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Monday round-up

Tomorrow the Court will hear oral argument in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie, two cases arising out of the warrantless search of an arrestee’s cellphone.  Lyle Denniston previewed the cases for this blog, while Steve Wermiel examined the cases in his column for law students.  At ISCOTUSnow (video), Kim Bailey also looks at the issues and arguments in the case.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s inaugural dissent from the bench, in last week’s Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, in which the Court upheld Michigan’s ban on the use of affirmative action in public universities, continues to garner coverage and commentary.  At ISCOTUSnow, Christopher Schmidt discusses both the Sotomayor dissent and the practice of dissenting from the bench more generally, observing that “an oral dissent is best understood not as entertainment for the press, but as an opportunity for the press. It is a moment that can serve as a potentially evocative, personalized way for reporters and commentators to convey to the general public what is happening in Court and why they should care.”  At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost criticizes the decision, arguing that “the Roberts Court has given states another free pass to reduce the political rights of racial and ethnic minorities, in the face of its own precedents.”

At the blog More Soft Money Hard Law, Bob Bauer analyzes the Chief Justice’s opinion for the Court in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, striking down the aggregate limits that federal law imposed on campaign contributions to candidates for federal office, political parties, and political action committees.  He contends that, if the “right to participate in the electoral process” that the Chief Justice discusses were to “take[] account of the “variety of ways” people join together in political action,” it “could offer a vigorous politics more protection than the insistence, stemming from Buckley, on isolating and classifying speech acts.”

Curt Anderson of the Associated Press has the latest chapter in the story of Fane Lozman, who prevailed at the Court last year in a battle with the city of Riviera Beach, Florida, over whether his floating home was a “vessel” for purposes of federal maritime jurisdiction.  Anderson reports that “so far the ruling hasn’t helped [Lozman] secure compensation for the home, which [the] city seized and destroyed using the laws that govern ships at sea.”

[Disclosure:  Kevin Russell of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, was among the counsel to petitioner David Riley at the certiorari stage, but he is not involved in the case at the merits stage.  Russell was also among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Schuette.  In any event, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 28, 2014, 7:38 AM),