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Monday round-up

On Friday, the Court granted cert. in four new cases: Bond v. United States, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar,  Metrish v. Lancaster, and the Allen Stanford case, which represents the consolidation of three separate petitions. This weekend’s coverage focuses on these new grants, as well as the swearing-in ceremonies of both President Obama and Vice President Biden and Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s newly released memoir.

As Lyle reported for this blog, the Justices have agreed to hear four new cases: Bond v. United States, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar,  Metrish v. Lancaster, and the Allen Stanford case; additional coverage of all four grants comes from Jonathan Stempel of Reuters. The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes, Jonathan Stempel and Terry Baynes of Reuters, and the Associated Press have coverage of the cert. grant in Bond, the case of a Pennsylvania woman who was prosecuted under a federal law that implements a global chemical weapons treaty for trying to poison her husband’s lover.  Bond’s case comes to the Court for the second time, as the Justices had previously considered whether she could be prosecuted under that law at all.  In addition, Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy comments on the case, arguing that Congress’s constitutional power to make treaties “is best understood as a power . . . to make commitments regarding the use of its other enumerated powers, not a power that allows the federal government to legislate on whatever subjects it wants, so long as the issue is covered by a treaty.”

In three linked cases – Chadbourne & Parke v. TroiceWillis of Colorado v. Troice, and Proskauer Rose LLP v. Troicethe Court will consider whether civil securities fraud lawsuits against law firms and insurance companies arising out of the investment “Ponzi scheme” operated by financier Allen Stanford can go forward.  [Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in this case.]  Coverage of this case comes from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, and Terry Baynes and Jonathan Stempel of Reuters. The Associated Press (via The Washington Post) reports on Metrish, which involves the constitutionality of Michigan’s retroactive withdrawal of a criminal suspect’s right to claim that the crime was the result of diminished mental capacity, and the blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education has coverage of Nassar, which involves the availability of a “mixed motive” claim by a worker who complains of retaliation on the job for exercising workplace rights.

Additional coverage of the Court included the roles played by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts in the oath-taking ceremonies of Vice President Biden and President Obama, respectively. As both Reuters and David Savage of the Los Angeles Times reported, Justice Sotomayor left almost immediately after the Vice President was sworn in so that she could make a book signing of her new memoir in New York City later that same day. David Nakamura and Robert Barnes of The Washington Post have coverage, while Adam Liptak of The New York Times and Politico’s Josh Gerstein discuss the Chief Justice’s swearing in of President Obama in the context of the ideological opposition between the two men.  And NPR’s Nina Totenberg looks back in time at the President’s 2009 swearing-in.

Finally, coverage of Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, My Beloved World, continued this weekend with reviews and analysis by David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, and Emily Bazelon, writing for The New York Times; at NPR, Nina Totenberg speaks with the Justice about the role that books have played in her life.


  • At the Washington Post, Jena McGregor discusses Justice Clarence Thomas’s silence at oral argument and argues that perhaps “we should give him more credit for being the lone justice who seems to put listening at a premium,” as “[h]is defense of his taciturn tenure seems not only rational but sensible.” On a related note, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza gives Justice Thomas the paper’s award for “Worst Week in Washington”—and refers to Supreme Court watchers as “nerds” not unlike “those who build model railroads in their basements.”
  • Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press reports on the Court’s recent cert. grant in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.
  • The editorial board of The New York Times urges the Court to affirm the lower court’s decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management and block efforts by the petitioner and his ideological allies “to stretch the notion of a regulatory taking far beyond any defensible limits.”
  • At The Nation, Patricia Williams discusses the current Court’s political and constitutional values in the context of the recent calls for increased gun control (h/t Howard Bashman).
  • UPI’s Michael Kirkland provides an overview of Missouri v. McNeely, including the commentary on and coverage of recent oral arguments in the case.
  • Following up on last week’s oral argument in Alleyne v. United States, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times urges the Justices to overturn Harris v. United States on the ground that juries, rather than a judge, to determine whether a crime was committed.
  • In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that the legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s no-cost female-contraceptive provision “is moving quickly to the high court, and bringing potent questions about religious freedom, gender equality and corporate ‘personhood.'”
  • At this blog, Marty Lederman posts Parts IIIIIIV, and V in his series on the Article III standing questions posed by the same-sex marriage cases Hollingsworth v. Perry (the challenge to Proposition 8) and United States v. Windsor (the challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act).
  • Also for this blog, Miriam Seifter reports on Wednesday’s arguments in City of Arlington v. FCC and Cable, Telecommunications, and Technology Committee v. FCC, and observes that the challenge of distinguishing jurisdictional questions from others took center stage at those arguments.   [Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to petitioner City of Arlington in the case.]
  • Kevin Amer reviews Tuesday’s arguments in Levin v. United States, in which the Justices will consider whether the Gonzalez Act waived the United States’s sovereign immunity as to battery claims arising from the conduct of military medical personnel.

Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 21, 2013, 9:18 AM),