Justice Breyer yesterday issued a temporary stay of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which had rejected a challenge to subpoenas issued by the British government for materials from an oral history project at Boston College on the Irish Republican Army.   Lyle has the details for this blog, while the Associated Press and Travis Anderson of the Boston Globe also have coverage.

Other coverage of the Court continues to focus on last week’s argument in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the challenge to the use of race-based affirmative action in public universities.  In a post for the Opinionator blog of The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse explains why her “primary reaction was one of embarrassment — for the court and also for Texas.”  In his Verdict column for Justia, Michel Dorf discusses the “critical mass” issue from the oral argument, and in a follow-up post at Dorf on Law discusses the issue of narrow tailoring.  And in a column for the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, Jennifer Gratz — the petitioner in Gratz v. Bollinger, in which the Court struck down the University of Michigan’s affirmative action program for undergraduate admissions – also weighs in on the Fisher case. 

The D.C. Circuit’s recent decision throwing out the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the petitioner in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, continues to draw coverage.  At Lawfare, Jack Goldsmith has posted his thoughts on the decision, while Steve Vladeck has posted a response, and Peter Margulies also shares his thoughts.   Jonathan Hafetz has further commentary at Balkinization.

Coverage also continues of the Court’s denial of Ohio’s request for a stay of a Sixth Circuit decision precluding it from closing early voting opportunities to the general public, which Conor covered in yesterday’s round-up.  Curt Anderson of the Associated Press reports on successful challenges to tough new election laws in several different states, including Ohio, while Ari Berman of The Nation reports that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted responded to the ruling by limiting early voting hours on the weekend preceding the election.


  • Chief Justice Roberts spoke yesterday at Rice University’s centennial celebrations, telling the audience that the Court does not resolve cases “in terms of a particular liberal or conservative agenda.”  Juan A. Lozano has coverage for the Associated Press.
  • Jonathan Oosting of Michigan Live reports that the Michigan Court of Appeals is considering a resentencing appeal from a prisoner who was sentenced to a mandatory term of life without parole for a crime he committed as a juvenile, which the Court ruled unconstitutional in Miller v. Alabama.
  • Jeffrey A. Meyer has an op-ed in The New York Times discussing the privacy issues raised by  Florida v. Harris and Florida v. Jardines, two cases involving the use of drug-sniffing dogs that are scheduled for oral argument at the end of this month.
  • Megan Boehnke of the Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Justice Kagan is scheduled to give a lecture at the University of Tennessee on Friday.  (Thanks to Howard Bashman for the link.)
  • Chris Johnson of The Washington Blade reports that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group has spent almost all of the $1.5 million it allocated for defending the Defense of Marriage Act.  Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate blog has further coverage.
  • In his Sidebar column for The New York Times, Adam Liptak profiles Kim Millbrook, the petitioner in Millbrook v. United States, in which the Court will consider the scope of the waiver of sovereign immunity in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b) and 2680(h) for the intentional torts of prison guards.
  • Susie Cagle of Grist reports on Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, in which Texas water authorities have asked the Court to weigh in on whether Congress clearly approved an interstate water compact that burdens interstate commerce in water, and the preemptive effect of that compact on state water laws.  The Court asked the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States earlier this year.
  • E. Sebastian Arduengo of ACSblog discusses state laws that might trigger challenges to Roe v. Wade.
  • At the NYRblog of the New York Review of Books, Cass Sunstein argues that regulatory, rather than constitutional, matters are most at stake in the courts in the upcoming election. (Thanks to Ruthann Robson of Constitutional Law Prof Blog for the link.)
  • Justin Elliott of ProPublica interviews Richard Briffault of Columbia Law School about the campaign finance decisions that led to the rise of super PACs.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Cormac Early, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 18, 2012, 9:23 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/10/thursday-round-up-150/