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Interim Stat Pack for October Term 2019

With the 2019-2020 Supreme Court term coming to a close, the discussion among court-watchers continues to focus on Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision-making. Much has been made of his siding with the more liberal justices in striking down a Louisiana abortion law in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo and upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (at least temporarily) in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. Roberts’ positions in these c...
Tags: Health, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Hawaii, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Department Of Homeland Security, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, King, Trump, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Ginsburg

Justices grant new cases, send Indiana abortion cases back for a new look

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference yesterday. The justices granted five new cases, for a total of four additional hours of argument. The biggest news from the order list was the announcement (which I covered in a separate post) that the court will weigh in on whether the Department of Justice must disclose secret materials from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to the House Judiciary Committee. The remaining new cases, which are likely...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Planned Parenthood, Kentucky, Germany, Nazis, Berlin, City, Indiana, Hungary, United States, Mali

Thursday round-up

Court-watchers are focusing on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, in which the court held on Tuesday that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state-funded scholarship program for private schools violates the First Amendment. At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, Ilya Somin finds it “unfortunate” that the decision was “a close 5-4 ruling, split along ideological lines with the five conservative justices in the majority, and the four liberals all dissenting,” because “[s]triking ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, California, Planned Parenthood, Washington Post, Montana, United States, ACS, Louisiana, Jackson, ACA, Economist, Round-up, Lech, National Review

Symposium: How to count to one

John Knepper is a private attorney based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He previously was chief deputy attorney general of Wyoming. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Susan B. Anthony List in support of the respondent in June Medical Services v. Russo. Marks v. United States instructs that when a majority of the justices cannot agree on more than the outcome, “the holding of the Court may be viewed as that position taken by those Members who concurred in the judgments on the narrowest grounds.” Mu...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, United States, Wyoming, Louisiana, Kafka, John Roberts, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Stephen Breyer, Ramos, Clarence Thomas

Wednesday round-up

Yesterday the court issued two opinions, whittling its remaining cases down to eight. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court held 5-4 that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state-funded scholarship program for private schools violates the First Amendment. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mariam Marshedi has an analysis at Subscript Law. At NPR, Nina Totenberg and Brian Naylor report that “[t]he court’s...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Bloomberg, New York Times, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Wall Street Journal, Trump, Round-up, National Review, John `` Roberts, The Supreme Court, Roberts

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

Symposium: June Medical Services v. Russo: When a “win” is not a win

Gretchen Borchelt is vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center. She filed an amicus brief on behalf of NWLC and 72 other organizations in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. In June Medical Services v. Russo, a plurality of the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would have thwarted abortion access to such a degree that it would have left “thousands of Louisiana women with no practical means of obtaining a safe, lega...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Donald Trump, John Roberts, Roberts, Casey, GONZALES, Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito, Carhart, Hellerstedt, Russo

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

Symposium: Chief Justice Roberts reins in the cavalry of abortion providers charging toward the elimination of abortion regulation

Cynthia Yee-Wallace is deputy attorney general of the state of Idaho. She filed an amicus brief on behalf of the state in support of the respondent in June Medical Services v. Russo, along with Brian Kane, who is the assistant chief deputy attorney general for the state of Idaho. Abortion providers won the most recent skirmish invalidating Louisiana’s admitting privileges law in June Medical Services v. Russo. But a close read of Chief Justice John Roberts’ concurring opinion will likely opera...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, Idaho, Alaska, Louisiana, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Casey, Hellerstedt, Russo, Brian Kane, Medical Services

Opinion analysis: With Roberts providing the fifth vote, court strikes down Louisiana abortion law (Updated)

Four years ago, by a vote of 5-3, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that (among other things) required doctors who perform abortions to have the right to admit patients at a nearby hospital. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy joined his four more liberal colleagues in holding that, although Texas has a genuine interest in protecting the health of pregnant women, there was no evidence that the law actually did anything to promote that interest – but it did make it more difficult for wo...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, New Orleans, Louisiana, Kennedy, Thomas, John Roberts, Roberts, Baton Rouge, District Court, Alito, U S Court of Appeals

Permanent Disbarment Proposed

An attorney's conviction for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and failure to cooperate in the resulting bar investigation should result in permanent disbarment according to a hearing committee recommendation in Louisiana,. The committee reports that a search warrant... [Author: Legal Profession Prof]
Tags: Law, Louisiana, Legal Profession Prof, Bar Discipline & Process

"The Substance of Montgomery Retroactivity: The Definition of States’ Supremacy Clause Obligation to Enforce Newly-Recognized Federal Rights in Their Post-conviction Proceedings and Why It Matters"

The title of this post is the title of this new article authored by Eric Freedman now available via SSRN. Here is its abstract: In Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016), the Supreme Court made a decision of far-reaching importance to the criminal justice system: the Supremacy Clause requires states adjudicating post-conviction attacks to give full retroactive effect to “substantive” new rules of federal constitutional law. The significance of this holding has so far been under-appreciat...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Montgomery, Teague, Douglas A Berman, Eric Freedman, SSRN Here

Do others sense that SCOTUS has become particularly (and problematically?) quiet on sentencing matters?

As the Supreme Court finishes up a unique Term in the coming weeks, there is no shortage of "big" cases still to be resolved on topics ranging from abortion to DACA to LGBT discrimination to Prez Trump's tax returns.  But, disappointingly, we are not awaiting any big cases (or even little cases) dealing with any interesting sentencing issues or even significant criminal justice issues. This reality is partially because two cases that might have been consequential, Mathena v. Malvo on Miller's ap...
Tags: Florida, Supreme Court, Law, Kentucky, Virginia, Court, US, Alabama, Indiana, New Jersey, Graham, Louisiana, Johnson, Miller, Scalia, Walker

Petitions of the week

This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that involve, among other things, whether the due process clause requires that a child receive an individualized hearing before being placed in criminal court to be tried as an adult, whether qualified immunity is an affirmative defense that state actors must assert or a shield that federal appellate courts may raise on their own initiative, and whether a district court’s discretion to vary from the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s se...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, United States, Louisiana, Farmer, Pearson, Board, 9th Circuit, Callahan, Gamble, Hamner, Estelle, University of New Mexico, U S Court of Appeals, Brennan, Kimbrough

"And Larry was saying that with a hurricane, you have a horrible hurricane in Florida or Texas, and it’s devastating. And then the hurricane goes away..."

"... and within two hours, everyone’s rebuilding and fixing and cleaning and cutting their grass. I’ve seen it in Texas. I’ve seen it everywhere. I’ve seen it everywhere. Texas had a massive one, Louisiana, hurricanes, Florida hurricanes. But what happens is right after the hurricane, boom, and this is what this is, this isn’t a terrible recession. I don’t even mention the D word. I don’t talk about the D word, I don’t want to talk about it, because every time somebody even mentions it, I don’t ...
Tags: Florida, Texas, Law, Louisiana, Cabinet, Trump, Don, Larry, Rose Garden, Larry Kudlow, Ann Althouse, Racial Politics, Trump rhetoric, Analogies, Trump and the press, Trump economics

Eight years after Miller and four after Montgomery, many juveniles still waiting for court consideration of their Eighth Amendment rights

The Marshall Project has this lengthy new piece focused on how many juveniles still have not received court consideration of the Eighth Amendment rights recognized a full eight years ago in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). The article's fill headline captures its essence: "'Juvenile Lifers' Were Meant to Get a Second Chance. COVID-19 Could Get Them First. The Supreme Court gave teens sentenced to life in prison a shot at freedom. Many are still waiting."  Here is how the piece gets starte...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Alabama, United States, Ohio, Michigan, Louisiana, Johnson, Montgomery, Miller, U S Supreme Court, Marshall Project, Douglas A Berman, Ashley Nellis, Adrian Michigan

Morning Docket: 05.28.20

* Three members of a $31.7 million fraudulent slip-and-fall ring have been sentenced to prison. Wonder if they got the idea from Slippin' Jimmy. [Insurance Journal] * Former presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has abandoned her short-lived defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton. [CNN] * A Louisiana attorney who was suspended from practice for chest bumping a prosecutor has been reinstated as a lawyer. Apparently the chest bump was not like the kind seen in football. [Advocate] * The Lo...
Tags: Better Call Saul, Hollywood, Matthew Mcconaughey, Law, NFL, Los Angeles, Chicago, Hillary Clinton, Louisiana, Crain, Los Angeles City, Orange County Register, Tulsi Gabbard, Morning Docket, Lincoln Lawyer, Lawyerly Lairs

Florida Supreme Court seemingly finds way avoid retroactive application of proper determination of who is exempt from execution under Atkins

As reported in this local article, headlined "Conservative Florida Supreme Court reverses itself again on death penalty legal issue," the top court in Florida authored this lengthy opinion which seems to permit the state to go forward with executing a person who would be exempt from execution under the Supreme Court's Atkins decision prohibiting the execution of the intellectually disabled. Here are the press details: Harry Franklin Phillips, a convict who shot a Miami parole officer to death i...
Tags: Florida, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Miami, Atkins, Stephen Harper, Louisiana, Hall, Montgomery, US supreme court, Phillips, Florida Supreme Court, Jorge Labarga, Douglas A Berman, Conservative Florida Supreme Court

More Firms Hit with Ransomware, As Attackers Demand One Firm Pay $42M

The spate of ransomware attacks against law firms continues, with at least two more firms hit this week and another firm, which I reported last week, now being asked to pay ransom of a sky-high $42 million or else have its celebrity clients’ privileged files released online. I’d reported here last week of the ransomware attack against a New York City law firm that represents superstar musicians such as Lady Gaga, Elton John and Madonna. Although I did not then name the firm, Grubman Shire Meisel...
Tags: Florida, Law, New York City, Uncategorized, Madonna, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Trump, Page Six, Lady Gaga Elton John, Allen Grubman, Grubman Shire Meiselas Sacks, Clark Partington

"As restrictions ease in Louisiana, a restaurant owner in Baton Rouge talks about how the pandemic has affected her business and why the decision to reopen isn’t an easy one."

The NYT "Daily" podcast has a fantastic interview today with a restaurant owner. Her story and her way of telling it are so compelling. The detail is personal, her reasons for needing to open and to stay closed are agonizingly balanced. Please do yourself a favor and listen, even if only to the first few minutes about how she, a dental hygienist at the time, met her husband, a chef. [Author: [email protected] (Ann Althouse)]
Tags: Law, Michael Barbaro, Restaurants, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Ann Althouse, Coronavirus

Tuesday round-up

On this second day of this unusual May session, the justices will hear – literally, only hear – oral argument in USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International, a First Amendment challenge to the enforcement against overseas groups of a requirement that recipients of federal funds to fight HIV/AIDS abroad have a policy opposing prostitution and sex trafficking. Amy Howe had this blog’s preview, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Kayla Anderson and Prachee Sawant preview the case for Co...
Tags: Usa, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Pennsylvania, New Orleans, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Usaid, Irs, Round-up, Thomas, Peter

Courtroom access: Let’s talk data – the public line

This post is based extensively on data collected by Casey Quinlan, Kalvis Golde and Katie Bart and analyzed and put into graphic form by Kalvis Golde and Katie Bart. It’s one of the questions we get most often at SCOTUSblog, and it’s one of the hardest to answer: When should I get in line for a seat in the courtroom? Trying to predict when someone needs to arrive to ensure a seat is more art than science, depending on factors such as the cases being argued, the time of year and even the weather...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Trump, Howe, Appalachian Trail, Kalvis Golde, Katie Bart, Courtroom access — October Term 2019, Casey Quinlan Kalvis Golde

Justices to consider retroactive effect of unanimous jury ruling

Shortly before joining a telephone conference call for a historic live-streamed oral argument this morning, the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference last week. The justices did not act on some of the high-profile petitions for review that they considered on Friday, including the federal government’s challenge to provisions of California’s “sanctuary state” laws that bar state and local law-enforcement officials from cooperating with federal immigration officials and ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Louisiana, Irs, Cic, Edwards, Internal Revenue Service, Howe, Knoxville Tennessee, U S Court of Appeals, Ramos, Cases in the Pipeline, CIC Services, Thedrick Edwards

Are federal judges approaching prison sentencing differently now that they see BOP ugliness up close?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this notable new Forbes piece by Walter Pavlo headlined "After Seeing Federal Bureau Of Prisons Up Close, Federal Judges May See Sentencing Differently In Future." I recommend the piece in full, though I fear it may be a bit too optimistic about the way the COVID era might impact the work of federal judges.  Here are excerpts: In late March, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman struggled to look for a way to free Nkanga Nkanga, a sixty-seven-yea...
Tags: Law, Senate, Gop, Ohio, Louisiana, Forbes, Federal Bureau of Prisons BOP, Brooklyn New York, MDC, Samuel Alito, American Civil Liberties Union ACLU, USSC, Gwin, Jesse Furman, Furman, James Gwin

SCOTUS wastes no time taking up new case to address whether new Ramos jury unanimity rule is retroactive

In the US Supreme Court's Sixth Amendment unanimous jury ruling a couple of weeks ago, Ramos v. Louisiana, No. 18–5924 (S. Ct. April 20, 2020) (available here, basics here), a couple of the Justices already started debating whether the ruling would be give retroactive effect.  Interestingly, this new SCOTUS order list includes this new certiorari grant revealing that the Justices were eager to formally take up this issue before lower courts even had a chance to try to hash it out: EDWARDS, THED...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Court, Long, Louisiana, US supreme court, Thomas, Edwards, Alito, Ramos, Teague, Vannoy, Douglas A Berman

"Resentencing of Juvenile Lifers: The Philadelphia Experience"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new report authored by Tarika Daftary-Kapur and Tina Zottoli.  Here is its executive summary and key findings: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY We examined the Philadelphia District Attorney Office’s approach to juvenile lifer resentencing, which began in 2017 under the administration of District Attorney Seth Williams and has continued under the administration of District Attorney Larry Krasner.  For cases resentenced as of December 31st, 2019, we describ...
Tags: Law, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Williams, Philadelphia, Michigan, Louisiana, Montgomery, Miller, Seth Williams, Krasner, Supreme Court of the United States SCOTUS, Douglas A Berman, LWOP, Larry Krasner, District Attorney 's Office This

Mission Creep Watch

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relists, as well as some released holds. Because of the demands of my day job, I’m a little late with this installment. But what this post lacks in timeliness it more than makes up for in sheer tediousness. There were no new relists last week, so I hope you didn’t come here looking for success stories about last week’s bunch. And the two serial relists, Andrus v. Texas, 18-9674, and United States v. California, 19-532, seem to be returning on an endless loop. But tha...
Tags: New York, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington, United States, Epa, Louisiana, Environmental Protection Agency, Hall, AIA, Irs, Edwards, Le

Bureau of Justice Statistics, reporting its "new" data from end of 2018, highlights "US Imprisonment Rate At Its Lowest Since 1996"

I received this morning an email blaring in all caps in the subject line "U.S. IMPRISONMENT RATE AT ITS LOWEST SINCE 1996." I thought this might be a COVID-based new analysis, but in fact the email was based on this new press release from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics summarizing its latest report on US incarceration levels as of the end of 2018. Here is some text from the release: In 2018, the combined state and federal imprisonment rate was 431 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. ...
Tags: Utah, Mississippi, Law, Washington, US, New Hampshire, Idaho, Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Vermont, Bureau Of Justice Statistics, Douglas A Berman, Minnesota Maine Massachusetts Rhode Island

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