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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


Empirical SCOTUS: Is the court tracking right or Roberts left?

Although Supreme Court justices’ votes are not purely the product of ideological preferences, some of the most important cases the justices decide come down to 5-4 splits along ideological lines. This was during the 2017 Supreme Court term. Even though Chief Justice John Roberts was in the conservative camp for many of these split decisions last term, he voted with the court’s liberals in Artis v. District of Columbia and authored the majority opinion, which was joined by the court’s liberal j...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, United States, District Of Columbia, Thomas, John Roberts, Roberts, Roberts Court, Alito, Carpenter, William Rehnquist, Shelby County, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Artis, Sandra Day O'Connor


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


Wednesday round-up

The justices will hear argument in one case this morning: Flowers v. Mississippi, which asks whether a prosecutor’s repeated use of peremptory challenges to remove black people from the jury pool violated the Constitution. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog, in a post that was first published at Howe on the Court. Cecilia Bruni and Brady Plastaras have a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. At AP, Jeff Amy and Mark Sherman report that “[t]he state, defending the co...
Tags: New York, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Oregon, Court, America, Georgia, Bloomberg, Ap, Atlantic, United States, Hawaii, Liberty, New York Times


Physical-Realm: The Federal Circuit’s New Machine-or-Transformation

by Dennis Crouch In Bilski v. Kappos, the Supreme Court issued three separate opinions — although all the justices agreed that physicality — machine-or-transformation — offers at least an important clue for deciding the issue. Five Justice majority opinion: “The machine-or-transformation test is not the sole test for deciding whether an invention is a patent-eligible ‘process.’ . . . [Rather, it is] just an important and useful clue.” Four Justice minority opinion: Arguing that a “business me...
Tags: Justice, Supreme Court, Law, Court, United States, Patent, Fed, Microsoft Corp, Federal Circuit, Fed Cir, Vanda, Bilski, Capital One Bank, Intellectual Ventures I LLC, Thales Visionix Inc, McRO


"Only a few of the saddest, most destitute Albanians still wanted to emigrate to the States..."

"...  and that lonely number was further discouraged by a poster showing a plucky little otter in a sombrero trying to jump onto a crammed dinghy under the tagline 'The Boat Is Full, Amigo.' Inside an improvised security cage, an older man behind Plexiglas shouted at me incomprehensibly while I waved my passport at him.... A half-dozen of my fellow citizens were seated behind their chewed-up desks, mumbling lowly into their äppäräti. There was an earplug lying slug-dead on an empty chair, and a ...
Tags: Law, America, United States, States, Leonard, Gary Shteyngart, Ann Althouse, Mellencamp, John Cougar Mellencamp, Lenny Abramov, Pink Houses Ai, American Restoration Authority, Jeffrey Otter, Lenny What


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


"Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019"

The Prison Policy Initiative has today posted the latest, greatest version of its remarkable incarceration "pie" graphic and associated report on the particulars of who and how people are incarcerated in the United States.  The extraordinary pies produced by PPI impart more information in one image than just about any single resource I can think of.  Here is part of the report's introductory text and the concluding discussion on my favorite law-nerd version of pie day: Can it really be true tha...
Tags: Law, United States, Douglas A Berman


Argument transcript

The transcript of this morning’s oral argument in Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt is available on the Supreme Court’s website.   The post Argument transcript appeared first on SCOTUSblog.
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, United States, Merits Cases, Cochise Consultancy Inc


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


CUSMA/USMCA: The Poison Pills Revisited – a Scorecard

On November 30th, 2018, 16 months after the start of negotiations, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States signed the Canada United States-Mexico-Agreement (“CUSMA”) or the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”)[1]. Signed on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, the agreement is made up of 34 chapters and a dozen side letters. Ironically, it does not include the word “trade” in its title. CUSMA/USMCA = NAFTA-Minus In our previous article we addressed the contin...
Tags: New York, Law, Congress, Mexico, Canada, United States, House Of Representatives, Wisconsin, WTO, Buenos Aires, Administrative Law, Nafta, United States Mexico, FTA, Canada Mexico, Ceta


Federal judge pens extraordinary and compelling order requesting US Attorney to vacate old stacked 924(c) conviction in extraordinary and compelling case

I learned last night of a remarkable new four-page order entered in US v. Marks, No. 03-CR-6033 (WDNY March 14, 2019) (available for download below).  Chad Marks' case has been followed for years by clemency advocates like Amy Povah, and this CAN-DO profile page has lots of background materials about his case, his requests for clemency, and all the positive work he has done since being sentenced many years ago to 40 mandatory prison years due to stacking § 924(c) firearm charges.  As informed re...
Tags: Law, Congress, Court, US, United States, Gleeson, DKT, Marks, Holloway, Larimer, Eastern District of New York, John Gleeson, Douglas A Berman, David Larimer, Bureau of Prison, Amy Povah


Tuesday round-up

Today the justices will hear oral argument in Cochise Consultancy v. United States, ex rel. Hunt, which asks whether the “discovery” exception to False Claims Act statute of limitations applies to private parties in cases in which the government has not intervened. David Engstrom had this blog’s preview. Lauren Devendorf and Tyler Schmitt preview the case at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Subscript Law provides a graphic explainer. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose...
Tags: Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Washington, Court, Bloomberg, Atlantic, Gop, United States, New York Times, Kansas, Beltway, Louisiana, Usa Today, Flowers


Houston County Alabama Trial Judge, Dueling Transcripts and "Lost" Audio Recordin

My question involves criminal records for the state of: Alabama Who is the trial judge who ordered another court reporter to transcribe from the apparent sole audio recording of the capitol murder/death penalty case of Tawuan Townes? What are the court reporters names and is it true this is the second time this same trial judge had an audio recording retranscribed? If it is true this happened before, did the audio recording get lost the prior time? It is hard to imagine in the United States ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Alabama, United States, Criminal Records, Houston County Alabama, Tawuan Townes, Habeas Review


‘Sherlock Holmes 3’ Might Take Place in the Old West

It’s been almost a decade since we’ve seen Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law’s John Watson share the big screen in 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, but Warner Bros. is still interested in bringing them back to complete the trilogy. They’ve set a new release date for Sherlock Holmes 3 in 2021, and now a new report says that the pair could be leaving London for the sequel and heading to the American Old West. Learn more about the possible Sherlock Holmes 3 setting below. ...
Tags: London, Movies, Robert-Downey-Jr, Law, United States, Sequels, Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, Warner Bros, Jude-Law, Warner Brothers, Guy-Ritchie, Harry Houdini, San Francisco California, Holmes


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


United States Exercises Right To Remain Silent

The government takes premature, ill-considered steps to resist the ICC.
Tags: Law, Government, United States, International criminal court, International Law, Mike Pompeo


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


Split Seventh Circuit panel tangles with Second Amendment's second-class status and felon exclusion from right to bear arms

As noted in this post from last year, Justice Thomas has lamented in a cert denial that the Second Amendment has become "constitutional orphan" seemingly relegated in some settings to second-class status.  I have long thought this second-class status is demonstrated by the willingness of lower courts to uphold lifetime, blanket prohibitions on persons with certain criminal histories from being about to possess a gun.  The Seventh Circuit had another ruling in this arena last week in Kanter v. Ba...
Tags: Law, Chicago, United States, Wisconsin, Thomas, McDonald, Heller, Kanter, Seventh Circuit, Douglas A Berman, Amy Coney Barrett, Rickey I Kanter, Split Seventh Circuit


Splint Seventh Circuit panel tangles with Second Amendment's second-class status and felon exclusion from right to bear arms

As noted in this post from last year, Justice Thomas has lamented in a cert denial that the Second Amendment has become "constitutional orphan" seemingly relegated in some settings to second-class status.  I have long thought this second-class status is demonstrated by the willingness of lower courts to uphold lifetime, blanket prohibitions on persons with certain criminal histories from being about to possess a gun.  The Seventh Circuit had another ruling in this arena last week in Kanter v. Ba...
Tags: Law, Chicago, United States, Wisconsin, Thomas, McDonald, Heller, Kanter, Seventh Circuit, Douglas A Berman, Amy Coney Barrett, Splint Seventh Circuit, Rickey I Kanter


Beto O'Rourke's hacker name was "Psychedelic Warlord," so that must mean he's done hallucinogenic drugs — right? — and is that something that's okay in a presidential candidate?

Scott Adams addresses the question whether Beto has done hallucinogens:Scott's first pass at the question is another question: "Have you seen Beto?" He giggles while waiting for the question to soak in. He says anyone who's taken hallucinogens (which Scott has) will have an "easier time" with the question.Eventually he gives his answer: He'd place a "large bet" on "yes."He's quick to add that it's not a criticism. "In fact, I might even prefer it." This preference interweaves with his reason for...
Tags: Art, Law, United States, Kim Jong-un, Propaganda, Kim, George Bernard Shaw, BETO, Trump, Lsd, Scott, Scott Adams, Kim Jong, Shaw, Robert F Kennedy, RFK


This week at the court

The Supreme Court will release orders from the March 15 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m.; John Elwood’s Relist Watch compiles the petitions that likely were relisted for this conference. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Monday, the justices hear oral argument in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill and Smith v. Berryhill. On Tuesday, the justices hear oral argument in Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, ex rel. Hunt. On Wednesday, the justices hear o...
Tags: Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Flowers, Smith, This Week at the Court, John Elwood, Virginia House of Delegates, Bethune Hill, Berryhill, Cochise Consultancy Inc


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


"Forty-nine people were killed in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday..."

The NYT reports.The police said that four people, including three men and one woman, had been taken into custody....A 17-minute video posted to social media appears to show part of the attack. The clip, ... may have been taken from a helmet camera worn by a gunman.... “There wasn’t even time to aim, there was so many targets,” he says at one point...Before the shooting, someone appearing to be the gunman posted links to a white-nationalist manifesto on Twitter and 8chan, an online forum known fo...
Tags: Facebook, Twitter, Murder, Guns, Law, Australia, America, United States, Terrorism, New Zealand, Emojis, Second Amendment, Owens, Christchurch New Zealand, Ann Althouse, Unconvincing Arguments


Petitions of the week

This week we highlight petitions pending before the Supreme Court that address, among other things, whether the time limit for seeking review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit under 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(1)(A) can be extended, the constitutional limitation on venue selection in a criminal trial, and whether a federal court must grant a motion for a judgment of acquittal when the evidence is in equipoise. The petitions of the week are: Graviss v. Department of Defense 1...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Department Of Defense, United States, Hoffman, U S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Renteria, Cases in the Pipeline, Graviss


Apple ad focuses on iPhone’s most marketable feature — privacy

Apple is airing a new ad spot focused on privacy today in primetime. The spot is visually cued, with no dialog and a simple tagline: Privacy. That’s iPhone. In a series of humorous vignettes, the message is driven home that sometimes you just want a little privacy. The spot has only one line of text otherwise, and it’s in keeping with Apple’s messaging on privacy over the long and short term. “If privacy matters in your life, it should matter to the phone your life is on.” The spot will air t...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, Google, TC, Facebook, Human Rights, Privacy, Identity Management, Law, US, Tech, Ceo, United States, Digital Media, Tim Cook, Computing


"In Clinton v Jones, the United States Supreme Court held that separation of powers concerns did not preclude a federal lawsuit against a sitting President of the United States..."

"... based on unofficial acts allegedly committed by him before he assumed office. The Court expressly cautioned in that decision that different concerns, including the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, might influence the result if such a case were brought against the President in state court. However, the Court did not rule that such a suit could or could not proceed. This matter gives us an opportunity to squarely address the question.... [S]ubjecting the President to a stat...
Tags: New York, Maryland, Law, Court, United States, Bill Clinton, Ny, Separation of Powers, Jones, Clinton, Donald J Trump, McCulloch, Executive Power, Ann Althouse, Federalism, Trump troubles


Duke Law’s New Center For Firearms Law Aims For ‘Rigorous And Balanced’ Second Amendment Scholarship

Sure they do. The Duke Center for Firearms Law is searching for a scholarly alternative to the politically charged national debate surrounding gun rights and regulation. Joseph Blocher, Lanty L. Smith ’67 professor of law, and Darrell Miller, the Melvin G. Shimm professor of law, created the Center to advance non-partisan scholarship about the Second Amendment. The two co-directors are joined by Jake Charles, Law School ’13, as the Center’s executive director. Blocher said there is a lack of rel...
Tags: Supreme Court, Bloomberg, Military, United States, Gun Control, Charles, District Of Columbia, Miller, PAUL, McDonald, Duke University, Duke Law, Heller, Antonin -RSB- Scalia, Fordham University, Saul Cornell



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