For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports on Epic Systems v. Lewis, in which the court held on Monday that arbitration clauses in employment contracts that require employees to forgo class and collective actions are enforceable, noting that “[s]cholars who have looked into the 1925 [Federal Arbitration Act] find it remarkable that an obscure and narrowly focused measure has taken on such importance.” At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost observes that Justice Neil “Gorsuch’s vote marked the eighth time to cast a tie-breaking vote in a 5-4 decision,” and that Gorsuch “is likely to be the tie-breaker in a few more this term.”  Additional commentary comes from Orly Lobel at PrawfsBlawg, Damon Root at Reason’s Hit & Run blog, Mark Joseph Stern at Slate, Daniel Hemel, also at Slate, Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress, and Noah Feldman in an op-ed for Bloomberg, who writes that “[s]een in terms of jurisprudence, the decision reflected a serious philosophical difference between the two wings of the court[:] The conservatives insisted on a literalist, original-intent reading of the relevant federal laws; the liberals focused on the laws’ purpose and the practical consequences of the decision.”

Briefly:

  • For this blog, Leah Litman explains the factors behind the settlement agreement in Williams v. Louisiana, a cert petition asserting that the state failed to comply in a murder case with its obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence under Brady v. Maryland.
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman breaks down statistics on Supreme Court retirements that may shed light on whether Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire at the end of the term.
  • In an op-ed for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse notes that at their conference this morning, the justices will consider whether “to respond to a bold act of judicial defiance: the refusal by a federal appeals court to apply the Supreme Court’s most recent abortion precedent to a situation that is all but indistinguishable.”
  • At The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket blog, Robin Maher looks at the recent decision in McCoy v. Louisiana, in which the justices ruled that a defense attorney in a capital case cannot concede a defendant’s guilt to the jury over the defendant’s explicit objection, suggesting that the ruling will “surely create new, daunting challenges for capital defenders whose efforts are correctly focused on saving their client’s lives, and will likely increase the risks for already-vulnerable defendants with mental illness in the death penalty system.”
  • At Howe on the Court, Amy Howe reports that “the U.S. government [has] recommended that the Supreme Court tackle a legal question arising out of efforts to hold the government of Sudan responsible for its role in the bombing [of the USS Cole] – specifically, whether the plaintiffs in the case, who are service members injured in the bombing and their families, gave the Sudanese government proper notice of their lawsuit.”
  • For The New York Times, Melina Delcik offers an inside look at how the Times covered this term’s sports-betting case, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • At The Nation, Michelle Chen observes that “[r]egardless of how the Court rules [in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, in which the court will consider whether an Illinois law allowing public-sector unions to charge nonmembers for collective-bargaining activities violates the First Amendment,] teacher uprisings in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky—all ‘right to work’ states—suggest that organizing outside the law can be a politically effective tactic.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in this case.]

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 24, 2018, 7:11 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/05/thursday-round-up-426/