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Friday round-up

On Thursday, Harvard Law School professor and Court-appointed amica Vicki C. Jackson filed her brief  in United States v. Windsor, the challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  Professor Jackson was appointed to argue that the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case because the executive branch agrees with the lower court that the law is unconstitutional and that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group lacks Article III standing to defend the law.  Lyle generally summarizes the brief here and provides a more detailed overview here.  Chris Geidner, writing at BuzzFeed, provides additional coverage of the brief, while Garrett Epps of The Atlantic analyzes the brief filed earlier this week by BLAG, considering the brief’s argument about the political momentum of the same-sex marriage movement.

Media commentary also continues to focus on Roe v. Wade, on the occasion of its fortieth anniversary earlier this week.  Neal Conan of NPR  interviewed Linda Greenhouse about her column on Roe in The New York Times, which Cormac featured in yesterday’s round-up.  And at ACSblog, E. Sebastian Arduengo covers an ACS panel on Roe held Wednesday at the Georgetown University Law Center.


  • For this blog, Lyle summarizes and analyzes the supplemental briefs filed before the Court in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center and Georgia-Pacific West v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, in which the Court is considering whether a permit must be obtained under the Clean Water Act when a company plans to discharge stormwater runoff from logging roads.  The Court requested the supplemental briefing after the EPA issued a rule, shortly before oral argument, specifying that such runoff does not require a permit. [Disclosure:  The law firm of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the NEDC in these cases.]
  • Writing for the Harvard Law School Petrie-Flom Center blog Bill of Health, Katie Booth analyzes the Court’s opinion earlier this week in Sebelius v. Auburn Regional Medical Center, in which the Court held that a statutory 180-day time limit for a hospital to appeal a final determination regarding its Medicare reimbursement was neither jurisdictional nor subject to the presumption in favor of equitable tolling. [Disclosure: The author of this post served as a research assistant to Harvard Law School professor John Manning in his role as Court-appointed amicus in Auburn.]
  • At Patent Docs, Donald Zuhn reviews the amicus brief filed by the Intellectual Property Owners Association in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., in which the Court will consider the application of the doctrine of patent exhaustion to self-replicating technologies.
  • At the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text & History Blog, Emily Phelps discusses Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act.  She argues that, despite the views of the Act’s conservative opponents, its requirements impose only modest burdens on states, and that those burdens are “fully justified by the need to ensure that states with a long history of voting discrimination live up to our Constitution’s promise of a multi-racial democracy.”
  • The Associated Press has coverage of Justice Breyer’s speech on Thursday to students at the Boston University School of Law.
  • Kent Scheidegger at the Crime and Consequences Blog and Nick Wing at the Huffington Post both have coverage of Justice Thomas’s remarks during oral argument last week in Boyer v. Louisiana.

Recommended Citation: Rachel Sachs, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 25, 2013, 8:05 AM),