Posted on October 13, 2011 at 9:33 am by Kiran Bhat
Yesterday the Court heard arguments in Judulang v. Holder and Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, with media coverage focusing exclusively on the latter. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C. – whose attorneys either work for, or contribute to this blog – represent the petitioner in Florence, but the author of this post is not involved in the case.] Kiera provides links to the transcripts in both arguments here.
In Florence, the Court considered whether the Fourth Amendment allows jailers to conduct suspicionless strip searches of all arrestees, including those arrested for minor offenses. Greg Stohr of Bloomberg reports that “the justices today sought to draw a line that would both prevent the smuggling of weapons and drugs and protect the privacy interests of people arrested for minor violations.” Nina Totenberg of NPR, Joan Biskupic of USA Today, Adam Liptak of the New York Times, Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal, Warren Richey of the Christian Science Monitor, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, Bill Mears of CNN, Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, James Vicini of Reuters, Jason Grant of the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Jan Hefler of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the AFP all have coverage. PBS NewsHour has an interview about the case with The National Law Journal’s Marcia Coyle (video).
The argument in Florence also generated early commentary. In his report for this blog, Lyle Denniston concludes that “nowhere near a majority of the Justices seemed prepared to rule flatly for or flatly against strip-searching of arrested individuals,” while Orin Kerr reviews the case in the context of Atwater v. City of Lago Vista and observes that Justice Alito “seemed more skeptical of the respondents (the jail) than I would have expected.” Steven D. Schwinn at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog contends that “[b]ecause of the inevitable line-drawing problems with any intermediate position, look for the Court to lean toward a categorical rule-either that reasonable suspicion is always required, or that it is never required [to conduct a strip search],” while Douglas Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy flags Florence as a potential “sentencing sleeper.” On a lighter note, writing at PrawfsBlawg, Debbie Borman discusses Justice Scalia’s use of the word “cooties” during arguments in Florence.
- Larry O’Dell of the Associated Press (via The Washington Examiner) reports that Justice Scalia will speak at a Richmond Bar luncheon today.
- Julia Zebley at JURIST covers Tuesday’s arguments in Pacific Operators Offshore, LLP v. Valladolid, Greene v. Fisher, and CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell served as co-counsel to the petitioner in Greene.]
- Writing for the Guardian, Dahlia Lithwick argues that the Court should allow cameras to record oral arguments.
- Tom Harvey of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah’s Myriad Genetics will file a petition for certiorari seeking review of a lower court ruling that the company “cannot hold patents on human genes related to breast and ovarian cancers.”
- Michael McNutt of The Oklahoman reports on the effect that the pending challenges to the Affordable Care Act at the Court could have on that state’s own challenge.
- Nick Defiesta of the Yale Daily News reports on calls for New Haven Mayor John DeStefano to personally pay the settlement reached after the 2009 case Ricci v. DeStefano.
- Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal reports on comments made by Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who recently indicated that he would “instruct the national security officials in a Gingrich administration to ignore the Supreme Court on issues of national security.”
- Also in the ABA Journal, Weiss reviews Tuesday’s grant of certiorari in Freeman v. Quicken Loans. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell represents the petitioners in Freeman.]
- Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun lauds Justice Breyer’s recent media appearances and book Making Our Democracy Work, and he characterizes Breyer’s public engagements a “campaign to restore confidence in the court by explaining how it works.”