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Thursday round-up


  • At The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, Jess Bravin notes that Philip Berg, who filed one of the first lawsuits challenging President Barack Obama’s qualifications for office, has resigned from the Supreme Court bar after receiving a two-year suspension from the bar in his home state of Pennsylvania.
  • Also at the Journal’s Law Blog, Jacob Gershman reports on a cert. petition filed by the federal government, seeking review of a decision by the Federal Circuit in favor of a former federal air marshal who leaked information to the media regarding a cutback in air marshal coverage.
  • And in a post for the Journal’s Washington Wire, Bravin discusses President Barack Obama’s references to the Court at Tuesday’s State of the Union address, observing that, “[c]hastened after his 2010 State of the Union address, when his explicit criticism of a Supreme Court decision sparked a rebuke from several justices,” the president instead “took a more subtle approach Tuesday regarding a ruling he considers misguided.”
  • After temporarily staying the execution of Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, yesterday the Court denied both his application for a stay and his petition for certiorari, clearing the way for his execution – which, as Jim Salter of the Associated Press reports, took place late last night.  At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger reports on the Supreme Court proceedings in the case.
  • At the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog, Timothy Sandefur discusses the amicus brief that the PLF filed in the challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, in which the group argues that “not only has the law regarded corporations as “persons” since ancient Roman times, but they deserve constitutional protections.” (The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents one of the parties to the case, collected the amicus briefs at its website.)
  • At the National Review Online, Scott Gaylord discusses last week’s order in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius, in which the Court gave a group of nuns at least a temporary victory in their efforts to avoid filing a government form to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 30, 2014, 9:13 AM),