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Monday round-up

This weekend’s clippings highlight some of the Court’s upcoming cases, with an emphasis on this week’s oral arguments in Bowman v. Monsanto, in which the Court will consider the application of the doctrine of patent exhaustion to self-replicating technologies; coverage of this case comes from Andrew Pollack of The New York Times, Susan Decker and Jack Kaskey of Bloomberg News, CNBC’s Jane Wells, and Greenwire’s Jeremy Jacobs. And at The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen explores how the case “touches upon many of the ancient themes and struggles that animated . . . [the] life and times” of folk musician Woody Guthrie – “the little guy against big business, the small farmer against the agricultural conglomerate; the man of the land versus the agents of commerce” – while at Written Description, Lisa Ouellette reviews the academic commentary on the case.

Additional coverage of the Court focused on other cases that are set for argument this month. At this blog, Kevin Russell previews Millbrook v. United States, in which the Justices will consider whether the Federal Tort Claims Act allows a prison inmate to sue the government for an alleged sexual assault committed by guards at a federal prison.

Finally, commentary on and coverage of the upcoming cases on same-sex marriage continue with two new articles. At The New Yorker, Richard Socarides considers the options available to the federal government and concludes that “it now appears likely that Obama will choose the bolder course and submit an aggressive brief in favor of full gay equality.” And Lawrence Hurley of Reuters explains that laws against same-sex marriage are “not the only issue hanging in the balance” – also at stake is “the very question of whether gay people constitute a vulnerable group that needs the court’s help in asserting equal rights.” 


  • The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes discusses Justice Clarence Thomas’s opposition to asking questions at oral arguments.
  • Joe Schneider of Bloomberg News discusses the upcoming case of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., in which the Court will consider whether human genes are patentable, in light of a recent ruling by an Australian court that Myriad can patent isolated DNA.
  • In his column for Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman looks at the late Ronald Dworkin’s work and the jurisprudence of Justice Antonin Scalia in the context of that work.
  • Salon’s Jonathan Bernstein argues that the battle over Chuck Hagel’s confirmation is in fact a “dry run” for the coming fight over the next nominee to the Court. In a similar vein, The Atlantic’s Garrett Epps critiques Senate filibuster procedures in light of the judicial nomination process.
  • In The Wall Street Journal (here and here), Carl Bialik examines the selection of Justices in the context of the complex calculations that are at play when a person is appointed to serve in a position with life tenure.
  • This blog’s Shelby County v. Holder symposium continues with three new posts: Zachary Price rebuts the argument that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional because it does not treat states equally, Hans von Spakovsky argues that it is “ridiculous” to claim that the right to vote of black Americans is at stake in this case, and Ellen Katz discusses the role played by the interaction between Section 2 and Section 5 of the Act.
  • Part Five of this blog’s interview with Linda Greenhouse, in which she considers how the Court’s history and historic achievements define it, is now available.


Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 18, 2013, 9:11 AM),