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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued one opinion in an argued case and released additional orders from its December 7 Conference.

In Kloeckner v. Solis, a unanimous Court held that a federal employee who claims that an agency action appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board violates an antidiscrimination statute should seek judicial review in a district court rather than the Federal Circuit. Lyle reports on the opinion for this blog; additional coverage comes from Josh Hicks of The Washington Post and the Associated Press.  At PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman describes Justice Kagan’s opinion for the Court as “sharp and snappy, and, obviously, quite sardonic.”

Although the Court did not grant any new cases yesterday, its order list did contain some notable denials, including a case involving a jury award against Hustler Magazine (the Associated Press has coverage), a case challenging the 2008 bailout of American International Group (AIG), which Jonathan Stempel and Terry Baynes cover for Reuters, and a case involving trademark owners and bankruptcy, which Terry Baynes covers for Reuters.

Coverage continues of the Court’s announcement on Friday that it will review two cases involving same-sex marriage: Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, and United States v. Windsor, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Marcia Coyle covered the grants for the National Law Journal. Several Court watchers note that not all supporters of same-sex marriage are encouraged by the Court’s decision to review Windsor and Perry.  At the Associated Press, Mark Sherman writes that the forty-one states which do not allow same-sex marriage give gay-rights advocates “[forty-one] reasons to fret over the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case of California’s ban on same-sex unions,” while Jeremy Leaming of ACSblog discusses the apprehensions of gay-rights supporters who are “concerned about a potentially disastrous ruling in the Proposition 8 case.”   Writing for The Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart concludes that “[t]he more I read about what the [C]ourt may or may not do, the more I’m growing comfortable with the idea that the [C]ourt might punt.”

In other commentary on the Windsor and Perry cases, at Talking Points Memo Sahil Kapur observes that Justice Scalia, in his dissent nearly ten years ago in Lawrence v. Texas, warned that the Court had already paved the way to rule in favor of marriage equality.  At The American Prospect, Kent Greenfield speculates that the Court might “split the baby” by upholding California’s Proposition 8 while striking down DOMA.  And Patrick Condon of the Associated Press reports on Baker v. Nelson, a 1972 case in which the Court dismissed a petition by a same-sex Minnesota couple – who challenged a state law that limited marriage to opposite-sex couples – “for want of a substantial federal question.”


  • At her blog for Thomson Reuters, Alison Frankel reports that, “quietly, the justices have agreed to hear a clutch of cases that could result in a real retrenchment for big business and a corresponding ebbing of the power of individuals to hold corporations accountable.”
  • Mark Sherman of the Associated Press discusses Justice Sotomayor’s forthcoming memoir My Beloved World.
  • Alice Su of the Times of Trenton and Geoff Mulvihill of the Associated Press (via the Asbury Park Press) report on Justice Scalia’s recent remarks at Princeton University.
  • At Pro Publica, Suevon Lee discusses Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the constitutionality of which the Court will address in Shelby County v. Holder.

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 11, 2012, 12:45 PM),