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Monday round-up

This weekend’s coverage of the Court looks ahead to today’s oral arguments in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. and tomorrow’s oral arguments in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl; other coverage focuses on a cert. petition on the scope of the Second Amendment.

Today, in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the Court will consider whether human genes are patentable. Lyle previewed the case for us last week, as did Greg Stohr and Susan Decker of Bloomberg News.  Other previews of the argument come from Nina Totenberg of NPR, Sharon Begley of Reuters, Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor, Daniel Fisher of Forbes, The Atlantic Wire’s Adam Clark Estes, Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Sell. At the New York Times, Andrew Pollack reports that some experts believe that the significance of the case for future scientific research has been overstated, as “human genes are actually fading in importance,” while at Reuters, Erin Geiger Smith discusses an amicus brief that addresses similar questions about patentability in the context of financial market technology.  The editorial boards of USA Today and The New York Times urge the Court to hold that human genes are not patentable, arguing that these patents “stifle[] independent scientific inquiry and the sort of competition that might produce better or cheaper tests,” and that “human genes cannot be patented or ‘owned’ by private companies.” The Washington Post’s editorial board urges Congress to weigh in on this issue, on the ground that “[b]alancing the benefits of free-flowing research against the value of mobilizing private money to detangle genetic code is a hard policy call that Congress should make.” In an op-ed for USA Today, Peter Meldrum, the president and CEO of Myriad Genetics, argues that the Court should uphold these patents because the necessary research “require[s] a significant investment of time and money,” and a company “should be able to own its findings, just as pharmaceutical and other companies do all the time.” At Forbes, Steven Salzberg responds to Meldrum’s op-ed.

On Tuesday, the Justices will hear arguments in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, an adoption dispute that raises questions about the proper construction of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog‘s Amy Howe; other coverage comes from Harriet McLeod of Reuters, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, and Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic.  [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.]

On Friday the Justices met for their April 12 Conference.  Among the petitions that they considered were Kachalsky v. Cacace, which asks the Justices to decide whether the Second Amendment secures a right to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense. Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, and Richard Wolf of USA Today have coverage.


  • At the UK Supreme Court Blog, Lyle Denniston of this blog discusses the cert. petition in Moloney v. United States, the Justices also considered at Friday’s Conference, describing the case as “a major test case on the confidentiality of information gathered by journalists and academics, around the globe.”
  • Slate’s William Baude explores what the practical consequences will be for same-sex couples if the Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act but does not legalize gay marriage in all fifty states.
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Duncan Hosie – the Princeton freshman who asked Justice Antonin Scalia about his rhetoric on same-sex marriage – urges the Justice to think carefully about the language he uses in his opinions.

Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 15, 2013, 9:26 AM),