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Friday round-up

Ronald Mann provides this blog’s analysis of Tuesday’s oral argument in Samsung Electronics v. Apple, a high-stakes dispute over the proper scope of a damages award for design patent infringement. Additional coverage comes from Richard Wolf and Jon Swartz at USA Today, who note that the “acrimonious battle between the world’s two most successful smartphone makers, which began in April 2011, could redefine a 130-year-old design patent law and upend the tech industry.” At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman breaks down the oral argument in the case, calculating the relative speaking time of the advocates and justices and the number of questions asked of each advocate.

At The Christian Science Monitor, Steven Porter reports on the court’s decision this week to review cases stemming from lawsuits against high-level government officials, including former attorney general John Ashcroft, challenging detentions in the wake of the September 11 attacks, noting that this “marks the third time the high court has intervened in lawsuits against Mr. Ashcroft and others from Muslims arrested in the United States following the 9/11 attacks.”


  • At Constitution Daily, Chris Calabrese discusses McCrory v. Harris and Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, two racial gerrymandering cases to be decided this term, noting that in “many cases, the Court has drawn a fine line: gerrymandering based primarily on party is acceptable, but gerrymandering based primarily on race is not.”
  • In an essay in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Leah Litman and Luke Beasley look at the potential effect of Beckles v. United States, an upcoming case involving whether a residual clause in the sentencing guidelines is unconstitutionally vague and if so, whether a ruling to that effect should be retroactive; after examining resentencings “in jurisdictions where courts have held that the Sentencing Guideline’s residual clause is invalid,” they conclude that if “the Court invalidates the Guideline’s residual clause, the risk that defendants received additional punishment—years in prison—because they were sentenced under the invalid Guideline provision is sufficient to overcome the interest in finality.”
  • At The Progressive Pulse, Melissa Boughton reports that “there have been 638 editorials written by more than 300 editorial boards in every U.S. state urging the Senate to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 14, 2016, 6:53 AM),