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Oral arguments in Rehberg v. Paulk and M.B.Z. v. Clinton

November 5th, 2011
The Supreme Court heard arguments last week in Rehberg v. Paulk to decide “whether a government official who acts as a ‘complaining witness’ by presenting perjured testimony against an innocent citizen is entitled to absolute immunity from a Section 1983 claim for civil damages.” Timothy Coates at SCOTUSBlog.com provides a great recap of the arguments and concludes that, despite what Rehberg argued, the “case may turn less on the niceties of the common law than the realities of common practice in the criminal courts.”
This Monday, the Court will hear arguments in M.B.Z. v. Clinton to resolve the issues of: 1) whether the political question doctrine deprives federal courts of jurisdiction to hear a case involving whether the Secretary of State must list “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth for Americans born in Jerusalem; and 2) if not, whether a statute directing the same infringes upon the President’s foreign policy prerogatives. Allie Myers and Charlie Kruly of the Harlan Institute will be attending oral arguments on Monday morning and will relay their impressions later that day. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Harlan Institute’s Fantasy Cast for MBZ; also check out Professor Ed Harris’s argument preview at Oyez.com for a concise analysis of the issues and the potential ramifications of MBZ.