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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued additional orders from its November 15 Conference, denying review in several noteworthy cases.  Lyle covered the orders for this blog, while Tom Goldstein discusses the general significance of opinions regarding the denial of certiorari for this blog.

Yesterday’s highest-profile denial likely came in the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s challenge to an order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court requiring Verizon to turn over data to the government.  Additional coverage of and commentary on the Court’s action in the EPIC case come from Richard Wolf of USA Today (here and here) and Marty Lederman at Just Security (here and here), both of whom also discuss some of the other pending surveillance challenges. 

In other coverage of and commentary on yesterday’s order list, Kent Scheidegger weighs in on yesterday’s denial of review in Woodward v. Alabama, a challenge to that state’s practice of allowing judges to override a jury’s advisory verdict in a death penalty case, at Crime and Consequences.  Scheidegger contends that, [a]s a policy matter,” the practice “is certainly debatable.  But it is a choice the people of Alabama have made, and nothing [in] the Constitution of the United States forbids it.”  Andrew Cohen takes the opposite view at The Atlantic, where he argues that the practice “is no way to run a capital punishment regime, obviously. In fact, it’s a patently unconstitutional infringement of the due process and Eighth Amendment rights of capital defendants.”  And at the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog, Jonathan Wood discusses yesterday’s denial of review in Martin v. Blessing, a challenge to the practice of requiring attorneys in a class action to reflect the race and gender makeup of members of the class.  Wood laments “that the Supreme Court didn’t take this opportunity to condemn this discrimination. But, hopefully, Alito’s sharply-worded statement—he called out the district judge by name—will deter this practice going forward.”

At the Federalist Society’s annual meeting last week, some of the panels and speeches touched on issues relating to the Court.  In his appearance at the convention, Senator Ted Cruz focused on nine cases that the Obama administration lost by a vote of nine to zero last Term, suggesting that the results in those cases reflected “overreaching” by the administration, while a panel on religious liberties included a discussion of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.


  • Jack Metzler has recently published his edited version of The Solicitor General’s Style Guide, a collection of the three manuals used by the Office of the Solicitor General in the federal government’s briefs.  The guide is available through
  • The editorial board of The Washington Times urges the Court to grant cert. in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., a challenge to a ruling by the Federal Circuit on patent infringement.  On June 24 of this year, the Court asked the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States.
  • At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro discusses an amicus brief that the Cato Institute (among others) filed in support of certiorari in Walburg v. Nack, a case involving the right to obtain judicial review without having to initiate a separate administrative review.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 19, 2013, 8:33 AM),