Can the Supreme Court Still Rule On Johnnie Cochran's Freedom-of-Speech Case?

Johnnie Cochran, the all-star attorney who defended high-profile clients such as O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and Snoop Dogg, died yesterday of a brain tumor. Just last Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Tory v. Cochran, a case in which the famous lawyer was the respondent. Will the court go ahead and make a ruling now that he's dead?

Maybe. For a criminal case, there would be no ambiguity�the death of a criminal defendant makes a case moot. But Tory v. Cochran is a civil case concerning freedom of speech, and the way in which it was decided by lower courts makes it quite peculiar.

Details here from Daniel Engber at Slate. (via How Appealing)

UPDATE: SCOTUSblog reports: "We're advised (by a student in Erwin Chemerinsky's class, who sent along a helpful note) that the Court has called for briefing on the mootness question, with a brief from Cochran's lawyers in seven days and Tory's lawyers three days after that."