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Thursday round-up


  • Richard Wolf of USA Today reports on the current state of play in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage, observing that “[t]rying to figure out which will be the case eventually granted by the Supreme Court has become a parlor game in legal circles.”
  • At Cato at Liberty, Jim Harper discusses the amicus brief that Cato recently filed in United States v. Wurie, in which the Court is considering whether police can, without a warrant, review the call log of an arrestee’s cellphone.  Harper hopes that the brief can “convince the Court to flex some atrophied property muscles and recognize the difference between taking possession of a thing and making use of it,” thereby forming “the basis of stronger Fourth Amendment law, in which the courts apply the terms of the law to the facts of cases rather than pronouncing rules based on soaring, untethered doctrine like the ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ test.”
  • In the wake of Monday’s denial of cert. in Elane Photography v. Willock, in which the owners of a New Mexico photography business were asking the Court to review their claim that a requirement to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony violated their First Amendment rights, Christopher Schmidt of ISCOTUSnow looks at earlier cases involving similar claims.
  • At the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, Elizabeth Wydra discusses Jackson v. Louisiana, CAC’s pending challenge to that state’s practice of allowing criminal convictions even without a unanimous jury vote.
  • At his Harmless Error blog, Luke Rioux discusses last month’s decision in United States v. Castleman and an issue that the Court in Castleman left open:  whether recklessness is enough to trigger the federal ban on possession of a firearm by perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • A post at IP Law Update discusses Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International, in which the Court is considering whether the Patent Act authorizes patents on computer software.  The post predicts that the Federal Circuit’s decision in the case “will be affirmed: Alice’s asserted patents are abstract ideas without sufficient steps to identify patentable subject matter under section 101 of the Patent Act.”

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 10, 2014, 9:59 AM),