit Free Press, and Education Week.  Commentary on the decision comes from Ruthann Robson at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Ilya Shapiro at Cato@Liberty, the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press, and the Volokh Conspiracy (Jonathan AdlerEugene Volokh, and Stuart Benjamin).


  • For this blog, Ronald Mann analyzes the Court’s opinion – the first of the Term – in United States v. Bormes, in which it held that the federal government’s sovereign immunity is not waived by the Little Tucker Act with respect to damages actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Also for this blog, Ronald Mann reports on last week’s oral argument in Marx v. General Revenue Corporation, in which the Court is considering whether a defendant who prevails under a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim may be awarded costs.
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Amelia Rinehart discusses the legal issues in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., in which the Court will consider whether the doctrine of patent exhaustion contains an exception for self-replicating technologies and whether exhaustion should have been found with regard to patented seeds sold for planting.
  • At Slate, Eliot Spitzer comments on the continuing importance of the Voting Rights Act in the wake of the Court’s grant of certiorari in Shelby County v. Holder, in which it will examine the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirement.
  • The Sun-Sentinel (h/t Sentencing Law and Policy Blog) reports on a Florida court’s resentencing of Thomas Daugherty, who was originally sentenced to life in prison, in the wake of the Court’s decision last Term in Miller v. Alabama, in which it struck down mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile homicide offenders as unconstitutional.
  • Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed polls several Court watchers, including Amy Howe of this blog, on possible nominees to the Court if there is a vacancy during the President’s second term.

Recommended Citation: Rachel Sachs, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 16, 2012, 9:08 AM),