Friday round-up

By on Aug 21, 2015 at 8:28 am

Briefly:

  • Greenwire’s Jeremy Jacobs reports that the Court’s recent ruling in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, striking down “an odd Depression-era raisin program[,] may have revived a critical government defense for endangered species and other wildlife protections, legal experts say.”
  • At his eponymous blog, John Q. Barrett remembers civil rights legend Louis Stokes, who represented petitioner John Terry in the Court’s landmark case of Terry v. Ohio. Stokes died on Tuesday at the age of ninety.
  • At the blog of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Lisa Soronen looks ahead to Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the challenge to the university’s use of affirmative action in its undergraduate admissions process in which the Court granted cert. earlier this summer; she observes that the possible reasons why the Court once again agreed to review the case “are mindboggling if not endless.”
  • On Saturday at 6 p.m., C-SPAN Radio will air the next installment in its series on the Court in the movies, focusing on the 1974 oral argument in United States v. Nixon.
  • In The Economist, Steven Mazie questions the rationales behind a proposal to voluntarily limit the terms of Supreme Court Justices but agrees that “breathing new life into the nation’s highest court more often—even if it does not make the tribunal any less political—would bring more dynamism to the judiciary, jog the justices’ decision-making patterns and narrow, even if only slightly, the yawning gap between the enrobed ones and everyday citizens.”

 If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com.

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“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he co-directs that firm’s appellate practice – a practice formerly run by now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.  Katyal has argued twenty-four cases before the Court, including his first case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Mr Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught constitutional law for fifteen years. He served as Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration and as the National Security Advisor and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.

Mr Katyal is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this five-part interview, Mr Katyal discusses his background, including how discovering high school debate changed his life, working in national security and picking Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as his first Supreme Court case; the details of oral argument before the Supreme Court; understanding the importance of technical knowledge in understanding law, legal arguments and results; serving as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and how the Solicitor General’s office compares to private practice; and teaching law, clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, and what to think about cameras in the Court.

Part three: Technicalities

“Your job as the advocate is always to win for your client.”

Assessing the meaning of a “win” and the importance of technical knowledge to advocacy and Supreme Court decision-making.

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Thursday round-up

By on Aug 20, 2015 at 7:41 am

In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse looks at the Connecticut Supreme Court’s recent ruling abolishing the death penalty in that state; she argues that the court “not only produced an important ruling for its own jurisdiction” but also “addressed the United States Supreme Court frankly and directly,” “at a crucial moment of mounting unease.”  And in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Kevin Barry contends that the ruling raises “three key questions about the death penalty nationally,” with the first question going to the U.S. Supreme Court: “How many states must abolish the death penalty before the high court will strike it down for good?”  Continue reading »

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“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he co-directs that firm’s appellate practice – a practice formerly run by now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.  Katyal has argued twenty-four cases before the Court, including his first case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Mr Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught constitutional law for fifteen years. He served as Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration and as the National Security Advisor and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.

Mr Katyal is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this five-part interview, Mr Katyal discusses his background, including how discovering high school debate changed his life, working in national security and picking Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as his first Supreme Court case; the details of oral argument before the Supreme Court; understanding the importance of technical knowledge in understanding law, legal arguments and results; serving as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and how the Solicitor General’s office compares to private practice; and teaching law, clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, and what to think about cameras in the Court.

Part two: The conversationalist

“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Dissecting oral argument: Filing Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (and trying to give it away before it reached the Supreme Court); how an acting coach helped a new Supreme Court advocate; understanding the value of oral argument; the importance of moot argument, the brief and “the binder” that has been consulted only once; believing every Justice is always in play; answering questions from all directions, advocating for one’s client, serving the Court — all in the form of a conversation; and knowing if you have won or lost.

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Wednesday round-up

By on Aug 19, 2015 at 6:54 am

Briefly:

  • At Cato at Liberty, Andrew Grossman looks ahead to Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, in which the Court will hear oral arguments in the upcoming Term; he urges the Court to make clear “that trial by formula is off-limits, whether a case is brought as a class action or as a ‘collective action’ under the Fair Labor Standards Act or a combination of the two.”
  • At The Labor Dish, Katherine Liao discusses the Court’s recent decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, and she looks at the limits on the extent to which employers must accommodate an employee or job applicant’s religion.
  • The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times discusses some of the reforms to the Court proposed by the group Fix the Court; it acknowledges that the “Court’s independence is essential, which is why politically motivated attacks on the court must be rejected,” but it urges the Justices to “be more open about how they do their important work.”

 If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com.

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The state of Texas, one of the most energetic opponents of a key part of the federal Voting Rights Act, has turned what it was sure was a Supreme Court victory against that law into a legal defeat that will cost it more than $1 million.  That was the result of a ruling by a federal appeals court on Tuesday, interpreting what it means when the Justices send a case back to a lower court for a new look.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will translate into a sizable legal bill for Texas to cover what opponents in a major election law case spent for their attorneys’ work.

The panel sharply accused the state’s lawyers of failing to obey court rules, echoing an earlier comment by a federal trial court judge that “this matter presents a case study in how not to respond to a motion for attorney fees and costs.”

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Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court provided Moones Mellouli, a lawful permanent resident who had been ordered removed from the United States, with a victory in his efforts to reverse a removal order.  The Court held that “[f]ederal law ([8 U.S.C.] 1227(a)(2)(B)(i)  . . . did not authorize Mellouli’s removal.” It did not remand the case to the court of appeals or the Board of Immigration Appeals for further proceedings, thereby suggesting that the case had come to an end.  Nonetheless, there now is a squabble between Mellouli and the U.S. government over just how big Mellouli’s victory was.

Continue reading »

 
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“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he co-directs that firm’s appellate practice – a practice formerly run by now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.  Katyal has argued twenty-four cases before the Court, including his first case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Mr Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught constitutional law for fifteen years. He served as Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration and as the National Security Advisor and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.

Mr Katyal is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this five-part interview, Mr Katyal discusses his background, including how discovering high school debate changed his life, working in national security and picking Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as his first Supreme Court case; the details of oral argument before the Supreme Court; understanding the importance of technical knowledge in understanding law, legal arguments and results; serving as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and how the Solicitor General’s office compares to private practice; and teaching law, clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, and what to think about cameras in the Court.

Part one: Debater

“In high school, I joined the debate team — I was a shy kid and interested in science but somehow got into that — and that really changed my life.”

Growing up in Chicago as the child of immigrant parents; discovering debate and the meaning of pro bono; government service; national security; and teaching law.

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Tuesday round-up

By on Aug 18, 2015 at 7:47 am

Briefly:

  • In USA Today, Tony Mauro observes that, with three Justices who will be over the age of eighty in January 2017, “[o]ne of the campaign issues that went underdiscussed during the first prime-time Republican presidential debate should really be at the top of the list: the future of the Supreme Court.”
  • In his Sidebar column for The New York Times, Adam Liptak discusses what he describes as “the sleeper case” of last Term, suggesting that, in “an otherwise minor decision about a municipal sign ordinance, the Court in June transformed the First Amendment.”
  • At OnLabor, Maggie McKinley argues that the Court’s 2011 decision in Borough of Duryea v. Guarneri “should guide the Court’s decision in” this Term’s Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, and she urges the Court to rule that, becausethe activity at issue in Friedrichs is not constitutionally protected, the Court should hold that the government does not implicate the agency fee doctrine when it compels an individual to subsidize that activity.”
  • Lien Hoang of Voice of America reports that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg traveled to Vietnam, where (among other things) she discussed the freedom of the press and U.S. antidiscrimination laws.
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Reminder: SCOTUSblog is hiring

By on Aug 17, 2015 at 5:19 pm

The blog and Goldstein & Russell, P.C., are looking for someone to serve as both the firm manager for Goldstein & Russell, P.C., and the deputy manager of SCOTUSblog.  The principal responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating and proofing Supreme Court filings;
  • Paralegal tasks, including drafting simple legal documents, checking citations for accuracy and formatting, and light legal research;
  • Administrative work for the firm and in particular for Tom Goldstein, the firm’s managing partner;
  • Scheduling travel, which may entail making frequent last-minute changes and arrangements, sometimes during off hours;
  • Overseeing all web development for the blog, from strategy and planning to execution by web development team;
  • Assisting the blog manager with case coverage; and
  • Overseeing occasional special projects.

The qualifications for this position include:

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Excellent writing and editing skills;
  • Strong interest in learning about the U.S. Supreme Court and its workings;
  • Undergraduate experience with law-related courses is a plus, though not a requirement, as is an interest in attending law school (part-time students are not eligible for this position); and
  • Ability to improvise; we occasionally need all hands on deck both during and outside of normal business hours.

A commitment of at least two years is required for this position.  To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, transcript (either official or unofficial), and unedited writing sample (no more than five pages) to andrew@goldsteinrussell.com by August 31.  Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.  This position is in Bethesda, Maryland.

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