Belfast Project: Supreme Court Developments

For those of you who have wondered where things stand with the Belfast Project case, here is a quick update. On March 15, Ed Moloney & Anthony McIntyre filed a motion asking the Supreme Court to defer consideration of their petition for a writ of certiorari pending the outcome of Boston College’s appeal in the First Circuit.1 But on March 20, without any formal action on the motion appearing on the docket, the petition was distributed to the justices for consideration at their conference on April 12, 2013. This means that we most likely can expect an order from the Court either granting or denying the petition on the morning of April 15. However, the justices sometimes relist or hold a case, so we won’t necessarily have an order on April 15.

It may be that the First Circuit is holding its decision in Boston College’s related appeal pending the Supreme Court’s action. So if the Supreme Court denies the petition, it may be that we will see a decision from the First Circuit on the other case shortly thereafter.

I invite informed and uninformed speculation on the likely outcome!

  1. This is a permissible motion, but as I suggest below, it seems more likely to me that the First Circuit is holding its decision pending the outcome in the Supreme Court.

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