Today in the News, 2.10.09

  • “Several hundred cases filed by patients who claim they were injured by the Sprint Fidelis lead were consolidated in U.S. District Court in St. Paul. Last month, a federal judge dismissed them as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision.” Earlier this week the Minneapolis Star-Tribune highlighted impacts of last year’s disappointing Supreme Court ruling in Reigel v. Medtronic, which upheld federal preemption of certain state law in the regulation of medical devices. With a decision in Wyeth v. Levine expected any day now, stories like this really bring home the lasting human consequences of the Supreme Court’s rulings concerning consumer protections.
  • “In judicial races, voters are supposed to be electing Supreme Court justices who will be impartial. But how can justices be impartial after receiving all of that money — a big chunk of it from individuals and groups who will have a stake in the outcome of future court decisions.” A Wisconsin State Journal editorialist expresses frustration at that state’s system of electing state supreme court justices, amid a heated election for chief justice. The question of whether an elected state supreme court judge’s refusal to recuse himself from an appeal involving a major campaign contributor violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment will be addressed by the Supreme Court next month in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Company, a case in which CAC has filed an amicus brief.
  • “Should CJ Roberts Recuse in Landmark Wyeth Case?” Speaking of Wyeth (and judicial recusal), legal blogs are atwitter with speculation over whether Chief Justice John Roberts, who owns stock in Pfizer, Inc., will recuse himself from the decision, following Pfizer’s recent announcement that it is purchasing Wyeth. Tony Mauro at BLT has the scoop.