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Monday round-up

On Friday, the Court granted certiorari in three new cases: Adoptive Couple v. Baby GirlUnited States v. Davila, and Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann. The weekend’s coverage focused on these new grants, as well as the cases that are set for oral argument this week.

At this blog, Lyle provides an overview of each of these three cases. In the first case, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Justices will consider the interpretation of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.  Additional coverage of the case comes from the Associated Press, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, Jonathan Stempel and Terry Baynes of Reuters, Bill Mears of CNN, Adam Liptak of The New York Times, and Tony Mauro of the Blog of the Legal Times. Also in The Washington Post, Diana Reese discusses the case, its background, and her family’s experiences with adoption and Native American culture. [Disclosure: The author of this post is a student in the Yale Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic, which represents the respondent in the case.]  In the second case, United States v. Davila, the Court will consider the remedy in a plea-bargained criminal case when a federal judge had some role leading up to agreement on the plea deal; the third case, Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, involves a water dispute between Texas and Oklahoma. Jonathan Stempel of Reuters reports on the former, while the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Texas Tribune, and Lawrence Hurley of Greenwire (h/t Howard Bashman) cover the latter.

Other coverage focused on the cases scheduled for oral argument in the coming week. Writing for this blog, Daniel Richman previewed Descamps v. United States, while Debra Lyn Bassett previewed Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles Alison Frankel of Reuters examines Knowles and notes that “the case could be the Supreme Court’s opportunity to clamp down on the tactics of plaintiffs’ lawyers to evade CAFA [the Class Action Fairness Act] —or a means of undermining tort reformers’ favorite federal law.” And at Fortune, Roger Parloff has the “lurid, tragicomic, outlandish back story” to the case. Finally, in an editorial for The New York Times, Lincoln Caplan addresses Wednesday’s argument in Missouri v. McNeely, in which the Court will consider whether the police may obtain a nonconsensual, warrantless blood sample from a drunk driver under the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. Caplan urges the Court to reject Missouri’s argument that warrantless blood draws are needed to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.


  • Tony Mauro of The Blog of the Legal Times reports that Justice Sonia Sotomayor has agreed to administer the oath of office for Vice President Joe Biden’s second term, and notes that Justice Sotomayor’s selection will continue a tradition (albeit brief and uneven) of vice presidents being sworn in by female Court justices. Nicole Gaudiano of Gannett (via USA Today) also has coverage; USA Today’s David Jackson reports that the Chief Justice will swear in President Obama.
  • Michael Kirkland of UPI notes that Congress re-enacted the FISA Amendments Act in late December, giving the Court a “living controversy to chew on.” In October, the Court heard arguments in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, which focuses on whether Amnesty International has Article III standing to challenge this law.

Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 7, 2013, 9:21 AM),