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Opinion analysis: Justices sidestep decision on propriety of “cy pres” class-action settlements

This morning the justices issued a per curiam opinion vacating the decision of the lower court in Frank v. Gaos. They had granted review in that case to consider the propriety of so-called “cy pres” settlements – settlements of class actions that distribute all or a part of the monetary relief to public-interest or charitable recipients instead of the named plaintiffs. In this case, for example, the lower courts awarded $8.5 million in monetary relief in a suit brought by plaintiffs alleging tha...
Tags: Google, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Robins, Frank, 9th Circuit, U S Court of Appeals, Clarence Thomas, Spokeo Inc, Merits Cases, Spokeo, Spokeo Today


A “view” from the courtroom: Trials of Mississippi

Today will bring an intense hour of argument about race in jury selection in the case of a Mississippi man who has been tried six times by the same prosecutor, which will culminate in a series of short questions by Justice Clarence Thomas, his first during oral argument in three years. But first, there are a couple of lighter moments. Justice Thomas questions petitioner’s lawyer in Flowers v. Mississippi (Art Lien) Chief Justice John Roberts announces that Justice Stephen Breyer has the co...
Tags: Google, Featured, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Washington, Kentucky, Walmart, United States, New Jersey, Davis, Manhattan, Evans, Nielsen, Johnson, Flowers


Opinion analysis: Washington state motor-fuel tax violates Yakama Treaty

With a three-justice plurality opinion, a two-justice concurrence in the judgment and two dissents, Washington State Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den appears unusually fractured at first glance. But the disagreements among seven of the justices are relatively small, turning largely on whether and why Washington’s motor-fuel tax really burdens the Yakama treaty right to travel. Only the dissent by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, indicates a fundamental disagreemen...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Washington, United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, State, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas


Opinion analysis: Justices uphold broad interpretation of immigration detention provision

In Nielsen v. Preap, four justices joined Justice Samuel Alito yesterday to adopt an expansive interpretation of a mandatory-immigration-detention statute. In Demore v. Kim, in 2003, the Supreme Court interpreted 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) to require detention (without bond hearings) for the broad class of potentially removable immigrants identified in the statute. With their decision in Nielsen v. Preap, the Supreme Court further broadened this mandatory-detention provision to cover immigrants who, res...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Dhs, Kim, Nielsen, Department Of Homeland Security, Thomas, John Roberts, Roberts, Alito, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito


Relist Watch

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relists. Exciting times on the relist front! After a couple of light weeks, we had a flurry of action Monday. From last installment’s two new relists, the Supreme Court called for the views of the solicitor general in one case involving what accommodations employers must make for their employees’ religious exercise. The court denied cert in the other case, which involved claims of racial bias in jury deliberations, prompting Justice Sonia Sotomayor to issue an opinio...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Alabama, Nike, Indiana, Dhs, Chicago, United States, Social Security, Michael Jordan, Kansas, Jordan, Louisiana, Nielsen


Argument preview: Justices to tackle important agency-deference question

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post ran on January 28, 2019, as an introduction to this blog’s symposium on Kisor v. Wilkie, as well as at Howe on the Court, where it was originally published. Next week the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Kisor v. Wilkie, which arises from a dispute over benefits for a Marine who served in the Vietnam War. Although it may sound dry, the case could be one of the most consequential of the term, because the justices will decide whether to over...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Marines, Va, Chevron, Robbins, Thomas, Antonin Scalia, APA, John Roberts, Scalia, Howe, Clarence Thomas


Argument analysis: Justices grapple with meaning of final decision made after a hearing

In Monday’s oral argument in Smith v. Berryhill, the justices confronted a split among the courts of appeals as to whether an SSI disability claimant can obtain judicial review of the Social Security Appeals Council’s dismissal of his appeal as untimely under 42 U.S.C. sec. 405(g). Section 405(g) provides that “[a]ny individual, after any final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security made after a hearing to which he was a party, … may obtain review of such decision by a civil action.” ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Social Security, Commission, Smith, Social Security Administration, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Ginsburg, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Kimberly


Argument analysis: Sorting out a thorny statute-of-limitations question in False Claims Act case

The Supreme Court engaged in a relatively lively argument today over a thorny issue of statutory interpretation under the False Claims Act: how two separate statute-of-limitations provisions apply to whistleblower, or “qui tam,” actions when the federal government has not intervened in a suit brought by a private party, or relator. “These types of actions are exceptional in many ways,” Chief Justice John Roberts observed about the qui tam suits brought under the 1863 statute that was meant to ba...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Iraq, Afghanistan, United States, Fca, Graham, Hunt, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Alito, U S Court of Appeals, Samuel Alito


Opinion analysis: Justices affirm maritime liability for manufacturers of asbestos-dependent equipment

This morning’s 6-3 opinion in Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries affirms the decision of the lower court holding that the manufacturers of asbestos-dependent equipment used on Navy ships can be held liable to sailors who became ill because of their contact with the asbestos. Because the case involves liability for conduct at sea, the dispute arises under the “maritime law,” a type of federal common law for which the U.S. Supreme Court is the final authority. In the same way that the New Yor...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Navy, U S Supreme Court, U S Navy, Samuel Alito, Kavanaugh, New York Court of Appeals, Goldstein Russell, Merits Cases, Devries, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Air and Liquid Systems Corp, Justices Clarence Thomas


Argument preview: Justices to tackle partisan gerrymandering … again

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post ran on February 4, 2019, as an introduction to this blog’s symposium on Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek, as well as at Howe on the Court, where it was originally published. Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a census. The states then use the data from the census to draw new maps for their state legislatures and federal congressional districts. The maps often take politics into account – for example, to protect incumbents. Bu...
Tags: Featured, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Pennsylvania, United States, Wisconsin, Party, North Carolina, John Delaney, Charlotte, Raleigh, John Roberts, Roberts


Argument analysis: Justices divided in Virginia racial-gerrymandering case

The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in a challenge to the map drawn in 2011 for Virginia’s House of Delegates. A group of African-American voters allege that the state legislature engaged in racial gerrymandering – that is, it relied too much on race when it drew 11 of the state’s districts, which would violate the Constitution. But the state legislators defending the map argue that, although race was one of the factors that the legislature considered, it wasn’t the only one. After rough...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Virginia, House, Norfolk, Republican, Paul Clement, Democratic, Sonia Sotomayor, House of Delegates, Roberts, Howe, Alito, Virginia Supreme Court, Sotomayor


Justices grant four new cases (Corrected)

The Supreme Court issued orders from last week’s private conference. The justices added four new cases to their docket for next term and asked the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on two more cases. The justices also rejected an appeal from a Georgia death-row inmate who alleges that one member of the jury that convicted him was biased against the inmate because of his race. In Kansas v. Garcia, the justices will review a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court that reversed the convictions of Rami...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington, Virginia, Court, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, United States, Social Security, New Orleans, Kansas, Louisiana, Corrections


Justices grant four new cases

The Supreme Court issued orders from last week’s private conference. The justices added four new cases to their docket for next term and asked the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on two more cases. The justices also rejected an appeal from a Georgia death-row inmate who alleges that one member of the jury that convicted him was biased against the inmate because of his race. In Kansas v. Garcia, the justices will review a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court that reversed the convictions of Rami...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington, Virginia, Court, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, United States, Social Security, New Orleans, Kansas, Louisiana, Patterson


SCOTUS spotlight: Life at OSG

In this week’s episode of SCOTUStalk, Sarah Harrington, a partner at Goldstein & Russell who formerly served as an assistant to the solicitor general, joins Amy Howe of Howe on the Court to talk about life in the Office of the Solicitor General. The post SCOTUS spotlight: Life at OSG appeared first on SCOTUSblog.
Tags: Featured, Law, Howe, Amy Howe, Goldstein Russell, OSG, Sarah Harrington, SCOTUStalk


Argument preview: Justices consider availability of punitive damages in maritime unseaworthiness case

The few admiralty cases the Supreme Court hears often address common-law questions resembling those that normally arise on land and are generally within the province of state courts. These maritime adventures tend to involve a deep journey into relatively esoteric doctrinal areas, requiring the court to determine its proper judicial role as well as to make appropriate substantive choices. This term’s second admiralty excursion, The Dutra Group v. Batterton, presents another such occasion. On M...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Circuit, Dutra, Miles, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, 9th Circuit, Townsend, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy


Argument preview: The Hobbs Act as ordinary or extraordinary administrative law

Did you know you can sue if you receive an unsolicited ad by fax? Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, you can recover $500 per offending fax. If sent willfully or knowingly, make that $1,500. Next Monday, the Supreme Court will grapple with this statute when it hears argument in PDR Network v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic. In 2013, the publisher of the Physicians’ Desk Reference sent a fax to healthcare professionals to announce the launch of a digital version of the PDR. The...
Tags: Featured, Fcc, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Federal Communications Commission, Circuit, Chevron, Ortiz, APA, U S Chamber of Commerce, U S Court of Appeals, TCPA, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Yale Journal, 4th Circuit


Theranos and the cult of personality in science and tech

Elizabeth Holmes was a chemical engineering student who dropped out of Stanford to found Theranos: a silicon-valley start-up company that, at one point, was valued at US$9 billion. Her plan was to be another Steve Jobs and, for a while, it looked like that would happen. She made the cover of magazines like Forbes, Fortune, and even Glamour, wearing black polo-neck shirts and was touted as being the next big thing. Former President Clinton was a fan. Former Secretary-of-State George Schultz was a...
Tags: Apple, Books, Technology, Featured, Law, Steve Jobs, Stanford, Defense, US, Fraud, Engineering, Silicon Valley, Wall Street Journal, Biotechnology, Theranos, Clinton


The case for citizenship for US immigrants serving in the military

The United States has a long history of immigrant military service. Immigrants who serve in the armed forces during declared hostilities, including the period after 11 September 2001, are eligible for expedited naturalization. However, those who naturalized through military service since 24 November 2003 are vulnerable to potential revocation of their US citizenship. This presents unique and unacceptable risks for non-citizens who volunteer to serve in the United States military beyond the alrea...
Tags: Books, Politics, Featured, US, Military, United States, United States Military, Citizenship, Illegal Immigrants, US Army, Immigrant, Social Sciences, Michael J Sullivan, Earned Citizenship, Immigration Law Violations, Presidio of Monterey Public Domain


Manifesto from Australian Terrorist in New Zealand

There is massive faux outrage over the video and manifesto being shared online. Meanwhile, Hitler's Mein Kampf is being sold on Amazon.com, while videos of jets crashing into the twin towers are copiously available on YouTube. Videos of people jumping and falling from the burning buildings can be found in seconds on YouTube. CNN, Al Jazeera and many others are lying about the contents of the manifesto. This can readily be seen by simply reading the manifesto of this far leftwing terrorist, ...
Tags: Amazon, Featured, Military, New Zealand, Hitler, Trump, Michael's Dispatches, Michael Yon, CNN Al Jazeera


Justices add constitutional question to citizenship case

On April 23, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the challenge to the decision to reinstate a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. The justices had originally granted review to decide whether that decision violated federal laws governing administrative agencies, but today the justices announced that they will also consider whether the decision violates the Constitution. The justices’ order adding the constitutional issue to the case came four days after U.S. Solicitor General ...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, HARRIS, Howe, Merits Cases, Scott Harris, Noel Francisco, New York That


Case study on the Ginsburg conspiracy theories in action

#WheresRuth. Even as the answer – working from home while recovering from cancer surgery – was covered by journalists and confirmed by the Supreme Court itself, this hashtag and similar ones populated Twitter in January and February. False allegations about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s status ranged from standard political rumors (e.g., that she planned to announce her retirement soon) to massive conspiracy theories (e.g., that she was in a medically induced coma or that her death was being hid...
Tags: Post, Featured, Nbc, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Washington, Fox News, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Collins, ABA Journal, Woods, James Woods, Miller, Ruth, Ginsberg


Argument preview: Justices to weigh allegations of racial discrimination in jury selection

During jury selection, some potential jurors can be removed “for cause” – that is, when a judge believes that a juror cannot be impartial in deciding the case. The lawyers trying the case also have a certain number of “peremptory strikes,” which allow them to reject jurors without providing a reason. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Batson v. Kentucky that prosecutors cannot use their peremptory strikes to remove prospective jurors from the jury pool based only on the jurors’ race. Next week ...
Tags: Featured, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Kentucky, Evans, Flowers, Foster, U S Supreme Court, Howe, Mississippi Supreme Court, Chatman, Doug Evans, Merits Cases, Batson, Curtis Flowers


SCOTUS Map: February and March 2019

At a February 1 Hastings Law Journal symposium honoring retired Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 43 years as a federal judge, Kennedy bemoaned what he sees as the lack of “rational, enlightening dialogue” and the dissipation of the “social framework of decency.” Of the Supreme Court’s two newest justices (and former Kennedy clerks), Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy had only ringing endorsements: “[Gorsuch is] going to be a wonderful judge, just like Brett.” The San Francisco Chronic...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Brown, John Roberts, Board of Education, Brett, Roberts, San Francisco Chronicle, Ginsburg


Argument preview: Justices to determine relevant statute of limitations for whistleblower suits under the False Claims Act

Liza Starr, a student at Stanford Law School and a member of Stanford’s Supreme Court Clinic, co-authored this post. On March 19, the Supreme Court will hear argument in Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt. The justices will consider how two statutes of limitations under the False Claims Act apply to whistleblower (also known as “qui tam”) suits when the government has not intervened in the case. Enacted in 1863 amidst rampant fraud by Civil War contractors, the FCA has grown...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Iraq, Afghanistan, United States, Fca, Graham, Department Of Justice, Chamber of Commerce, Wilson, Hunt, Parsons, U S Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit


Argument preview: Virginia racial gerrymandering case returns to Supreme Court

The issue of gerrymandering will be front and center at the Supreme Court in March. On March 26, the justices will tackle two of the highest-profile cases of the term, involving partisan gerrymandering – the idea that state officials went too far in considering politics when redistricting, by drawing maps that favor one political party at another’s expense. But first, on March 18, the justices will once again tackle another thorny issue: accusations of racial gerrymandering, the idea that legisl...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Virginia, Doj, General Assembly, Vra, House of Delegates, The Supreme Court, Howe, Merits Cases, Virginia House of Delegates, Bethune Hill, Toby Heytens, Heytens, Supreme Court In 2017 the Supreme Court


Interim Stat Pack for October Term 2018

With six out of eight argument sessions for the 2018-2019 Supreme Court term behind us and 21 written opinions down (17 in argued cases and four summary reversals), here is the March 2019 SCOTUSblog Interim Stat Pack. This Stat Pack includes statistics related to this term’s arguments and opinions through March 4, 2019. The whole Stat Pack can be viewed  . The information in the Stat Pack covers various aspects of the court’s decisions. The analyses look at the court as a whole as well as at the...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Gorsuch, Thomas Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer Sonia Sotomayor, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas Samuel Alito, Kavanaugh Kavanaugh


Argument preview: Justices to decide whether dismissal as untimely of Supplemental Security Income claimant’s request for review is final decision subject to judicial review

After a hearing, an administrative law judge denied Ricky Lee Smith’s application for supplemental security income benefits based on disability. The ALJ’s decision was dated March 26, 2014, and under the agency regulations, Smith was required to request review of the ALJ’s decision by the Appeals Council within 60 days of receiving the decision. Smith’s counsel alleges that he timely requested review of the ALJ’s decision. The Social Security Administration, however, has no record of receiving...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Social Security, Smith, Social Security Administration, Medicaid, Sanders, APA, Sims, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Gupta, 7th Circuit, ALJ


Is Trump’s assault on international law working?

For centuries, international law has functioned as an instrument of nation-states working in concert, acting out of a sense of legal obligation. Since World War II, this combination of state practice driven by legal obligation—in the form of both treaties and customary international law—has served as a prime mechanism for shaping and addressing complex global responses to pressing planetary challenges.  In practice, international law has helped to construct a system—exemplified by the United Nat...
Tags: Books, Featured, Human Rights, Leadership, Law, China, Russia, Immigration, America, European Union, Austria, United States, George Orwell, Nato, United Nations, Venezuela


Reminder: SCOTUSblog is hiring

The blog and  Goldstein & Russell, P.C. , are looking for someone to serve as both the firm manager for Goldstein & Russell, P.C., and the deputy manager of SCOTUSblog. The principal responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to: Administrative work for the firm and in particular for Tom Goldstein, the firm’s managing partner; Scheduling travel, which may entail making frequent last-minute changes and arrangements, sometimes during off hours; Assisting with case coverage; C...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, U S Supreme Court, Tom Goldstein, Goldstein Russell, Bethesda Maryland, Everything Else, Goldstein Russell P C


Tom Goldstein unpacks stay in Louisiana abortion case

In this week’s episode of SCOTUStalk, Tom Goldstein joins Amy Howe of Howe on the Court to unpack the Supreme Court’s recent order in June Medical Services v. Gee, in which a divided court blocked a Louisiana law that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from going into effect pending appeal. The post Tom Goldstein unpacks stay in Louisiana abortion case appeared first on SCOTUSblog.
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Louisiana, Howe, Amy Howe, Tom Goldstein, Medical Services, SCOTUStalk



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