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Friday round-up

On Thursday, the Obama administration filed a petition for certiorari asking the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the D.C. Circuit holding that three of President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board are unconstitutional.  The D.C. Circuit had held not only that the President’s recess power extends only to recesses between, rather than within, Senate sessions, but also that the vacancies to be filled must arise within those recesses.  The government’s petition urges the Court to overturn both portions of the lower court’s decision.  Coverage of the filing comes from Lyle for this blog, Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, Lawrence Hurley of Reuters, Sam Hananel of the Associated Press, Richard Wolf of USA Today, Ariane de Vogue of ABC News, Tal Kopan of Politico, and Deepak Gupta at Public Citizen’s Consumer Law & Policy Blog.

Other coverage focused on the cases in which the Court heard oral arguments earlier this week.  For this blog, Thomas Merrill analyzes Tuesday’s oral argument in Tarrant Water District v. Herrmann, in which the Court is considering whether residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth area have a right to obtain water from across the Oklahoma state line.  [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents the City of Dallas as an amicus in this case.]  Also for this blog, Kevin Russell reviews Wednesday’s oral argument in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, in which the Court is considering whether retaliation claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 require a plaintiff to prove but-for causation or instead require only proof that the employer had a mixed motive.  JURIST has additional coverage of Wednesday’s oral arguments in Nassar and Metrish v. Lancaster, in which the Court is considering whether Michigan’s abolition of the diminished capacity defense in criminal trials was unconstitutional. 


  • At Forbes, David Davenport discusses the public response to the Court’s opinion last week in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which it held that the Alien Tort Statute did not authorize a suit by Nigerian nationals against foreign corporations for their conduct abroad.  Davenport argues that “the Court wisely exercised judicial restraint and, in an essentially unanimous decision, ruled that U.S. federal courts are not prepared to take torts cases from all over the world.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C. represented Achmed et al. and the Center for Justice and Accountability as amici curiae in support of the petitioners.]
  • In the second part of a two-part series at Verdict, Vikram Amar considers some of the potential legal scenarios that could occur in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to Proposition 8, if the Supreme Court decides that Proposition 8’s proponents lack standing.  Amar concludes that even if the Court “finds no sponsor standing in federal court, how broadly available same-sex marriage will be in California might still take some time to sort out.” [Disclosure: Tejinder Singh of the law firm Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, was among the counsel on an amicus brief filed by international human rights advocates in support of the respondents in this case.]
  • For The Atlantic’s “Big Question” this month, the magazine asked several legal luminaries to name “the most important Supreme Court case no one’s ever heard of.”  The story includes responses from many noted judges, professors, practitioners, and scholars.

If you have a story or post that you would like to have included in the round-up, please send a link to, and we will consider it. 

Recommended Citation: Rachel Sachs, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 26, 2013, 11:49 AM),