Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

We expect additional orders from the December 2 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday.

Today the Supreme Court added seven new cases, for a total of five hours of oral argument, to its merits docket for this term. The cases cover a range of issues, from a divorced couple’s dispute over military retirement pay to the scope of the patent exhaustion doctrine, as well as the excessive use of force by the police, the contours of an exemption from federal employee benefits laws for churches, and the interpretation of an international convention on the service of process.

Continue reading »

Next month will mark 44 years since the Supreme Court declared the existence of a constitutional right for women to choose to terminate their pregnancies through abortion. Yet, unlike any other decision in recent decades, the longevity of Roe v. Wade as precedent remains in doubt, under continual attack in courts, legislatures and political campaigns.

The curious status of Roe was brought into dramatic relief last month when CBS aired an interview with President-elect Donald Trump on its “60 Minutes” broadcast. Trump reiterated his oft-stated campaign pledge that he would appoint judges and justices who were pro-life and committed to overturning Roe; he suggested that if Roe were reversed, access to abortion would be up to each state. In the same interview, he asserted that argument over the legal status of same-sex marriage is now “irrelevant”: “It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done. And I’m fine with that.”

Continue reading »

 
Share:

Relist Watch

By on Dec 2, 2016 at 11:19 am

John Elwood (finally) reviews Monday’s relists.

Since the Supreme Court’s last conference, we’ve crossed an important inflection point in American civic life. It began of course with Thanksgiving, the only major holiday not yet spoiled by commercialism, when we come together to commemorate an important event in early American history – the time when Native Americans taught the pilgrims how to make jello molds with little marshmallows. That sacrosanct gathering yields almost immediately to Thanksgetting – when U.S. residents are legally required to line up bleary-eyed at strip malls in a frenzied quest for discounts so deep they nearly equal the value of the unused gift-cards from last Christmas sitting in their sock drawers.

Continue reading »

 
Share:

Friday round-up

By on Dec 2, 2016 at 6:33 am

On Wednesday, the court heard oral argument in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a class-action due process challenge to the prolonged detention of immigrants. Kevin Johnson analyzes the argument for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, who suggests that the “shorthanded court could be heading toward another 4-4 deadlock, divided along ideological lines,” and Josh Gerstein at Politico, who notes that the “Obama Justice Department’s law-and-order stance in the case took on added real-world significance with Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election earlier this month.” KQED Radio hosts a forum discussing the issues in the case.

Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Petition of the day

By on Dec 1, 2016 at 11:18 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-461

Issues: (1) Whether the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a unanimous verdict by an impartial jury (A) precludes a court from removing a juror during deliberations when the record discloses any possibility that the removal request stems from the juror’s views on the merits of the case and (B) precludes a court from questioning the jury when faced with allegations of juror misconduct that could be related to the merits; and (2) whether, as the plain text provides, Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 requires suppression of all recordings made for the purpose of committing a criminal or tortious act.

The detention of immigrants is a major tool for enforcing the immigration laws employed by the executive branch. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to detain immigrants facing removal while their cases percolate through the courts. Detention thus is poised to become more common for noncitizens in removal proceedings.

Yesterday, the justices appeared deeply divided during oral argument in Jennings v. Rodriguez. This class-action challenge to immigration detentions raises questions about whether immigrants, like virtually any U.S. citizen placed in criminal or civil detention, must be guaranteed a bond hearing. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court injunction that generally requires bond hearings every six months for certain classes of immigrant detainees.

Continue reading »

Thursday round-up

By on Dec 1, 2016 at 7:21 am

Yesterday, the court heard oral argument in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a class-action due-process challenge to the prolonged detention of immigrants. Adam Liptak reports on the argument in The New York Times, noting that the number of detainees is “likely to swell” if Donald Trump “follows through on his pledge to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants.” Additional coverage comes from Jordan Rudner in The Dallas Morning News, who notes that if “the justices rule in favor of the immigrant class, detained immigrants in Texas would be granted individual bond hearings, shortly after arriving in detention centers,” and Nina Totenberg at NPR, who reports that the justices “appeared closely divided” and, as “all the justices wrestled with multiple, and sometimes conflicting, statutory provisions,” “the argument splayed out into something of a mess.” At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston also analyzes the argument in Jennings, concluding that the case presents the justices with the kind of constitutional avoidance “dilemma” created when “a law has a high potential for violating the Constitution, but there may not be a Supreme Court majority to think up a way to save the law by giving it a new meaning.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Petition of the day

By on Nov 30, 2016 at 11:12 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-460

Issue: Whether the tolling provision in 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d) suspends the limitations period for the state-law claim while the claim is pending and for thirty days after the claim is dismissed, or whether the tolling provision does not suspend the limitations period but merely provides 30 days beyond the dismissal for the plaintiff to refile.

In its conference of December 2, 2016, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act pre-empts a state court’s order directing a veteran to indemnify a former spouse for a reduction in the former spouse’s portion of the veteran’s military retirement pay, when that reduction results from the veteran’s post-divorce waiver of retirement pay in order to receive compensation for a service-connected disability; whether the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters authorizes service of process by mail; and whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974’s church-plan exemption applies so long as a pension plan is maintained by an otherwise-qualifying church-affiliated organization, or whether the exemption applies only if, in addition, a church initially established the plan.

Continue reading »

 
Share:

Argument transcript

By on Nov 30, 2016 at 1:20 pm

The transcript in Jennings v. Rodriguez is here.

Posted in Merits Cases
 
Share:
More Posts: Older Posts
Term Snapshot
Awards