Breaking News

Wednesday round-up

Yesterday’s coverage largely focused on the two cases in which the Court heard oral argument and the lone opinion that it issued.

Yesterday the Court issued its opinion in Moncrieffe v. Holder.  By a vote of seven to two, the Court held that if a noncitizen’s conviction for a marijuana distribution offense fails to establish that the offense involved either remuneration or more than a small amount of marijuana, it is not an aggravated felony under the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Lyle Denniston reports on the decision for this blog; other coverage comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR, Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal, Ted Hesson of ABC News, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, Lawrence Hurley of Reuters, Douglas A. Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy, and Damon W. Root at Reason.  At The New York Times, the editorial board opines that the decision was a “victory for common sense and fairness.”  [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents the petitioner in this case.]

Yesterday the Court also heard oral arguments in two cases.  In Sekhar v. United States, the Court is considering whether the “recommendation” of a government attorney is intangible property that can be the subject of an extortion attempt under the Hobbs Act.  Lyle Denniston reports on the argument for this blog.

And in Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, the Court is considering whether residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth area have a right to obtain water from across the Oklahoma state line.  Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, Lawrence Hurley of Reuters, Richard Wolf of USA Today, and Jeremy P. Jacobs of Greenwire all cover the argument in the case.

Kali Borkoski provides links to transcripts in both cases argued yesterday at this blog.

Today the Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in the final two cases of the Term.  In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the Court is considering what standard of proof should apply to retaliation claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Kevin Russell previews the case for this blog.  And in Metrish v. Lancaster, the Court will consider when and whether a state can abolish a legal defense to a criminal charge without violating the Constitution.  Lyle Denniston previews the case for this blog.


  • At his How Appealing blog, Howard Bashman notes that in an opinion by retired Justice David H. Souter, the First Circuit recently rejected an adult entertainment establishment’s First Amendment challenge to zoning ordinances of Fall River, Massachusetts.
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Ivan Cohen discusses the impact of an amicus brief filed on behalf of neither party by one of the country’s leading scientists in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics.
  • At this blog’s Relist watch feature, John Elwood reviews the cases relisted after Monday’s order list.
  • At the blog noncuratlex, Professor Kyle Graham posts a memorandum written by Chief Justice Roberts when he was a young White House attorney, addressing the Department of Justice’s proposal to add new computer crimes to the federal code.
We are switching to a new system of collecting links for the round-up. If you have a story or post that you would like to have included in the round-up, please send a link to roundup [at], and we will consider it.  

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 24, 2013, 10:25 AM),