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Sketches of DOMA Oral Arguments

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The above sketch shows members of the Supreme Court bar waiting on the ground floor before being led up to the “great hall” were they will stand in line before being seated to hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Windsor, the second of two same-sex marriage cases heard by the Court this week.

Once again I’m just too beat after a long day to comment, so I’ll just post the sketches.
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Allison Trzop has the SCOTUSblog round-up here.

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Sketches of Proposition 8 Oral Arguments

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The Supreme Court today heard arguments in the first of two same-sex marriage cases. I’m just going to post my sketches without comment as I’m totaly beat. But glad to have been there.

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The case is Hollingsworth v. Perry

Tom Goldstein’s take on the arguments is here.

 

 

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STUDENTS, IMPORT AND SELL TEXTBOOKS FOR FUN & PROFIT !!

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Supap Kirtsaeng, a native of Thailand attending college in the U.S., found a clever way to help pay his way. He had his family in Thailand buy and ship to him textbooks which he then resold at a profit netting him around $100,000.

Normally if you purchase a book, or music CD or even a computer you have the right to resell it. But the publisher in this case took the student to court arguing that because the books were printed and sold abroad the “first-sale doctrine” did not apply.

Today, in an opinion by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court came down 6-3 on the side of the student.

You can read about it on SCOTUSblog, here.

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Arizona Voter ID Law v. Federal “Motor Voter”

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Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, right, watched as Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne defended Proposition 200, a state law that requires additional proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. O’Connor was on a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel that rejected the law.

The case is Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Cuoncil of Arizona

Lyle Denniston writes about it here.

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From the Dustbin: SCOTUS Anthrax Scare

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When anthrax started showing up in the mail shortly after 9/11 it was detected in the Supreme Court as well. The Court kept to its schedule by moving a few blocks away to convene in the D.C. Circuit’s ceremonial courtroom.

I’d been looking for this sketch for several years thinking it had been lost, but in fact had matted and framed it for exhibit and never returned it to the files. I found last week while moving stuff to storage. It shows Solicitor General Ted Olson arguing in Adarand Constructors v. Mineta. Seated in the foreground are NYT’s Linda Greenhouse, left, and NPR’s Nina Totenberg.

CNN story on the Court’s move is here.

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The End of the Civil Rights Era?

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Notables of the civil rights movement sat in the audience as the Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments in a major challenge to the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder6a00d8341cd0df53ef017d415a1141970c-800wi
From 1965 when President Johnson signed it into law to the election of the first African-American president, the Voting Rights Act has been the most important and successful civil rights law ever passed. So successful that a slim majority of the Court seem to think that its most important part, Section 5, is so outdated it’s no longer constitutional.
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Justice Scalia,below, to Solicitor General Verrilli on why the were no votes against the 2006 reauthorization in the Senate, “I think that’s attributable to a phenomenon that has been called the perpetuation of racial entitlements.”
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Bob Barnes has WaPo story here.

 

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DNA “Fingerprinting”?

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Maryland and 27 other states have laws that permit the taking of a DNA sample, usually by cheek swab, at the time of arrest, much like fingerprinting a suspect. Maryland’s high court vacated the conviction of Alonzo King whose DNA, taken during an unrelated arrest in 2009, linked him to a 2003 rape. On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments in Maryland v. King.
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NYT’s Adam Liptak writes about it here.

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The View From the Frieze

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I drew this from a great little scale model of the courtroom on exhibit on the ground floor of  the Supreme Court building. For something like this you have to get a head start. I’ll finished up on argument day.

 

 

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Supreme Court Back From Winter Break

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Chief Justice Roberts stopped by the press room Tuesday morning to welcome back reporters. He said the Court would be announcing quite a few opinions, so be prepared to work through lunch.

Below are sketches of arguments the Court heard in Bowman v. Monsanto.
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Monsanto sells its brand of genetically engineered soybean seed to farmers with the stipulation that they will not replant the crop seed. Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman abided by Monsanto’s rules when he planted his first crop, but for a second late-season crop he decided to plant seed purchased from a grain elevator figuring much of it would seed grown from Monsanto’s Rounup resistant strain. He was right, but Monsanto sued.
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Bowman’s lawyer, Mark Walters, had a hard time convincing Justices that once Monsanto sold its seed the patent was exhausted. ”The Exhaustion Doctrine permits you to use the goods that you buy,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. “It never permits you to make another item from the item that you bought.”
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Monsanto’s lawyer Seth P. Waxman said the company “never would have produced what is, by now the most popular agricultural technology in America” if the patent had been so easily exhausted.

WaPo story here.

 

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LGBT Group Take Supreme Court Bar Oath

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A large group of lawyers from the National LGBT Bar Association were introduced by Paul Smith before being sworn in to the bar of the Supreme Court.

Openly gay lawyers practice before the Supreme Court, but yesterday marks the first time lawyers have been identified as LGBT Bar members at the ceremony. The times they are a changing.

 

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Posted in Supreme Court
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