Another merits case seems likely to drop off the Court’s docket.  As Lyle Denniston reported yesterday for this blog, George Toca – who had asked the Court to consider whether its 2012 decision limiting life-without-parole sentences for juveniles convicted of murder applies retroactively – was released yesterday from a Louisiana prison.  At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger agrees that vacating Toca’s conviction for second-degree murder was “a proper disposition.  Toca’s sentence would have been unduly harsh even if he were an adult at the time of the crime.”  


  • Noting in his column for The Atlantic that “state legislatures in the Bible Belt are openly flirting with laws designed to thwart any Supreme Court decision requiring recognition of gay marriage,” Garrett Epps urges the Court “to say forthrightly that when any agents of the state—legislators, judges, clerks—discriminate on this basis, they violate both the Constitution and their oath.”
  • At the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Appellate Practice Blog, Bill Brinton looks back at Reed v. Town of Gilbert, argued earlier this month; he writes that, “[a] s a practitioner who defends and drafts sign regulations, [he] found a number of the propositions made by the petitioners to be impractical and contrary to common sense.”
  • At Corporate Counsel, Scott Gant and Christopher Hayes analyze last month’s decision in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, in which the Court held that a defendant’s notice of removal only needs to include a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold. They contend that the Court’s opinion “also resolves uncertainty about whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review a district court’s interlocutory order granting or denying class certification when the court of appeals has declined to review the order.”
  • At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur reports that, although “[m]any Republicans would view it as a dream come true if the Supreme Court were to slash a centerpiece of Obamacare by the end of June . . . that dream could fade into a nightmare as the spotlight turns to the Republican Congress to fix the mayhem that could ensue.”
  • At the online edition of the Northwestern University Law Review, Todd Haugh discusses Yates v. United States and the possibility that “overcriminalization actually increases the commission of criminal acts, particularly by white-collar offenders.”
  • In an op-ed for USA Today, Tony Mauro argues that, “on the cause of openness at the court, it is long past due for the tortoise to cross the finish line.”
  • In The New York Review of Books, David Cole looks at the effects of the Court’s decision in Citizens United and argues that, “if we are to preserve more than a semblance of democracy, it is essential that we convince the Court to recognize the urgent and legitimate need for robust limits on campaign spending.”
  • At The RightsCast (video), Nancy Leong and Scott Dodson discuss Dodson’s new book, The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 30, 2015, 6:47 AM),