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Friday round-up

At Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman analyzes Wednesday’s oral argument in the patent case Teva Pharmaceuticals USA v. Sandoz, Inc., emphasizing that “[l]ast year’s patent decisions revealed a strong preference by the Supreme Court to tell the Federal Circuit that it should stop thinking of itself as Lord of the Patents, and that ‘supreme’ means just what it sounds like. Look for the court to continue pushing that message this year.”  In a post at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Greg Vetter also weighs in on the oral argument, concluding that “[i]t remains to be seen whether the Court will change claim construction to a mixed question of fact and law such that [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52] must apply.”

In The Economist, Steven Mazie weighs in on this week’s oral argument in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC.  He notes the argument by one amicus that “[c]ompanies that act like cartels face stiff criminal penalties. Why . . . should private parties acting under the government’s aegis be allowed to get away with the same thing?”  And in The Daily Beast, Zephyr Teachout discusses both the dentistry case and Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads, suggesting that the two “could redefine the degree to which companies can directly exercise political power.” 

The Court’s announcement on Tuesday that it would not review the cases of three men who were challenging their sentences for selling drugs on the ground that those sentences were based in part on drug quantities alleged in counts on which they had been acquitted continues to garner commentary.  At Simple Justice, Scott Greenfield criticizes Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan for (apparently) failing to vote to grant review; Doug Berman does the same at Sentencing Law and Policy.


  • At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern discusses Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of a judicial conduct rule that bars candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds. He predicts that, with the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the Roberts court’s deregulation fever, Williams-Yulee has good reason to believe she’ll win her case.”
  • At Re’s Judicata, Richard Re uses last week’s argument in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens as a jumping-off point from which to discuss whether lower courts should facilitate Supreme Court review.
  • In The Week, Scott Lemieux criticizes the federal government’s decision to support in its legal battle with its warehouse workers over pay for time spent undergoing security screenings.
  • In The Atlantic, Garrett Epps discusses the Court’s recent order blocking portions of a Texas law regulating abortions from going into effect.
  • At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Marci Hamilton looks at the possibility that state legislators can nullify the effect of last Term’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, in which the Court held that a closely held corporation owned by a religiously devout family does not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate.

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 17, 2014, 10:23 AM),