Breaking News

Thursday round-up

Perhaps the biggest news out of the Court yesterday was created by Noah Newkirk of Los Angeles, who interrupted the oral arguments to protest the Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  As Art Lien reports for this blog (complete with a sketch), Newkirk was charged with making “a harangue or oration, or utter[ing] loud or threatening or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building.”  Other coverage of the protest comes from Reuters and Bill Mears of CNN.  

Before Newkirk’s protest, the Court issued two opinions in argued cases and heard oral arguments in two others.  The first opinion of the day came in Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice, three consolidated cases in which the Court allowed state-law class actions arising out of the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme to go forward against companies and law firms allegedly involved in the scheme.  Coverage of the Court’s seven-to-two decision in Troice comes from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, with commentary from Ed Mannino at his eponymous blog.  In United States v. Apel, the Court held that, when the government creates a military base and defines its boundaries, the military is in charge of the entire base even if it allows the public to use some portion of it.  Lyle Denniston covered the decision for this blog; other coverage comes from Ruthann Robson at Constitutional Law Prof Blog, who focuses on Justice Ginsburg’s concurring opinion in the case and the prospect that Apel could still have a First Amendment claim, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, and Robert Barnes of The Washington Post.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg also reports on yesterday’s oral arguments in Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management Systems Inc., two cases involving attorney’s fees in patent cases.

Other coverage of the Court looks back at the Court’s orders and opinions from earlier this week.  At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger discusses Tuesday’s opinion in Fernandez v. California, in which the Court held that police can search a dwelling over the objection of its occupant if another occupant agrees after the objecting occupant has been removed.  Writing for this blog, Will Baude analyzes Tuesday’s decision in the personal jurisdiction case Walden v. Fiore, in which the Court held that a Georgia police officer cannot be sued in Nevada when his actions occurred solely in Georgia.  And at the Brennan Center for Justice, Andrew Cohen looks at Hinton v. Alabama, in which the Court on Monday summarily ruled that Hinton’s lawyer at his capital murder trial was deficient.  Cohen observes that the Court’s decision is “the good news. The bad news is that it took our nation’s courts more than 25 years to bring a measure of justice to this man — and he’s still not through yet with Alabama’s manifestly unjust justice system.”

Still more coverage of the Court focuses on cases scheduled for oral argument later this Term.  Looking ahead to next week’s argument in Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, Greg Stohr of Bloomberg observes that, “a quarter-century after the U.S. Supreme Court opened the era of class action shareholder litigation, the justices may be poised to shut it down.”  Writing for ACSblog, Diann Rust-Tierney weighs in on Hall v. Florida, the challenge to Florida’s scheme for identifying defendants who are intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for the death penalty.  She urges the Court to strike down the scheme, contending that “[i]t should all boil down to this: What part of no does the State of Florida not understand?”  And at the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, David Gans compares legislation in Arizona and Kansas with the challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, arguing that “[t]he efforts to give businesses a right to deny women access to contraceptive coverage and to legalize discrimination against gay men and lesbians are joined at the hip.”


  • In his column for The Atlantic, Garrett Epps responds to Jeffrey Toobin’s recent column on Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • Writing for Greenwire, Jeremy P. Jacobs profiles Supreme Court advocate Tim Bishop, reporting that Bishop’s background is “not what you’d expect of a lawyer considered a top gun for industry in environmental cases before the Supreme Court.”

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the respondents in Troice and Walden.  The firm was also among the counsel to the petitioner in Fernandez, and it is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondent in Halliburton.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 27, 2014, 9:21 AM),