Breaking News

Tuesday round-up

This morning the Court will hear oral arguments in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie, a pair of challenges to the warrantless searches of an arrestee’s cellphone.  Lyle previewed the cases for this blog, Steve Wermiel discussed them in his column for law students, and I posted a Plain English summary last night.  Other coverage comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR, Richard Wolf of USA Today, Bill Mears of CNN, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times (who focuses on the potentially key role of Justice Antonin Scalia), Roger Parloff of Fortune, and the Federal Evidence Review.  And the editorial board of the San Jose Mercury News urges the Court “to realize that police should not have unlimited rights to peruse and download the contents of Americans’ tech devices without a warrant.”

Yesterday the Court issued orders from its April 25 Conference, granting two new cases.  Most of the attention on yesterday’s grants focused on the announcement that the Court would review Yates v. United States, in which the Court will consider whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s ban on destroying a “tangible object” applies only to things like documents or other records or also to physical objects like fish – specifically, the undersized grouper that petitioner John Yates allegedly caught in the Gulf of Mexico.   Lyle Denniston covered the order list for this blog; other coverage and commentary come from Jeremy P. Jacobs of Greenwire, the Associated Press (via NBC News), and Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences.

Yesterday the Court also heard oral arguments in two cases.  In the second case, Lane v. Franks, the Court is considering what First Amendment protections are available for a public employee who testifies in court.  Coverage comes from NPR‘s Nina Totenberg and Mark Walsh for Education Week’s School Law blog, while Catherine Fisk discusses the case and argument at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights.

Tomorrow the Court will hear oral argument in Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies, in which it will consider whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a defendant may be held liable for inducing patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) even though no one has committed direct infringement under Section 271(a).  In The Washington Times, Limelight’s founders argue that the Court’s decision will “determine whether innovative companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon can continue creating great new services that make our lives better, or whether a different set of rules with unpredictable consequences will stifle innovation, encourage litigation, and impose new limits on interactive services, now and in the future.”  And in The Washington Examiner, the editorial board warns that, if the Court were to uphold the decision below, it “could radically expand the legal definition of what constitutes patent infringement . . . .  That would in turn create a boom in what is known as ‘patent troll’ litigation.”


  • At legalfeet, Robin Radner anticipates the Court’s decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the challenge (argued late last year) to the town’s practice of beginning its town council meetings with a prayer.
  • At, Damon Root discusses Justice Stephen Breyer’s votes in favor of “overwhelming deference to the police” in several recent Fourth Amendment cases.
  • Writing for Legal Times, Todd Ruger reports that retired Justice John Paul Stevens will “testify Wednesday on Capitol Hill at a Senate hearing on the high court’s decision to strike limits on aggregate campaign contributions.”
  • At, Lee Goldman weighs in on the Court’s recent decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, striking down Michigan’s ban on the use of affirmative action by its public universities.
  • At Business Law Prof Blog, Lawrence Mitchell discusses the March oral argument in Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, including “a critical point that seemed to get lost in the argument:  . . . what a price impact analysis would look like in the context of the most common securities fraud scenario—the making of false statements designed to mask bad news.”
  • At the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, Brianne Gorod criticizes yesterday’s denial of review in Jackson v. Louisiana, a challenge to the state’s non-unanimous jury rule.

[Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, serves as counsel to the petitioner in Lane and was counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondent in Halliburton.  The firm’s Kevin Russell served as counsel to petitioner David Riley in Riley v. California at the cert. stage, but he is no longer participating 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, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 29, 2014, 6:11 AM),