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Monday round-up

In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse weighs in on the challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions policy; she suggests that, although there “is only a remote chance that the case will spell a formal end to affirmative action in university admissions,” “the justices face a crucial choice nonetheless:  to keep the diversity door open or further reduce the court’s equal protection jurisprudence to the caricature it is becoming.”  And at ACSblog, Kimberly West-Faulcon contends that, for the university to prevail, Justice Anthony Kennedy “will also have to reject another common theory long-invoked by critics of racial affirmative action policies—the theory that racial affirmative action is ‘classist.’” 


  • In the ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss reports on a study on the “loyalty effect” in Supreme Court Justices – the idea that the Justices “generally make more decisions favorable to their appointing president than they do to subsequent presidents.”
  • At Just Security, Steve Vladeck discusses a petition filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and “a very important (but little noticed) circuit split over the scope of FOIA’s ‘Exemption 7(F),’ which allows the government to withhold ‘records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.’”
  • At the IMLA Appellate Practice Blog, Lisa Soronen discusses the amicus brief that the State and Local Legal Center filed in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, arguing that “a government employer’s perception that an employee has exercised his or her First Amendment rights cannot be the basis for a First Amendment retaliation lawsuit.”
  • And at the NCSL Blog, Soronen notes that the Court “has taken two cases this term from California involving arbitration clauses” and contends that, although “this sample size is small, it seems fair to conclude that the California courts unapologetically disfavor arbitration clauses (which, practically speaking, preclude litigation). So far the Court isn’t having it.”

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

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 28, 2015, 2:55 AM),