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Friday round-up

Two Supreme Court justices made public appearances on Thursday — if only virtually — and a third received a lifetime achievement award as the legal academy celebrated Constitution Day. The National Constitution Center awarded its 32nd annual Liberty Medal to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and, in lieu of an in-person ceremony, the center invited Ginsburg’s favorite opera singers and friends to pay tribute to her lifelong work in the law. Justices Stephen Breyer and Neil Gorsuch, meanwhile, particip...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Round-up, Mark Sherman, Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Mark Walsh, JESSICA GRESKO, Gorsuch, Neil Gorsuch, Katie Barlow, Kal Golde

Breyer’s Constitution Day message: Participate

Justice Stephen Breyer kicked off Constitution Day on Thursday morning by urging law students to fulfill the Constitution’s promise through civic participation. Breyer sat down with George Washington University Law School students via Facebook Live in a discussion moderated by GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew and Associate Dean Alan Morrison. Just one day after the Supreme Court announced it would hold October oral arguments remotely, Breyer said that a “plus” of the new system is that it encoura...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Facebook Live, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Alan Morrison, What's Happening Now, George Washington University Law School, Dayna Bowen Matthew

SCOTUS spotlight: Deanne Maynard on ‘split-second decisions’ as an oral advocate

Deanne Maynard, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice, has argued 14 cases before the Supreme Court since her first oral argument in 2004. On this week’s episode of SCOTUStalk, Amy Howe interviews Maynard on how she prepares to argue before the justice, how she pivots away from hostile questions, and why hypotheticals can be the toughest questions of all. Howe also takes Maynard back to her first oral argument — accompanied by live audio — and what went through h...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, US, App, United States, Ohio, Watson, North Carolina, Smith, Amy, Antonin Scalia, Amgen, Scalia, Stevens

SCOTUS spotlight: Tom Goldstein on ‘hitting singles’ as an oral advocate

Tom Goldstein, the publisher of SCOTUSblog and partner at Goldstein & Russell, P.C., has argued more than 40 cases before the Supreme Court since his first oral argument in 1999. On this week’s episode of SCOTUStalk, Amy Howe interviews Goldstein on what it’s like to advocate before the nine and how that experience has changed over the past 20 years. Goldstein offers a few tips for success along with audio-accompanied stories about taking heavy fire from a hot bench, joking with Chief Justice Wi...
Tags: Google, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Georgia, Nike, Smith, Ada, Kennedy, Paul Clement, Tom, John Roberts, Scalia, Georgetown, Stevens

Court allows border-wall construction to continue

The Supreme Court on Friday turned down a plea from opponents of President Donald Trump’s border wall to order a temporary stop to construction. By a vote of 5-4, the justices declined to lift a stay, entered just over a year ago, that allowed the federal government to continue to spend federal funds on construction while a legal challenge to the wall continues. The challengers had urged the Supreme Court to intervene last week, telling the justices that if the stay were not lifted, the Trump ad...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Mexico, Pentagon, Donald Trump, Wall, Sierra Club, Trump, Sonia Sotomayor, American Civil Liberties Union, 9th Circuit, Howe, Stephen Breyer

Sovereign Immunity for the Involuntary State Plaintiff; But Infringement Lawsuit Continues Without the Patent Owner

by Dennis Crouch This decision offers some interesting analysis of Federal Courts questions. We have three opinions; a “splintered majority;” and a loss of dignity for the state of Texas. The basic issue here is core to many biotech patents because they are owned by public universities and then licensed out to private entities.  The holding: (1) an exclusive licensee cannot force the university be joined as a plaintiff in the case (State Sovereign Immunity); (2) But, a lawsuit brought by the exc...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, US, United States, Philippines, Baylor, Patent, Fed, Federal Court, State, U S Supreme Court, Newman, UT, O'Malley, Baylor College of Medicine

Invisible majorities: Counting to nine votes in per curiam cases

Josh Blackman is a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston and the co-author of “An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know.” When the Supreme Court issues a signed opinion, each of the nine justices will indicate their position: affirm, reverse or recuse. But not all opinions are signed. The court sometimes issues unsigned per curiam decisions – so named after the Latin phrase meaning “by the court.” In such cases, the just...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Colorado, California, Washington, Sharp, Oklahoma, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Josh Blackman, Creek Nation

"When the FBI arrests a mafia don on RICO charges, when DEA arrests a drug kingpin on narcotics charges, when ATF arrests an unlicensed gun dealer for illegally shipping firearms..."

"... they do not need a green light from the state. And consider for a moment the concept of a 'sanctuary city.' That is a municipality that obstructs the federal government’s enforcement of the immigration laws. The concept would make no sense if the feds needed the state’s permission – the state would simply refrain from asking the immigration authorities to conduct arrests and deportations. Cities purport to become 'sanctuaries' only because the local authorities realize that the federal gove...
Tags: Crime, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Immigration, Court, Fbi, United States, Portland, Rand Paul, DEA, Department Of Homeland Security, Trump, Andrew Mccarthy, PAUL, Scalia

John Roberts: Mr. First Amendment

Ronald Collins is the books editor for SCOTUSblog. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the First Amendment Salons and was formerly the Harold S. Shefelman scholar at the University of Washington School of Law. David Hudson, Jr. is an assistant professor of law at Belmont University. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of numerous books, and he has published widely on First Amendment issues. “I would never underestimate his ability to influence people.” – Joan Biskupic, discussing her book ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Massachusetts, Court, United States, Citizens United, Quinn, Price, Madison, Kennedy, Trump, Marshall, Thomas, Reed

Justices allow second federal execution to proceed (updated)

Two days after a flurry of late-night filings culminated in an early-morning order by the Supreme Court that allowed the federal government to proceed with the first federal execution in 17 years, the justices cleared the way early Thursday morning for a second execution. In a series of unsigned orders, the court permitted the government to carry out the death sentence of Wesley Ira Purkey, who was convicted of the 1998 rape and stabbing death of 16-year-old Jennifer Long. The justices split 5-4...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Indiana, United States, Catholic, District Of Columbia, Nelson, Buddhist, Lee, HARRIS, D C Circuit, Howe, Ginsburg

Federal execution déjà vu: after SCOTUS votes 5-4 to vacate injunction, feds complete another morning lethal injection

As reported here earlier this week, the federal government completed the execution of Daniel Lewis Lee, which had been scheduled for Monday, around 8am on Tuesday morning after a divided  Supreme Court around 2am vacated lower court ruling that were blocking the execution.  It was déjà vu all over again today:  sometime not long after 2am this morning, the US Supreme Court issued this order vacating the injunction, with four Justices in dissent and Justices Breyer and Sotomayor writing up the ba...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Ap, United States, Ford, Iowa, Kansas, US supreme court, Sonia Sotomayor, Sotomayor, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Jennifer Long, Douglas A Berman, Honken, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer

Wednesday round-up

Two big stories generated substantial news coverage of the Supreme Court on Tuesday: the hospitalization of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the court’s 5-4 ruling allowing the federal government to begin reinstating the death penalty after a 17-year de facto moratorium on federal executions. In a story for SCOTUSblog that was first published at Howe on the Court, Amy Howe reports that Ginsburg was admitted Tuesday morning to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with a possible infection afte...
Tags: Texas, Nbc, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Washington, Cnn, Pennsylvania, New York Times, Dallas, Department Of Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Baltimore, Wall Street Journal, Round-up, Fallon

In overnight orders, justices allow federal execution to proceed

In the early hours this morning, after a flurry of last-minute filings, a divided Supreme Court cleared the way for federal executions to resume for the first time in nearly 20 years. According to news reports, the federal government then moved quickly to carry out an execution that had been scheduled for Monday afternoon, executing Daniel Lewis Lee at a federal prison in Indiana shortly after 8 a.m. EDT this morning. The battle over the federal government’s efforts to resume executions has been...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Indiana, Department Of Justice, William, Nancy, Sonia Sotomayor, Lee, D C Circuit, Howe, Ginsburg, Peterson, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor

"The Supreme Court cleared the way for the Justice Department to carry out the first federal execution in more than 17 years..."

"[A] federal judge had delayed the execution hours earlier, saying on Monday that questions about the constitutionality of the lethal injection procedure the government planned to use had not been fully litigated.... The Supreme Court delivered an unsigned 5-to-4 ruling, with Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting. They were joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, the other members of the court’s four-member liberal wing.... [Daniel Lewis] Lee, 47, a former white ...
Tags: Murder, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Death Penalty, Justice Department, Trump, Sonia Sotomayor, Ginsburg, District Court, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Kagan, Mr Lee

SCOTUS, by 5-4 vote, vacates new injunction that had been blocking scheduled federal executions ... UPDATE: execution of Daniel Lewis Lee now completed

As noted in this post yesterday, a DC District Court in the morning had entered an order blocking yesterday scheduled federal execution as well as the others planned for this week. That ruling stayed in place through a DC Circuit appeal. But at around 2am this morning, the US Supreme Court decided in this per curiam opinion to "vacate the District Court’s preliminary injunction so that the plaintiffs’ executions may proceed as planned." This AP article provides context and more details: The Tru...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Washington, Barack Obama, Indiana, Ap, United States, Arkansas, Fox News, Associated Press, Oklahoma, Justice Department, Nancy, US supreme court, Trump

Final Stat Pack for October Term 2019

A Supreme Court term unlike any other has finally come to an end. In March, some observers thought the term would end early after the court shut its doors and postponed oral arguments — the first time since the 1919 Spanish Flu outbreak that the court closed due to a pandemic. Instead, the term lasted longer than usual, extending well into July for the first time in decades. And in May, the court heard remote arguments over the telephone with a public live audio feed for the first time ever. Tho...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Pennsylvania, United States, Williams, Johnson, Donald Trump, Morrissey, Kennedy, Trump, Thomas, Peter, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Vance

"The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday teachers at religious schools are foreclosed from bringing workplace discrimination cases against their employers."

"The 7-2 ruling said the lawsuits could not move forward due to the “ministerial exception” and court precedent, which has held the First Amendment protects religious institutions from some workplace discrimination complaints."The Washington Times reports.AND: A second case announced this morning — "In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the justices upheld a federal rule exempting employers with religious or moral objections from providing contraceptive coverage to their employees under...
Tags: Supreme Court, Education, Law, Court, Pennsylvania, Birth Control, Poor, Nuns, Thomas, Ginsburg, The Washington Times, Sotomayor, Breyer, Kagan, Clarence Thomas, RFRA

Empirical SCOTUS: Precedent: Which justices practice what they preach

Although Supreme Court justices are by no means bound by their past decisions, they often respect them, for a variety of reasons. Justice Elena Kagan offered her reasons for remaining faithful to precedent in her dissent from last term’s decision in Knick v. Township of Scott, which overturned the court’s precedent on the issue of eminent domain in the state law context in Williamson County Regional Planning Comm’n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City: “[I]t promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Court, United States, Louisiana, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Wade, John Roberts, Lawrence, Scalia, Roberts, Gamble

Opinion analysis: Fractured court rules in favor of political consultants in First Amendment challenge to federal robocall law but keeps robocall ban in place

On Monday, in a fractured set of opinions, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an association of political consultants challenging the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. That statute bans robocalls to cellphones. In 2015 Congress added an exception to permit robocalls collecting government-backed debts. In Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, the court decided that the 2015 exception violates the First Amendment’s speech clause. The consultants won the constitutional ar...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Town, Thomas, Reed, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, TCPA

Symposium: What’s “the use” of the Constitution’s distinctive treatment of religion if it is disregarded as discrimination?

Holly Hollman is general counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, which submitted an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.  The Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza  v. Montana Department of Revenue purports to be “unremarkable,” particularly in light of Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, decided just three years ago. But the multiple opinions – four for the majority and three dissenting opinions – belie that assertion and demonst...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Washington, Missouri, Ohio, State, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Locke, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Davey

Opinion analysis: Court holds that “” marks may be registered trademarks or service marks when consumers do not perceive them as generic

When the digital travel company sought to register its domain name as a service mark for hotel reservation services, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office denied registration under a longstanding policy that the combination of a generic term for goods and services with the “.com” suffix did not create a protectable trademark. sought review of the PTO’s decision in federal district court, and introduced survey evidence supporting an inference that 74 percent of consumers re...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Ginsburg, PTO, U S Court of Appeals, U S Patent and Trademark Office, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, 4th Circuit, Merits Cases, U S Patent and Trademark

Opinion analysis: Court rules that religious schools cannot be excluded from state funding for private schools

In 2015, the Montana legislature created a scholarship program that provided a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to private scholarship organizations. Those organizations used the money to fund scholarships for children to attend private schools – which, in Montana, are primarily religious schools. In 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down the tax-credit program, holding that it violated the state constitution’s ban on aid for churches and religious schools. Today the U.S. Supreme ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Court, Catholic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Institute for Justice, Stillwater, Roberts, Howe, Ginsburg

Symposium: RIP state “Blaine Amendments” – Espinoza and the “no-aid” principle

Steven Green is the Fred H. Paulus Professor of Law and director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University College of Law. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of religious groups in support of the respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. There is so much contained in the various opinions in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that a college instructor could use that one case to teach an entire course about American church-state law: di...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, California, Montana, Senate, Pennsylvania, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mitchell, Thomas, U S Supreme Court, The Supreme Court, Alito, William Rehnquist, Locke

Supreme Court Promotes Weaponization of Generic Domain Names–USPTO v.

The USPTO believed that “” domain names were almost always generic and therefore unregistrable. On that basis, it denied registration for The Supreme Court holds that domain names aren’t necessarily generic, which means they have the potential to become protectable trademarks and registrable. Justice Ginsburg’s majority opinion holds: “Whether any given ‘’ term is generic… depends on whether consumers in fact perceive that term as the name of a cla...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, E-commerce, Uspto, Domain Names, Trademark, Travelocity, Ginsburg, Breyer, Corp, U S Patent Trademark Office, Generic Corp, Generic Inc, Wine Corp

Patent Law and Booking.Com: as a whole or by parts

Patent scholars and attorneys will recognize the battle in between the majority (Justice Ginsburg) and dissent (Justice Breyer) looks much the same to the debate over patentable subject matter. As a whole or by parts? — Dennis Crouch (@patentlyo) June 30, 2020 The difference: In trademark law Justice Breyer dissented against the 8-1 majority supported strong IP rights and focused on the booking dot com mark "as a whole" In patent law the 9-0 court agreed with Br...
Tags: Law, Patent, Ginsburg, Breyer, Dennis Crouch

Symposium: June Medical and the many faces of judicial discretion

Jane Schacter is the William Nelson Cromwell professor of law at Stanford Law School. She signed an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. The headline from the 5-4 decision in June Medical Services v. Russo striking down Louisiana’s abortion restriction is unquestionably the vote of Chief Justice John Roberts. He determined the outcome. While he may have previewed his position a year ago when he voted to stay the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for t...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Law, Stanford, Louisiana, King, John Roberts, Roberts, Williamson, Lochner, Alito, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Stephen Breyer, Breyer

time to register your

United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) v. Booking.Com B.V. (Supreme Court 2020) [Full Decision PDF] In this trademark case, the USPTO asked the court to implement its “nearly per se” rule that a generic term remains generic even if coupled with a generic top level domain (such as “.com”).  The 4th Circuit sided with BOOKING.COM and the Supreme Court has now affirmed: “[W]e discern no support for the PTO’s current view in trademark law or policy.” Id. According to the majority, the ques...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Uspto, Patent, Travelocity, Ginsburg, PTO, Goodyear, Sotomayor, Breyer, United States Patent Trademark Office USPTO, Booking com, Goodyear Rubber Co, Booking Com B V Supreme Court, Goodyear 's India Rubber Glove Mfg Co

Symposium: The chief justice restores the Casey standard even while undermining women’s interests in Louisiana

Erika Bachiochi is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Senior Fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute. Follow her at @erikabachiochi. In comparison to the high court’s bombshell opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County earlier this month, June Medical Services v. Russo would seem relatively straightforward. The challenged admitting privileges requirement for Louisiana abortion providers is virtually the same as the law struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt just four year...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, Court, Louisiana, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, John Roberts, Richard Posner, Roberts, Alito, Clayton County, Casey

Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court released decisions in three cases, including one of the highest-profile cases of the term. In June Medical Services v. Russo, the court, by a vote of 5-4, struck down a Louisiana law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mariam Marshedi provides an analysis at Subscript Law. Ronn Blitzer and others report at Fox News t...
Tags: Health, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington Post, Mexico, Court, US, Bloomberg, Cnn, New York Times, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Wall Street Journal

Symposium: June Medical decision is no cause for congressional complacency

Richard Blumenthal is the senior United States senator from Connecticut. He joined an amicus brief on behalf of 197 members of Congress in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. He is the Senate lead sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. Today’s Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services v. Russo is a landmark legal victory against radical politicians relentlessly attacking reproductive rights cross the country. Roe v. Wade is safe—for now. This ruling is an i...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, United States, Connecticut, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Richard Blumenthal, John Roberts, Baton Rouge, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Breyer

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