As widely expected, the U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it would review /ABC v. Aereo/, one of a number of cases involving Aereo's remotely-operated-broadcast-tuner service and similar offerings from other companies which have been covered in this newsgroup previously. Oral argument should be scheduled for this spring.
Justice Alito is recused from the case. If, after oral argument, the eight remaining justices divide 4-4, the result will be to uphold the decision below, which Aereo won, but without setting a binding precedent for the other circuits. However, given that there are other petitions pending that present the same issue, the justices apparently expect that they will be able to resolve this issue precedentially -- otherwise they would have agreed to review a different case in which Justice Alito was not recused. Usually such recusals are the result of a justice either having a personal connection with the case (e.g., when the court reviews a case decided by Justice Breyer's brother, Justice Breyer recuses himself), or when a justice has a financial interest (such as stock ownership) in one of the parties; the justices, however, rarely give reasons for their recusals.