Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2012?

Co-sponsored by the Practice Groups, the Washington DC Lawyers Chapter, and the Faculty Division

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Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2012?October 1st marks the first day of the 2012 Supreme Court Term. Thus far the Court's docket includes major cases about affirmative action, international law and the alien tort statute, national security, criminal law, and others. Notable cases include Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, concerning a public university's use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions and the Equal Protection Clause; Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, about the application of the Alien Tort Statute to human rights abuses abroad, and whether the statute covers corporations; Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, regarding the right to challenge the constitutionality of a global terrorism wiretapping program; Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, concerning the proof that investors need to pursue a securities fraud claim by class-action lawsuit; and Florida v. Harris and Florida v. Jardines, about police use of a drug-sniffing dog to search the exterior of a private residence under the Fourth Amendment, and whether a dog’s “alert” constitutes probable cause for search of a private vehicle. The Court is also likely to add other significant cases, including potentially a case filed by proponents of California’s “Proposition 8” challenge, which now has a certiorari petition pending. In addition to these cases and others, the panelists discussed the current composition and the future of the Court, a particularly timely topic in light of the upcoming presidential election.


  • Mr. Tom Goldstein, Founding Partner, Goldstein & Russell P.C.
  • Prof. Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Ms. Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director, Judicial Crisis Network
  • Mr. Stuart Taylor, Contributing Editor, National Journal
  • Hon. Kenneth L. Wainstein, Partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
  • Moderator: Mr. Pete Williams, NBC News Justice Correspondent
  • Introduction: Hon. Douglas R. Cox, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP