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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued decisions in two cases:  Paroline v. United States, involving restitution for victims of child pornography; and White v. Woodall, a habeas case.  Lyle Denniston covered the decision in Paroline for us; other coverage comes from Bill Mears of CNN and Jaclyn Belczyk of JURIST, while Tony Mauro profiles Stanley Schneider, the Texas lawyer who represented Paroline, for The National Law Journal (registration required).  Commentary on Paroline comes from Rick Hasen, who predicts at his Election Law Blog that Congress will step in to override the Court’s decision, “and probably relatively quickly,” and from Marci Hamilton, who proposes a possible fix at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights.  Kimberly Bennett summarizes the Woodall decision at JURIST, while at Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger praises the Court’s opinion, writing that “[f]ederal habeas remains a safety net in case the state courts completely fail to do their jobs and are clearly wrong, but in all debatable questions the state court decision stands.  The law is an important step closer to that principle today.”

The Court also heard oral argument in two cases yesterday.  In CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, the Justices are considering whether CERCLA preempts state statutes of repose in a case by property owners who are seeking compensation for damage that they allege stems from the dumping of toxic chemicals.  Jeremy P. Jacobs covered the argument for Greenwire, with other coverage coming from Jaclyn Belcyzk of JURIST.

Tuesday’s decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, in which the Court upheld Michigan’s ban on the use of affirmative action by public universities there, continues to generate considerable commentary.  Coverage of the decision comes from Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, while in his column for Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman analyzes the decision and concludes that “what will be remembered from the case is probably the stirring dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first beneficiary of affirmative action to defend the practice from the Supreme Court bench.”  At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur focuses on Sotomayor’s dissent in the case (here) and reactions to that dissent (here).  Other commentary on the case comes from Roger Pilon at Cato at Liberty, Steven Mazie at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Andrew Suszek at more than twenty cents, and Bill Blum at truthdig.  And the decision prompted scores of editorial boards to weigh in, including those of The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Herald.


  • Writing for The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen urges the Court to review the constitutionality of Louisiana’s non-unanimous jury rule, which is challenged in several cases up for this week’s Conference.
  • At Just Security, Marty Lederman looks at Justice Breyer’s statement respecting the Court’s denial of review in the detainee case Hussain v. Obama.
  • At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur reports on Tuesday’s oral argument in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a challenge to an Ohio law that criminalizes false statements during a political campaign.
  • In his column for Bloomberg View, Cass Sunstein identifies his “most overrated” Supreme Court Justice.
  • In his column for The Washington Post, Dana Milbank urges Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to “ignore the chorus of liberals asking that she retire and allow President Obama to replace her, in case Democrats lose the presidency in 2016.”
  • In The American Spectator, Matthew Walther interviews and profiles Justice Samuel A. Alito.
  • In a discussion of the cellphone privacy cases, which are scheduled for oral argument next week at the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, Emily Phelps argues that the searches made by police in those cases were the kind “that the Framers took pains to prohibit.”

[Disclosure:  Kevin Russell of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, was among the counsel to the petitioner in Riley v. California, one of the cellphone privacy cases, at the cert. stage but is not involved at the merits.  Russell was also among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Schuette.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 24, 2014, 9:19 AM),