This weekend’s clippings include coverage of two of the cases set for oral arguments this week – including the challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Acts – as well as continued coverage of new developments in the same-sex marriage cases.

On Wednesday, the Court is set to hear oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act; previews of the case come from The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes, Joan Biskupic of Reuters, Michael Doyle of McClatchy NewspapersMSNBC’s Zachary Roth, CNN’s Bill Mears, and Jeff Glor and Phil Hirschkorn of CBS News. Darlene Superville of the Associated Press reports that, in a radio interview that aired on Friday, President Obama urged the Court to uphold the provision, arguing that if the Court strikes down this part of the law, it will become harder to help people who believe their rights at the polls have been violated. At NPR, Nina Totenberg and Angela Chang look at the eleven states’ amicus briefs filed in the case, noting “that some of the states now arguing against the law were not troubled by its provisions just four years ago, the last time it was before the court.”  At The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen examines the battle over Section 5 at length, while USA Today’s Richard Wolf notes that Section 5 has, “in a twist of irony,” reduced the political clout of minority voters by fostering ”so-called majority-minority election districts dominated by blacks or Hispanics,” which in turn “has required the simultaneous creation of more heavily white, Republican districts in surrounding areas.” Mark Sherman of the Associated Press reports that the law’s supporters are defending it on the ground that the law contains a “bailout provision,” which gives state, county and local governments the opportunity to show that they should no longer be subject to the requirements of Section 5. 

On Tuesday, the Justices are scheduled to hear arguments in Maryland v. King, a challenge to the constitutionality of a Maryland law requiring anyone arrested for a serious crime to provide a DNA sample. Lyle Denniston previews the case for this blogUSA Today’s Richard Wolf and the Baltimore Sun’s Yvonne Wenger also have coverage. At this blog, Amy Howe explains the legal issues to readers in plain English.

Finally, the media continued its coverage of the Term’s two same-sex marriage cases, the challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8. As Lyle reported for this blog on Friday, the Obama administration’s brief in the DOMA challenge – United States v. Windsorcontains a “sweeping defense of marriage rights for same-sex couples,” and argues that “the denial by states of those rights over the last decade is proof that discrimination against gays and lesbians still continues.” NPR’s Shula Neuman, Politico’s Josh Gerstein, The Christian Science Monitor’s Brad Knickerbocker, Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News, and Slate’s Daniel Politi also have coverage.


  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Eric Segall argues that life tenure is not necessary for the Justices to be independent of the elected branches.
  • This blog’s Ronald Mann reports on the opinion in Gunn v. Minton, issued by the Court last week, which held that federal courts do not have exclusive jurisdiction over state law claims alleging legal malpractice in patent cases.
  • At The New Yorker, Alexandra Horowitz discusses the reliability of dog sniffs in the context of last week’s unanimous decision in Florida v. Harris, and suggests that “in a dog-handler detection team, it’s the person who may, inadvertently, be the weak link.”
  • Michael Kirkland of UPI looks at Millbrook v. United States, in which the Justices heard arguments last week. At issue in the case is whether the Federal Torts Claims Act waives sovereign immunity for intentional torts committed by prison guards when they are acting within the scope of their employment but are not exercising authority to “execute searches, to seize evidence, or to make arrests for violations of Federal law.”
  • For this blog, Steve Vladeck previews Monday’s arguments in Trevino v. Thaler, while David Garcia and Leo Caseria look ahead to Wednesday’s arguments in American Express Company v. Italian Colors Restaurant.


Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 25, 2013, 8:43 AM),