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Wednesday round-up

Yesterday’s Court-related coverage and commentary continued to focus on Monday’s orders and opinions.  Writing for The Economist, Steven Mazie reports on the decisions in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, in which the Court held that a group which has been accused of violating a state law prohibiting false statements during a political campaign and that is at risk of being accused again can challenge the constitutionality of that law in court, and Abramski v. United States, in which the Court upheld a Virginia man’s federal conviction for falsely stating that he was the actual buyer of a handgun, when he was in fact purchasing the gun for his uncle.

Other commentary on SBA List comes from Rick Hasen at his Election Law Blog, who contends that the decision is the “right result here: as I’ve written, getting a probable cause determination against someone at the Ohio Elections Commission is a real injury which has serious political consequences”; from Noah Feldman, who in his column for Bloomberg View suggests that the Court’s unanimity in the case reflects “the gradual erosion of laws regulating speech during elections”; and from Marty Lederman for this blog, who analyzes the decision in detail and concludes that “the ‘substantial threat of injury’ test survives.”   

Commentary on Abramski comes from Noah Feldman of Bloomberg View, who contends that the decision “should stand as a reminder to the liberal justices that, when the chips are down, they really do believe that the law’s purpose and context matter”; from Adam Winkler, who argues in The New Republic that the decision shows that “Justice Kennedy is willing to support gun control,” which “may be the most important signal to come from the Court’s ruling”; from Paul M. Barrett of Bloomberg Businessweek, who asserts that “what’s amazing about this decision is that four dissenting members of the court—led by Justice Antonin Scalia—were prepared to rule against the federal government in a fashion that would have undermined countless prosecutions of alleged gun traffickers”; and from Jeff Shesol in The New Yorker, who uses Justice Scalia’s dissent in the case as a jumping-off  point to discuss what he characterizes as the Justice’s “word games.”

Commentary on Monday’s decision in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, in which the Court held that a group of bondholders can have access to bank records to locate overseas assets belonging to the country that could be used to satisfy the country’s debts, comes from Ted Folkman at Letters Blogatory, who criticizes the Court’s decision and suggests both that “[t]he executive branch took Argentina’s side in this case for good reason” and that “Congress should consider an amendment to the” Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act; and from Richard Re at Re’s Judicata, who cites the decision as “a consequential use of forfeiture.”


  • Jeremy P. Jacobs of Greenwire has the latest on North Carolina’s response to the Court’s recent decision in CTS Corporation v. Waldburger, holding that the state’s statute of repose does not preempt the federal Superfund law.
  • At Just Security, Steve Vladeck discusses the Court’s request for the views of the federal government in KBR v. Metzgar and Kellogg Brown & Root Services v. Harris, explaining why – in his view – the request offers a “second chance” for the Obama administration.
  • At legalfeet, Robin Radner weighs in on Monday’s denial of review in Elmbrook School District v. Doe, a challenge to a public school’s practice of holding its graduation ceremony in a church, suggesting that the decision “means that, for the time being, public schools will not be subject to Town of Greece’s weaker, more permeable ‘wall of separation’ under the Establishment Clause because students are impressionable and, as a captive audience, more susceptible to coercion by authority figures.”

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 18, 2014, 8:09 AM),