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Florida asks court to lift CDC restrictions on cruise industry

Less than a month after the Supreme Court refused to disturb a federal moratorium on evictions imposed by the Centers for Disease Control because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Florida on Friday the COVID-related restrictions that the CDC has outlined for cruise ships to follow before returning to sea. A federal district judge had blocked the CDC from enforcing the restrictions in Florida, but on July 17 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit put his ruling on hold, prompting ...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Cdc, Cnn, United States, Centers for Disease Control, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Clarence Thomas, 11th Circuit, Brett Kavanaugh, Merryman, Emergency appeals and applications, 11th Circuit Thomas


Cases on Boston Marathon bomber, CIA secrets headline October argument calendar

Although the Supreme Court only recently finished releasing opinions from its 2020-21 term, it is already looking ahead to the new term that will begin this fall. On Tuesday the court released the schedule for the justices’ October argument session, which begins on Oct. 4 and runs through Oct. 13. The justices will hear oral argument in nine cases over five days (with a day off to observe a federal holiday on Oct. 11), including arguments in two high-profile cases involving the federal governme...
Tags: New York, Featured, Guantanamo Bay, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Kentucky, United States, Cameron, Boston Marathon, Cia, Babcock, Wooden, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Brown, Howe


Cockfighting in Puerto Rico and trade-dress protections for snack foods

This week we highlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, the power of Congress to criminalize cockfighting under the commerce clause and the proper definition of “functionality” as applied to trade dress. Puerto Rico is a United States territory, with its own constitution. And like a state, it is an autonomous political entity sovereign over matters not covered by the United States Constitution. For the past 400 years, cockfighting has been practiced ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, Chevron, Puerto Rico, Lewis, D C Circuit, Lotte, U S Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, 3rd Circuit, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Cases in the Pipeline


One of the oldest problems in America persists: How to protect the voting rights of non-white citizens

This article is the first entry in a symposium on the court’s decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a professor of law at Stetson University College of Law, a fellow at the Brennan Center, and the author of the book Political Brands. She writes for herself and not her organizations. The year 2021 marked the 151st anniversary of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which makes racial discrimination in voting unconstitutional. The Supreme Court place...
Tags: John Lewis, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, America, Arkansas, Arizona, Civil Rights, Republican Party, Donald Trump, Trump, Rnc, 9th Circuit, The Supreme Court


Justices add one religious-rights case to docket but turn down another

Just before departing for their summer recess, the justices on Friday added 10 new cases to their docket for next term, including a high-profile dispute involving public funding for private schools that provide religious instruction. The busy order list was in some ways was a microcosm of the 2020-21 term as a whole. Although the decision to hear the school-funding case suggested that the court as a whole will continue to move to the right, the justices turned down another request to weigh in o...
Tags: Featured, Minnesota, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Washington, Court, Alabama, City, Chicago, David, United States, New Hampshire, Maine, Tennessee


Divided court invalidates California donor-disclosure rules

This article was updated on July 1 at 6 p.m. The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down California’s requirement that charities and nonprofits operating in the state provide the state attorney general’s office with the names and addresses of their largest donors. The 6-3 ruling in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta was a major victory for the two nonprofit challengers, which had argued that the rule violates the First Amendment by deterring their donors from making contributions. In a ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Irs, Charles Koch, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, 9th Circuit, Roberts, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito


Mopping up final business with 13 new relists

This article was updated on July 2 at 2:55 p.m. The Relist Watch column examines cert petitions that the Supreme Court has “relisted” for its upcoming conference. A short explanation of relists is available here. Every summer, before the justices  for the Supreme Court’s recess, they have one last impromptu conference to consider – and usually dispose of – all the cases relisted after their last scheduled conference (which this year happened last Thursday). In recent years, that “mop-up” confe...
Tags: Featured, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington, United States, Tennessee, Medicare, Philadelphia, Woodford, Johnson, Taylor, DOE, Chevron, Medicaid


Mopping up final business with 14 new relists

The Relist Watch column examines cert petitions that the Supreme Court has “relisted” for its upcoming conference. A short explanation of relists is available here. Every summer, before the justices  for the Supreme Court’s recess, they have one last impromptu conference to consider – and usually dispose of – all the cases relisted after their last scheduled conference (which this year happened last Thursday). In recent years, that “mop-up” conference has overwhelmingly happened on the last Mo...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington, United States, Tennessee, Medicare, Philadelphia, Woodford, Johnson, Smith, Taylor, DOE


Court upholds Arizona voting restrictions, limits cases under Voting Rights Act

This article was updated on July 1 at 5:45 p.m. On the last day before its summer recess, the Supreme Court issued a major decision on voting rights that will make it more difficult to contest election regulations under the Voting Rights Act. By a vote of 6-3, the justices upheld two Arizona voting provisions that Democrats and civil rights groups challenged as disproportionately burdening minority voters. In an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, the majority outlined what it described as “guidep...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, America, United States, Arizona, State, 9th Circuit, Howe, Alito, Democratic National Committee, U S Court of Appeals, Shelby County, Holder


Is sovereign immunity out of gas in pipeline condemnation case?

The Supreme Court held 5-4 in PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey that sovereign immunity does not shield New Jersey from condemnation proceedings instituted by a private company in federal court to obtain properties for a pipeline. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Brett Kavanaugh. Justice Amy Coney Barrett dissented and was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch also se...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Pennsylvania, United States, New Jersey, States, John Roberts, Roberts, FERC, Barrett, U S Court of Appeals, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


Justices won’t intervene in dispute over transgender rights and bathrooms

The Supreme Court said Monday it will not take up a dispute over whether transgender students must be allowed to use restrooms that match their gender identities. The justices also added a First Amendment case and an immigration case to their docket for next term, and they ordered a lower court to take a closer look at a wrongful-death lawsuit by the parents of a man who died after police officers pinned him to the ground while he was handcuffed. Those items and others were part of a busy Monda...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Washington, Virginia, Massachusetts, Iraq, India, Court, San Francisco, Georgia, Indiana, Austin, United States, Wyoming


SCOTUSblog flags three notable new sentencing cert petitions

Last year around this time, I expressed my sense that it has been quite some time since the Supreme Court has taken up a really big and interesting sentencing case.  This post from near the end of last year's SCOTUS Term, titled "Do others sense that SCOTUS has become particularly (and problematically?) quiet on sentencing matters?", captured this zeitgeist.  In the year since, we have gotten a few notable sentencing rulings (on juve LWOP in Jones and on ACCA predicates in Borden, but these deci...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Scotus, Court, United States, United, Jones, Sanders, Bryant, Borden, U S Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, USSC, ACCA, Thomas Bryant, Douglas A Berman


In dispute over renewable fuels, justices unravel “extensions” of “exemptions”

When Congress says that a firm can apply for an “extension” of an exemption, is a firm that has allowed its exemption to lapse eligible to apply for the “extension?” That is the question that divided the Supreme Court justices Friday in HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining v. Renewable Fuels Association. Six justices said yes, while three justices said no. The context in which the question arose was the Renewable Fuels Program that Congress established in 2005. The program is intended to increase th...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Epa, Environmental Protection Agency, Department Of Energy, RFA, Chevron, Sonia Sotomayor, Barrett, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan


Sentencing questions raising constitutional concerns

This week we highlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, the use of acquitted conduct in sentencing decisions, when a sentencing court must consider a defendant’s juvenile status as a mitigating factor, and compassionate release under the First Step Act. According to the federal Sentencing Guidelines, a judge may adjust the recommended range of an offense based on a defendant’s “relevant conduct.” While the jury considers whether conduct is proven bey...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, United, Sanders, Board of Trustees, Bryant, U S Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, Thomas Bryant, Bureau of Prisons, Cases in the Pipeline, Sentencing Commission, Petitioners, While the Supreme Court


Immigration, takings, administrative law and the kitchen sink

The Relist Watch column examines cert petitions that the Supreme Court has “relisted” for its upcoming conference. A short explanation of relists is available here. The last scheduled conference of the Supreme Court’s term — which this term is being held Thursday — is usually one that yields many grants. So perhaps unsurprisingly, the court has relisted 10 cases for this conference. We’ll begin with Patel v. Garland, 20-979, which seems a likely grant, because the government, as respondent, agr...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Court, San Francisco, City, Georgia, Chicago, Austin, Pennsylvania, United States, New York Times, Davis, Medicare, Woodford, Johnson


No sentencing enhancements for recklessness convictions under federal Armed Career Criminal Act

In Borden v. United States, the Supreme Court analyzed the Armed Career Criminal Act’s force clause or elements clause. Under the ACCA, a person who has three violent felony convictions and is then convicted of possessing a firearm faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years. In this case, the court had to decide whether the term “violent felony” includes crimes committed with a reckless state of mind. In a decision on June 10, five justices agreed that a recklessness crime does not count as...
Tags: Law, Congress, United States, Johnson, Thomas, John Roberts, Borden, U S Court of Appeals, Elena Kagan, Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Kavanaugh, United States the Supreme Court, ACCA, Ashcroft


Court rules for high school cheerleader in First Amendment dispute over Snapchat profanity

A Pennsylvania school district on Wednesday may have won the war over regulating off-campus student speech, but it lost the battle over a cheerleader’s profanity-laden complaint on Snapchat. The justices ruled that the First Amendment allows schools to regulate at least some student speech that occurs off campus. But, by a vote of 8-1, the justices agreed with the cheerleader that her one-year suspension from the cheerleading team nonetheless violated the First Amendment. The case, Mahanoy Ar...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Pennsylvania, Levy, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Clarence Thomas, 3rd Circuit, Merits Cases, Mahanoy Area School District, Brandi Levy


Justices curb securities-fraud class actions, albeit gently

The Supreme Court’s Monday decision in Goldman Sachs Group v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System will not be remembered as one of the court’s seminal securities cases. Indeed, it might not even change the result in the case before it. But it does provide another chapter in the court’s continuing efforts to tighten the standards by which the lower courts evaluate securities-fraud class actions. The case involves the process by which investors that think they are the victims of securities fraud t...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Arkansas, Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Goldman, Levinson, Alito, Barrett, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Goldman Sachs Group, 7th Circuit, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito


NCAA athletes win 9-0 on educational perks as Kavanaugh calls out ban on direct payments

The Supreme Court on Monday reshaped the relationship between universities and the athletes who play college sports. In an opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the justices unanimously ruled that the National Collegiate Athletic Association cannot prohibit its member schools from providing athletes with certain forms of education-related benefits, such as paid post-graduate internships, scholarships for graduate school, or free laptops or musical instruments. Although the decision did not involve c...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, America, Yale, Ncaa, Alston, Board of Regents, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Merits Cases


In unanimous ruling, Court agrees with athletes that NCAA violated antitrust laws

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a major shift in the relationship between universities and the athletes who play sports for those schools. In an opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the justices unanimously affirmed a lower-court decision holding that the NCAA, the umbrella group that regulates college sports, cannot restrict benefits related to education, such as free laptops or paid post-graduate internships. Monday’s decision in NCAA v. Alston ended a dispute that began seven years ago as a...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Court, America, Yale, Ncaa, Alston, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Merits Cases, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch


Evaluating police shootings and clarifying the harmless-error rule

This week we highlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, how appeals courts should apply the “harmless error” rule in criminal cases, and whether police officers’ use of force can violate the Fourth Amendment if the force, viewed in isolation, was reasonable but the necessity to use force was created by the officers’ own deliberate or reckless action. Three months ago in Torres v. Madrid, the Supreme Court ruled that the application of physical force ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Medicare, Bond, NRC, Tahlequah, Torres, Simmons, U S Court of Appeals, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11th Circuit, 10th Circuit, Cases in the Pipeline, Public Watchdogs


Fulton quiets Tandon’s thunder: A free exercise puzzle

This article is the first entry in a symposium on the court’s decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. Jim Oleske is a professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. His research focuses on the intersection of religious liberty and other constitutional values. Ten weeks ago, acting on an emergency application for injunctive relief in the COVID-19 case of Tandon v. Newsom, the Supreme Court issued an unsigned opinion that appeared to resolve one of the two major free exercise issues previously...
Tags: Featured, Law, Court, Philadelphia, Smith, Rube Goldberg, Trump, Thomas, Fulton, Alito, Barrett, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Tandon, Kavanaugh


Justices scuttle lawsuit against Nestlé, Cargill for allegedly aiding child slavery abroad

This article was updated on June 17 at 7:15 p.m. The Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a lawsuit alleging that two U.S.-based companies, Nestle and Cargill, facilitated human-rights abuses on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast. By a vote of 8-1, the justices ruled that the lawsuit cannot go forward because it is based on conduct that occurred overseas. Although the decision was obviously a victory for the two companies, it was not the sweeping one that the business community had sought. The...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, United States, Mali, Ivory Coast, Cargill, Nestle, Thomas, John Roberts, 9th Circuit, The Supreme Court, Howe, Alito


Court again leaves Affordable Care Act in place

This article was updated on June 17 at 5:16 p.m. In a much-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected another effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law often regarded as the signature legislative achievement of former President Barack Obama. The justices did not reach the main issue in the case: whether the entirety of the ACA was rendered unconstitutional when Congress eliminated the penalty for failing to obtain health insurance. Instead, by a v...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Court, Barack Obama, House Of Representatives, Biden, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ACA, Medicaid, King, Irs, Trump


Court makes it easier for appellate courts to affirm federal felon-in-possession convictions after Rehaif

Federal felon-in-possession defendants who fail in the trial court to assert their rights under the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Rehaif v. United States face an “uphill climb” to get a new trial or plea proceeding, the court stated Monday in Greer v. United States and United States v. Gary. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for a unanimous court affirming Greer and an 8-1 majority reversing Gary, stating that “if a defendant was in fact a felon, it will be difficult for him to carry the burden ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Court, United States, Gary, Sonia Sotomayor, Greer, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Kavanaugh, 4th Circuit, Merits Cases, United States and United States, Brett Kavanaugh, Rehaif


Justice Department files SCOTUS brief seeking to restore death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

As repoted in this Hill piece, the "Biden administration on Monday urged the Supreme Court to reinstate the death penalty against the Boston Marathon bomber in an apparent break with the president's stated opposition to capital punishment."  Here are the details (with a link to the filing): In a 48-page brief, the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the justices to reverse a Boston-based federal appeals court that vacated the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the lone surviving perpetrator of...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, White House, Boston, Boston Marathon, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Trump, First Circuit, Hill, U S Court of Appeals, Tsarnaev, The Hill, AG Barr


Justices request government’s views on Harvard affirmative-action dispute

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the federal government to weigh in on whether the justices should once again wade into the battle over affirmative action. In an order list issued from last week’s private conference, the court asked Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to file a brief expressing the government’s views on a challenge to Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy. Even if the justices ultimately decide to grant review in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fello...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Harvard, Harvard University, Kennedy, University Of Michigan, University Of North Carolina, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, Lyle Denniston, Scalia, Fisher, University of Texas, Howe


Court limits new trials for people with felon-in-possession convictions

A defendant convicted of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) after the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Rehaif v. United States is not entitled to a new trial or plea hearing unless he “makes a sufficient argument or representation on appeal that he would have presented evidence at trial that he did not in fact know he was a felon,” the court ruled Monday in the cases of Greer v. United States and United States v. Gary. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the unanimo...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Gary, Sonia Sotomayor, Greer, U S Court of Appeals, Merits Cases, United States and United States, Brett Kavanaugh, Rehaif, Gregory Greer, Michael Andrew Gary, Gary Justice, Gary In Rehaif


Justices united against “magic words” and judge-made rules on asylum seekers’ credibility

Last week in Garland v. Dai and Garland v. Alcaraz-Enriquez, the Supreme Court held that reviewing courts cannot treat an asylum seeker’s testimony as credible unless the agency first finds the applicant credible. The unanimous opinion, penned by Justice Neil Gorsuch, rejected the contrary approach of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. In argument and briefing, the government contended that the 9th Circuit rule — which took asylum seekers’ testimony as credible when faced with agenc...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Bia, Chevron, 9th Circuit, U S Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Garland, Dai, INA, Gorsuch, Board of Immigration Appeals, Merits Cases, Neil Gorsuch, Chenery


Union fees, bar association dues, and the funding of political speech

This week we highlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, First Amendment challenges to the use of membership fees by a union or bar association to engage in political speech, as well as the definition of a state “tax” under the federal Tax Injunction Act. Two petitions ask the justices to consider the First Amendment implications of professional fees that are used for political and ideological speech. In Baisley v. International Association of Machini...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Oregon, United States, United Airlines, James, Crowe, U S Court of Appeals, Nettles, 2nd Circuit, Cases in the Pipeline, Midland Funding LLC, Oregon State Bar, Healthcare Distribution Alliance



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