In The Economist, Steven Mazie takes issue with the amicus brief filed by the federal government in support of a baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, arguing that although the brief characterizes wedding cakes as “’inherently communicative,’” it “provides no evidence that even the most elaborately decorated and exorbitantly priced wedding confections are imbued with the capacity of speech.” At In a Crowded Theater, Erica Goldberg considers the free-exercise arguments put forward by the petitioners in the case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission; she concludes that the baker’s “free exercise claim cannot exist if his cake isn’t expression, and his free speech claim is bolstered by the free exercise claim.”
- In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes looks at the case of a part-time municipal judge in Mississippi who has “asked the Supreme Court to intervene in what so far has been an unsuccessful federal lawsuit claiming the [Mississippi state] flag promotes white supremacy and violates the equal-protection rights of black Mississippians.”
- In the ABA Journal, Erwin Chemerinsky discusses “some of the ‘sleeper’ cases [of October Term 2016] that did not make the headlines of major newspapers, but will have a significant effect on legal practice,” including “decisions concerning criminal law, free speech and patent litigation.”
- At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost notes that “the administration is set to open the Supreme Court’s new term next month [in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis and two consolidated cases] … by siding with business interests and against organized labor in a case testing employees’ ability to join with other workers in contesting workplace policies that violate state or federal law.”
- An editorial in Mail Tribune urges the court to review the case of an Oregon inmate who has challenged a state rule that allows criminal defendants to be convicted with a less-than-unanimous jury verdict, arguing that the rule “originated in attempts to limit the ability of minority viewpoints to sway jury verdicts.”
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