The Court yesterday released its first opinion in an argued case this Term, deciding unanimously in United States v. Bormes that the Little Tucker Act does not waive the sovereign immunity of the United States for damages actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Lyle has further details for this blog, while Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press and Jonathan Stempel of Reuters also have reports on the decision.  

The Court also pushed back its consideration of several cert petitions involving same-sex marriage, including challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and to California’s Proposition 8, to its November 30 conference.  Lyle has coverage for this blog, while Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed and Howard Mintz of Mercury News also have coverage.

The Court also denied cert in Nix v. Holder, a challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  Lyle has coverage for this blog, and Rick Hasen comments on the decision over at the Election Law Blog.  The Court granted cert last week in a similar challenge, Shelby County v. Holder.  At the Concurring Opinions blog, Ronald Krotoszynski argues that on the Voting Rights Act, “Congress has “punted” important questions that will force federal courts to ask and answer questions that many federal judges would rather avoid,” while Rick Hasen re-posts a 2005 Washington Post op-ed at the Election Law Blog in which he argues that he “would not count on” Chief Justice Roberts to uphold the Act.  And at the National Law Journal, Tony Mauro notes that the Court slightly tweaked the question presented in Shelby County when it granted cert. (subscription required).

The Court also denied cert in Shaygan v. United States, a challenge to an Eleventh Circuit decision throwing out a $600,000 award against prosecutors for misconduct.  Terry Baynes of Reuters has coverage, as does the Associated Press.


  • Cass Sunstein has a column for Bloomberg View arguing that in light of changes in public opinion, the case for judicial caution in the same-sex marriage cases “becomes weaker every day.”
  • In his column for Thomson Reuters News and Insight, Reynolds Holdings argues that President Obama’s “best shot at a legal legacy doesn’t lie with the highest court in the land,” and that he should instead focus on lower-court appointments.
  • David Ovalle of the Miami Herald reports on Florida’s efforts to implement the Court’s holding in Miller v. Alabama banning mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders.  Douglas A. Berman comments on the piece over at the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog.
  • Michael Ramsay of the Originalism Blog argues that Noah Feldman’s recent Bloomberg View column on same-sex marriage and marijuana (covered in Kiran’s round-up yesterday) misstates the healthcare case’s reasoning in a way that suggests that “its commerce clause conclusion may be forgotten, or at least obscured.”
  • Stephen Wermiel has a new post in this blog’s “SCOTUS for law students” series, discussing the rise of the specialized Supreme Court bar.
  • At the Sentencing Law and Policy Blog, Douglas A. Berman comments on “an interesting exchange of opinions” on a stay of execution in yesterday’s order list that Tom highlighted in this blog’s live blog of opinions.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Cormac Early, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 14, 2012, 9:45 AM),