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Monday, November 3, 2008

Big Week for the Supreme Court

This is certainly a big week for the country, not just because of the historic nature of tomorrow’s vote (we would of course like to encourage everyone to get out to the polls!) but also because the Supreme Court will hear two of the year’s most anticipated cases: Wyeth v. Levine and FCC v. Fox.

In Wyeth, the Court will consider whether Diana Levine, who had her arm amputated after receiving an injection of the anti-nausea medication Phenergan, was allowed to bring a suit against Wyeth in state court or whether state lawsuits are preempted by the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Phenergan’s warning label. The case could have widespread implications for anyone harmed by prescription drugs. Keep an eye out for an entry we will be posting later today discussing what our staff saw during today’s arguments.

In FCC v. Fox, scheduled for tomorrow, the Court will consider whether the FCC can fine television stations for the airing of even a single expletive. During live airings of award shows, three different celebrities used three different expletives which mere missed by Fox’s censors. The FCC fined the stations, but Fox appealed the decision, claiming that the commission is arbitrary in its issuance of fines and that it cannot be held responsible for single-uses of offensive words.

To learn more about what to expect this term, you can read our 2008-2009 Supreme Court preview here. And we will be sure to keep you posted on any developments in these cases.

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