Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

We expect orders from the March 24 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday, March 28 and Wednesday, March 29.
On Monday the court hears oral argument in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton. Ronald Mann has our preview.
On Monday the court also hears oral argument in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC. Ronald Mann has our preview.

Oyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

The court heard argument this week in:

Posted in Everything Else

Event announcement

By on Mar 24, 2017 at 3:37 pm

On March 27 at 12 p.m., the D.C. Bar will host the next installment of its seminar series on issues and cases before the court. Ruthanne Deutsch and Brian Wolfman will focus on Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court held that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires a school to offer an “individualized education program” reasonably calculated to allow a student to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances. This blog’s Edith Roberts will serve as the moderator. More information and registration are available for the in-person presentation and the webinar.


Relist Watch

By on Mar 24, 2017 at 10:24 am

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relists.

In a week where there was no shortage of bigly stories for court-watchers, it’s hard to know where to begin. The really tough questions the Senate threw at Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch this week? Or the fact that we as a nation remain deeply divided on basic issues, unable even to recognize the common humanity of those who disagree? But at least the rough and tumble of public debate has achieved consensus on one issue: There must be punctuation to reflect the dopey blank-stare pause between “uuuh” and “what?,” known to grammarians as an “Oxnard Comma.”

While the two serial relists that have been hanging around for a month or more return for another conference, last week’s three new relists were unceremoniously shown the door without so much as a dissent from denial. The hardy duo of returning relists are joined this week by four new hopefuls. Every one involves a very narrow issue – none of them is the sort of blockbuster the court has produced in recent years. The cases fall into two broad categories – we’ll briefly describe them all, alternating between cases involving human drama and nerd-fests.

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Friday round-up

By on Mar 24, 2017 at 7:41 am

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped up its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. A round-up of early coverage of and commentary on the proceedings, including the possibility of a filibuster by Democratic senators, appeared in this blog. Additional coverage comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR, Ken Jost at Jost on Justice, Tierney Sneed at Talking Points Memo, Tony Mauro in The National Law Journal (registration or subscription required), and Mark Walsh in Education Week. Commentary comes from Kimberly Strassel in The Wall Street Journal, the editorial board of The New York Times, We the People (podcast), Dean Obeidallah at The Daily Beast, Sarah Posner in The Washington Post, and Tony Francois at the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog.

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Posted in Round-up

Petition of the day

By on Mar 23, 2017 at 11:23 pm

The petition of the day is:


Issue: Whether retroactively applying a sex-offender-registry law that classifies offenders into tiers based on crime of conviction, requires certain offenders to register for life, requires offenders to report in person periodically and within days of certain changes to registry information, and restricts offenders’ activities within school zones imposes “punishment” in violation of the ex post facto clause.


Today the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted the fourth and final day of its hearing on Gorsuch nomination, which featured testimony of witnesses for and against the nomination. Coverage of the hearing comes from Matt Flegenheimer and others in The New York Times, Seung Min Kim and Josh Gerstein at Politico, Rebecca Wilhelm at Bloomberg BNA, who focuses on Gorsuch’s views on Chevron deference, Benjamin Wermund at Politico, and Lisa Soronen at the National Conference of State Legislatures blog, who writes about what Gorsuch had to say about issues affecting state and local governments, Commentary comes from Andrew Cohen in Esquire, Ilya Shapiro in the Washington Examiner, Tara Helfman in Commentary, Lori Ringhand and Paul Collins at The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, who argue that all justices, including Gorsuch, should be limited to 18-year terms,

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced today that he will oppose Gorsuch’s nomination and will urge his Democratic colleagues to do the same, opening the door to a filibuster. Amy Howe reports on Schumer’s statement for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Kevin Freking and Mark Sherman at the Associated Press, Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung at Reuters, Ariane de Vogue at CNN, Charlie Savage, Matt Flegenheimer and Adam Liptak in The New York Times, Richard Wolf at USA Today, Elana Schor at Politico, and Ed Keefe, Robert Barnes and Ann Marimow in The Washington Post. Commentary on the prospect of a filibuster comes from James Downie in The Washington Post.

The Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch this afternoon. After undergoing two days of questioning, the nominee himself was not present at today’s proceedings, which featured a variety of witnesses. Unsurprisingly, Gorsuch has secured the vote of at least one senator, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, who spoke briefly with the press after adjourning the hearing. Motioning to the witness table, Grassley said he did not understand how anyone could oppose Gorsuch’s nomination after “the performance of this guy for 22 hours.” Grassley further dismissed indications by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that Schumer would support a filibuster, which Amy Howe covered this morning. “We aren’t going to talk about a filibuster, or even worry about it,” Grassley continued, calling the threat a “smokescreen.” He encouraged a return to “normalcy,” which he described as “dispassionate regard to making a decision on people for the Supreme Court.” Grassley said earlier this week that he hopes to hold a committee vote on the nomination next Monday.

We live-blogged the fourth day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The transcript is available at this link.

In its conference of March 24, 2017, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether Item 303 of Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation S-K creates a duty to disclose that is actionable under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5; whether the proper test for determining non-statutory insider status requires bankruptcy courts to conduct an “arm’s length” analysis or to apply a “functional equivalent” test; and whether reasonable jurists could disagree that, by anticipatorily applying a procedural default not actually grounded in state law, a district court abused its discretion when it refused a routine stay and amendment necessary to exhaust claims associated with newly discovered evidence revealing overt discrimination in the prosecution’s decision to seek the death penalty.

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On Wednesday, the court heard oral argument in Water Splash v. Menon, a case about the meaning of the Hague Service Convention. In particular, the dispute concerns Article 10 of the Convention, which has three parts. First, Article 10(a) preserves individuals’ “freedom to send” judicial documents abroad by “postal channels” when the receiving country does not object. In contrast, Articles 10(b) and 10(c) reference freedom to “effect service” across borders via judicial officers. The case turns on whether the freedom to “send” judicial documents encompasses service of a complaint by mail, or if – as Menon argued successfully in the Texas 14th Court of Appeals – that provision refers only to sending documents for other purposes. If Article 10(a) does encompass service by mail, then Water Splash’s complaint against Menon was likely properly served; if it doesn’t, then Menon was within her rights to ignore the complaint, as she did.

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