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Monday round-up

This week the Court moves into the home stretch:  it is scheduled to issue opinions in argued cases today and on Wednesday and Thursday, with the possibility of opinions on Monday, June 30 remaining open as well.

Writing for USA Today, Mike Snider looks ahead to the Court’s decision in American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, in which the Court is considering whether Aereo’s streaming of live TV over the Internet for a fee violates the Copyright Act.  He predicts that, “[e]ither way . . . , the Supreme Court’s ruling . . . could drive more people to cut the cord.”

Other coverage of the Court focuses on last week’s decisions.  At JURIST, Jaclyn Belczyk reports on Thursday’s decision in Lane v. Franks, holding that the First Amendment protects a state employee who was fired in retaliation for his testimony in a federal criminal trial about fraud in a community college program.  At the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Appellate Practice Blog, Lisa Soronen weighs in with “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in the decision, while Marty Lederman – writing for this blog – examines a “fundamental constitutional principle not discussed” in the decision.

In The National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Brief, Tony Mauro reports on the possibility that the Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, holding that Alice’s patent claims are drawn to a patent-ineligible abstract idea under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and thus not patent eligible under Section 101, will “prove to be a turning point in the corporate world’s battle against patent trolls.”  Other coverage of the decision comes from John Duffy for this blog and Jaclyn Belczyk of JURIST, while this blog’s online symposium on the decision featured commentary from Sandra Park, Rob Merges, Justin Nelson, and David Kappos.

Finally, JURIST’s Jaclyn Belczyk covers Thursday’s decision in United States v. Clarke, holding that a taxpayer who wants to question IRS agents about their motives for issuing a summons can do so if he can point to “specific facts or circumstances plausibly raising an inference of bad faith.”


  • In USA Today, Richard Wolf considers the “curiosity” of “a more united Supreme Court.”
  • At ACSblog, Paul Guequierre reports on last week’s conversation, at the American Constitutional Society’s national convention, between Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her high school classmate Ted Shaw.
  • In a Legal Backgrounder for the Washington Legal Foundation, James Beck and Michelle Cheng look at the impact of the Court’s recent decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, holding that the automaker could not be sued in California for injuries allegedly caused by conduct of its foreign subsidiary when that conduct took place entirely outside of the United States.
  • Reviews of Uncertain Justice, a new book on the Roberts Court by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz, come from this blog’s Stephen Wermiel, writing for The Washington Post, Jeff Bleich in the Los Angeles Review of Books,  and Arthur Bryant at Public Justice.
  • In his column for The Washington Post, Robert Barnes discusses the possibility that the Court’s recent decision in Abramski v. United States, rejecting a challenge to a conviction under a federal law that criminalizes the “straw purchase” of guns, might “to explain the court’s steadfast refusal” to grant review in cases “asking the justices to flesh out” the scope of the Second Amendment right to bear arms:  “[N]either conservatives nor liberals can be quite sure” of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s views on the issue.

[Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in Lane and among the counsel to the respondents in Bauman.   However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 23, 2014, 7:29 AM),