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Empirical SCOTUS: If Ginsburg leaves, it could be the liberals’ biggest loss yet – A look back at previous justices replaced with more conservative successors

The saga over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health seems to ebb and flow from the headlines almost daily. Part of the mystery relates to the amount of information shared with the public. We know that, while treating Ginsburg for rib fractures, doctors found malignant lesions in her lungs that were promptly removed, and that subsequent tests have shown no evidence of any other cancer. Ginsburg has since missed oral arguments and is reportedly recovering at home while keeping current with the cour...
Tags: Health, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Planned Parenthood, Washington Post, Kentucky, White House, Politico, Barack Obama, Indiana, Austin, United States, Kansas, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Opinion analysis: Interesting 5-4 coalition holds that the ACCA reaches robberies that require force sufficient to overcome resistance

In the first 5-4 decision of this term (Stokeling v. United States), the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that state robbery statutes that require “resistance … overcome by physical force,” even if the force used is “minimal,” are sufficient to satisfy the prior-conviction requirement of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. This result was not as surprising as the grouping of the justices. Justice Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion was joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, while Justice Sonia Sotomayo...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, Davis, Johnson, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Scalia, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer


Opinion analysis: Interesting 5-4 coalition holds that the ACCA reaches robberies that require force sufficient to overcome resistance (Corrected)

In the first 5-4 decision of this term (Stokeling v. United States), the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that state robbery statutes that require “resistance … overcome by physical force,” even if the force used is “minimal,” are sufficient to satisfy the prior-conviction requirement of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. This result was not as surprising as the grouping of the justices. Justice Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion was joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, while Justice Sonia Sotomayo...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, Davis, Johnson, Corrections, United, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Scalia, U S Court of Appeals


Argument analysis: Justices weigh text and history of 21st Amendment in challenge to state residency requirement for liquor licenses

Ratified in 1933, the 21st Amendment ended Prohibition – which (fun fact!) was established by the 18th Amendment, ratified 100 years ago today. It also gave states broad power to regulate alcoholic beverages. At today’s oral argument in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Blair, the justices considered exactly how expansive that regulatory power is. In particular, does the 21st Amendment allow Tennessee to impose a two-year residency requirement for anyone who wants a retail lice...
Tags: Amazon, Utah, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Tennessee, Nashville, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Memphis, Wilson, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Phillips, Blair, Howe, Alito


Relist Watch

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relists. I’m today, so I’m going to be more summary than usual. The April calendar already appears to have a full complement of 12 cases, but the court in theory could add to it with this Friday’s grants. Admittedly, if it does so, petitioners won’t have the full 30 days to file reply briefs before oral argument. After this Friday, the court’s next scheduled conference isn’t until February 15 – almost a month from now. And any cases granted at that conference will ...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Virginia, New York City, Freedom, Alabama, Indiana, Dhs, United States, House Of Representatives, Kansas, Louisiana, Nielsen


Trump Nominee Neomi Rao Wrote Articles Blaming Women For Sexual Assault

Neomi Rao — Trump's nominee for an influential seat on the D.C. Circuit Court and a potential candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court — has a history of writing articles that blame sexual assault survivors for being attacked, disparage people of color and LGBTQ+ people, and deny climate change.Rao is being nominated for Judge Brett Kavanaugh 's former seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a powerful position on a court that often decides cases dealing with executive power, and th...
Tags: Fashion, Music, Supreme Court, Yale, Department Of Education, Trump, U S Supreme Court, D C Circuit, Davidson, U S Court of Appeals, D C Circuit Court, Rao, Jess Davidson, Brett Kavanaugh, Neomi Rao, Jake Patterson


Shutdown: Dot-gov websites vulnerable to cyberattacks, certificates expiring amid funding pause

Federal workers went without their paychecks Friday, as Trump's shutdown of the U.S. government continues for 21 days and counting. With no end in sight, concerns are rising that dozens of U.S. government websites have become insecure or completely unreachable, as their transport layer security (TLS) certificates expire. A Thursday report from Netcraft estimates that the .gov websites are using 80 or more expired TLS certificates. Sites like NASA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Court...
Tags: Google Chrome, Security, Post, Politics, News, Mexico, Government, Godaddy, Nasa, Cyberattack, Donald Trump, Shutdown, Irs, Tls, Cyberattacks, Mozilla Firefox


Eight new grants, Ginsburg recovery from surgery “on track”

One day after Politico reported that White House officials were preparing for the possible “death or departure” of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had surgery in late December to remove two cancerous growths from her lungs, the Supreme Court announced today that there was no evidence of any other cancer, and that the 85-year-old Ginsburg would not require any further treatment. Ginsburg’s recovery from surgery is “on track,” Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement, althoug...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, White House, Usda, United States, South Dakota, United Arab Emirates, Davis, Wisconsin, Lgbtq, Smith, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Newton


Relist Watch Returns

John Elwood reviews the first relists of 2019. Happy New Year and welcome back! Most of D.C. started 2019 nice and slow, enjoying offices (and roads) made quiet by vacations, both planned and unexpected. But not the Supremes. They jumped in with both feet, when most of the lawyering class was still finishing off their fruit baskets. On January 4, the court gave plenary review to the Maryland and North Carolina political-gerrymandering cases and set them for expedited briefing so they could be ...
Tags: Florida, Texas, Featured, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Planned Parenthood, Kentucky, Virginia, New York City, Freedom, Alabama, Indiana, United States


Argument preview: Justices to consider constitutionality of residency requirements for liquor licenses

The Constitution’s 21st Amendment gives states the power to regulate the distribution of alcohol into and within a state, while a doctrine known as the dormant commerce clause (derived from the Constitution’s commerce clause) bars states from discriminating against interstate commerce. Next week the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a challenge to a Tennessee law that requires anyone who wants a retail license to sell alcohol in Tennessee to have lived there for at least two years. A fe...
Tags: Utah, Featured, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Tennessee, Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Doug, Asheville North Carolina, David Trone, Alcoholic Beverage Commission


Argument analysis: Justices wade deep into the copyright weeds

Tuesday’s argument in Fourth Estate v. Wall-Street.com featured competing interpretations of the phrase “registration of the copyright claim has been made” in 17 U.S.C.§ 411(a), which requires copyright registration as a prerequisite for filing an infringement suit. Because much of the argument focused on niceties of textual interpretation, I’ll quote the language of the relevant subsection: [N]o civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until p...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Copyright Office, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Ellis, U S Court of Appeals, Elena Kagan, Kagan, Kavanaugh, 11th Circuit, Fourth Estate


Argument analysis: Justices grapple with preclusion and “occupation” in Crow Tribe treaty case

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard argument in its latest foray into Indian treaty interpretation, Herrera v. Wyoming. The case concerns the persistence of the Crow Tribe’s hunting right in the 1868 Second Treaty of Fort Laramie. In an occasionally meandering argument, the Supreme Court repeatedly circled the three issues at the core of the case: issue preclusion, the implications of the court’s holding in its 1999 decision in Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians, and the meaning of...
Tags: Featured, Minnesota, Supreme Court, Law, Wyoming, Sonia Sotomayor, Ward, John Roberts, Roberts, Liu, Randy, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Mille Lacs


Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor & Restrict Lawful Purchases

Opinion Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor & Restrict Lawful Purchases Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Treating nice people like criminals isn’t likely to enhance respect for the law. That’s a tough lesson anti-gun officials in New Jersey and Canada are learning now that deadlines are past or nearly arrived for certain newly-enacted gun control measures. Both localities are apparently experiencing widespread noncompliance with new requirements for firearm owners, despite pr...
Tags: Guns, Canada, New Jersey, Quebec, Fairfax, Gurbir Grewal, U S Court of Appeals, New Jersey State Police, Third Circuit, Phil Murphy, Montreal Gazette, Gun Rights News, NRA-ILA, Institute for Legislative Action ILA, National Rifle Association of America ILA, Failed Gun Control


Gun Owners Call BS on Restrictive Measures in New Jersey and Canada

Opinion Gun Owners Call BS on Restrictive Measures in New Jersey and Canada Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Treating nice people like criminals isn’t likely to enhance respect for the law. That’s a tough lesson anti-gun officials in New Jersey and Canada are learning now that deadlines are past or nearly arrived for certain newly-enacted gun control measures. Both localities are apparently experiencing widespread noncompliance with new requirements for firearm owners, despite provisions in th...
Tags: Guns, Canada, New Jersey, Quebec, Gurbir Grewal, U S Court of Appeals, New Jersey State Police, Third Circuit, Phil Murphy, Montreal Gazette, Gun Rights News, NRA-ILA, Institute for Legislative Action ILA, National Rifle Association of America ILA, Failed Gun Control, Public Security Department


Argument preview: When the Tennessee Valley Authority’s activities cause personal injury, may it claim discretionary policy immunity from liability?

When sued for a common-law tort, the United States government enjoys the benefit of a statutory exception to liability that prevents judicial second-guessing of executive policy decisions. The question before the Supreme Court in Thacker v. Tennessee Valley Authority is whether the same “discretionary function” defense should be judicially implied for a tort suit against a federally chartered corporation engaging in what is arguably commercial activity. The Tennessee Valley Authority, a fed...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, United States, Amtrak, TVA, 9th Circuit, The Supreme Court, Pierce, U S Court of Appeals, Tennessee River, Burr, Federal Housing Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority


The justices return, without Ginsburg or any new grants (Updated)

[Editor’s Note: This post was updated to cover the four cases in which the Supreme Court asked the U.S. solicitor general to file briefs.] The justices returned to the bench today for the first arguments of the new year. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had surgery on December 21 to remove two cancerous growths from her lungs, was not on the bench this morning; a court spokeswoman indicated that she would still participate in today’s cases based on the briefs and transcripts. The justices issued...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Virginia, New York City, Court, Georgia, Indiana, United States, Citigroup, Argentina, Ohio, Atkins, Lgbtq, Ruth Bader Ginsburg


More on today’s orders

This afternoon the justices issued orders from their private conference earlier in the day. In addition to the two partisan-gerrymandering cases set for argument in the March session, the justices also granted review in four other new cases, involving issues ranging from “immoral” copyright marks to  vagueness in a federal criminal law. In Iancu v. Brunetti, the justices will take up a First Amendment challenge to a federal law that bans the registration of “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks. ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Davis, Dallas, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Glover, U S Patent and Trademark Office, U S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Brunetti, Taggart, Lorenzen, Merits Cases, Iancu


Appeals Court Sides With Trump Admin On Its Transgender Troops Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is siding with the Trump administration in a case about the Pentagon’s policy of restricting military service by transgender people. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that a lower-court judge was wrong to block the Pentagon from implementing its preferred policy. The unsigned ruling will not allow the Pentagon to put in place its desired policy, however, because three other judges have entered orders blo...
Tags: News, Supreme Court, Washington, Barack Obama, Ap, Pentagon, Donald Trump, Appeals Court, Trump, D C Circuit, U S Court of Appeals, Summer Concepcion


Appeals court sides with Trump in transgender military case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is siding with the Trump administration in a case about the Pentagon’s policy of restricting military service by transgender people. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that a lower-court judge was wrong to block the Pentagon from implementing its […]
Tags: News, Washington, Ap, Nation, Pentagon, Trump, D C Circuit, U S Court of Appeals


Argument preview: Revisiting impossibility pre-emption

When state law and federal law conflict, the Constitution’s supremacy clause provides that federal law displaces, or pre-empts, state law. Pre-emption issues permeate prescription-drug safety litigation because the Food and Drug Administration regulates the safety and efficacy of prescription drugs under federal law, while state tort law provides the remedy for patients injured by the use of FDA-approved drugs.  Prescription drug manufacturers frequently raise “impossibility pre-emption” as a de...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Merck, United States, Food And Drug Administration, Fda, Antonin Scalia, PAS, Albrecht, U S Court of Appeals, Anthony Kennedy, Wyeth, 3rd Circuit, Merits Cases, Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation


The chief justice’s 2018 year-end report: The federal judiciary and #MeToo

Chief Justice John Roberts released his annual report on the federal judiciary today, focusing on the judiciary’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Roberts had discussed this issue in his 2017 report, after several female law clerks accused Judge Alex Kozinski – then a prominent judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit – of inappropriate sexual conduct. A working group created to review the safeguards in place to protect law clerks and other employees c...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Law, Obama, North Carolina, Donald Trump, Trump, Northern California, John Roberts, Anchorage, Roberts, Alex Kozinski, U S Court of Appeals, Yutu, What's Happening Now, Northern Mariana Islands the Alaska


Argument preview: Is foreclosure debt collection?

Alpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/ This is a case in which the more precise you think the statutory language is, the less obvious the right answer becomes. The question presented in Obduskey v. McCarthy Holthus LLP is whether the definition of “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act includes attorneys who effect nonjudicial foreclosures. This case is difficult, not because the statutory language is inherently ambiguous, but because words like “debt” and “f...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Colorado, United States, Naacp, Mccarthy, Wells Fargo, Fdcpa, U S Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, Brosnan, Constitutional Accountability Center, 10th Circuit, Merits Cases


‘Bump Stock’ Lawsuit Makes Unique Points to Seek Injunction against Ban

How many times does this piece of firearms history have to be declared “legal”? (Photo: David Codrea) U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- A lawsuit filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking injunctive relief from the Trump administration’s redefinition the legal term “machinegun” and its resulting ban on “’bump fire’ stocks, slidefire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics.” The action was filed by attorneys Stephen Stamboulieh and Alan B...
Tags: Facebook, Guns, Washington Post, Fbi, Las Vegas, Department Of Justice, Resistance, Justice Department, Trump, Whitaker, Congressional Research Service, District, U S Court of Appeals, ATF, NFA, Eleventh Circuit


More than 40 months after death sentencing, lawyers for Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev file their 1000+-page appellate brief with First Circuit

As reported in this local article, headlined "Lawyers: Tsarnaev ‘should not have been tried in Boston’," a very long appellate brief has been filed in a very high-profile federal capital case.  A federal jury handed down Dzhokhar Tsarnaev death sentence way back in May 2015, a full month before Donald Trump had even announced he was running for President.  But now, as Prez Trump heads into the second half of his term, Tsarnaev's team of lawyers has fully briefed his complaints about his trial an...
Tags: Facebook, Law, Boston, Boston Marathon, Donald Trump, Appeals Court, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Copley Square, First Circuit, Boston University, Medford, District Court, U S Court of Appeals, Tsarnaev, Boylston Street, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


Appeals Court Grants Trump Request To Halt Emoluments Case Over Shutdown

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals froze a lawsuit accusing Trump of violating the constitution’s emoluments clause, after DOJ attorneys asked for a halt to their appeal, saying that the ongoing government shutdown will prevent them from doing their work. “The Department does not know when funding will be restored by Congress,” DOJ attorneys representing Trump in the case wrote in a Wednesday filing. The appeals court approved the request the same day. “The briefing schedule is suspended pendin...
Tags: News, Maryland, California, Washington, Dc, Department Of Justice, Doj, Justice Department, Trump, Department, U S Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, Robert Mueller, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Jerome Corsi, Congress DOJ


United States: First Impressions: Eleventh Circuit Rules That Equitable Mootness Applies In Chapter 9 Cases - Jones Day

In Bennett v. Jefferson County, Alabama, 899 F.3d 1240 (11th Cir. 2018), a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled as a matter of first impression that the doctrine of equitable mootness applies in chapter 9 cases.
Tags: News, United States, Bennett, U S Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, Jefferson County Alabama


Justices rebuff government on asylum ban

Last week the federal government went to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to block a ruling by a federal judge that bars the Trump administration from denying asylum to immigrants who enter the United States illegally from Mexico. Today the justices turned down the government’s request, which means that the government will not be able to enforce its new policy on asylum while the government appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and, if it comes to that, the Supreme Court...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Congress, Mexico, White House, Reagan, United States, Department Of Justice, Donald Trump, Clinton, Trump, Bush, John Roberts, 9th Circuit


United States: Patent Owners Win As Federal Circuit Reins In Gilead And AbbVie Double Patenting Rulings - Fenwick & West LLP

In a pair of patent owner victories, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued decisions limiting the applicability of obviousness-type double patenting
Tags: News, United States, U S Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Fenwick, West LLP


Appeals court agrees to take up Trump hotel case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Richmond, Virginia, appeals court has agreed to take up a case accusing Donald Trump of profiting off the presidency in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The order issued Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit also presses pause on the ongoing district court case in Maryland, which […]
Tags: Business, News, Maryland, Washington, Ap, Nation, Donald Trump, Trump, Fourth Circuit, Richmond Virginia, U S Court of Appeals


Power versus discretion: Extraordinary relief and the Supreme Court

In an overwhelming majority of the cases that the Supreme Court hears, the matter at issue has been adjudicated all the way through the lower courts, and comes to the justices only on the far side of a ruling by a federal court of appeals or the highest court of a state or territory. As the justices have reiterated often in recent years, “[o]urs is a court of final review and not first view.” By waiting for most cases to go through multiple layers of review by lower courts, the justices give the...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Court, United States, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, U S Court of Appeals, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, 7th Circuit, banc U S Court of Appeals, Office of the Solicitor General