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Tuesday round-up

Today the Court will hear oral argument in Bond v. United States, in which it will consider a Pennsylvania woman’s argument that the Constitution does not give Congress the power to make her conduct – an effort to poison a romantic rival – criminal, even if the federal laws in which it did so were enacted to implement an international treaty prohibiting the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.  Lyle previewed the case for this blog, and I added a preview in Plain English; other previews come from Nina Totenberg of NPR, William Mears of CNN, and Richard Wolf of USA Today.  Commentary on the case comes from Marty Lederman at Balkinization and Tom Donnelly at the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog.

Yesterday the Court heard oral arguments in Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp., in which it is considering what constitutes “changing clothes” for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Coverage comes from Richard Wolf of USA Today and Leland E. Beck of Federal Regulations Advisor. And at the PBS Newshour, Katelyn Polantz uses the case as a jumping-off point from which to explore “another idea: What starts and ends the American workday, and how has that changed over decades?”  The Court also heard oral argument yesterday in Walden v. Fiore, in which it is considering issues relating to personal jurisdiction and venue.  Jaclyn Belczyk covered both cases for JURIST.

The Court also issued orders yesterday.  The most noteworthy order on the list was its dismissal of Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, in which Oklahoma had asked the Court to review the state’s law regulating medical abortions, as improvidently granted.  The Court had granted cert. last June but asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to weigh in on the scope of the law, which it did last week.  Lyle covered the Cline order for this blog; other coverage comes from Marcia Coyle at the Blog of Legal Times, Peter Snyder at JURIST, William Mears of CNN, and Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal.

In other news on yesterday’s order list, the Court denied cert. in Worley v. Secretary of State, a challenge to a Florida election law; coverage comes from the Institute for Justice.  And in Stanton v. Sims, the Court summarily reversed a decision by the Ninth Circuit that would have allowed a lawsuit against a California police officer to proceed.  Bill Mears reports on the summary reversal for CNN; Howard Wasserman weighs in at PrawfsBlawg.

Yesterday abortion rights supporters also asked the Court to issue an order that would block a Texas law that prohibits doctors from performing abortions at a clinic unless those physicians have professional privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the clinic.  Lyle covered the request for this blog; other coverage comes from Jaclyn Belczyk of JURIST.


  • In USA Today, Richard Wolf previews tomorrow’s oral argument in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the challenge to a New York town’s practice of offering a prayer before town council sessions.
  • The editorial board of the Iowa City Press-Citizen urges the Court to make video of its proceedings available to the public.
  • At Mayer Brown’s Class Defense blog, Archis Parasharami discusses yesterday’s denial of certiorari in Marek v. Lane, a case that had asked the Court to weigh in on whether a class-action lawsuit can be settled even if the settlement does not yield any real gain for members of the class.
  • As Lyle reported on Saturday for this blog, the Obama administration filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit proceedings in Fisher v. University of Texas.  In the National Review’s Bench Memos blog, Roger Clegg criticizes the brief for, among other things, “tr[ying] to smuggle plenty of deference into the University’s decision to discriminate in order to achieve greater and greater “diversity” (that is, more blacks and Latinos, and fewer whites and Asians).”

[Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in Walden.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 5, 2013, 7:56 AM),