Petition the day

By on Jan 16, 2017 at 11:12 pm

The petition of the day is:


Issue: Whether Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies only to physical spaces that people can enter.

This week at the court

By on Jan 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm

The court issued additional orders on Tuesday from the January 13 conference. It called for the views of the solicitor general in two related cases. On Wednesday the court released its opinion in Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation. The court also heard oral arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday. The calendar for the January sitting is available on the court’s website. On Thursday the justices met for their January 19 conference; that afternoon the court granted certiorari in two cases.


For the fourth time in as many Congresses, a bill has been introduced to compel the Supreme Court to televise its proceedings. Earlier versions of the bill, which was sponsored in the House of Representatives by members from both sides of the aisle, have failed to become law. The justices have generally opposed any suggestion that their public sessions should be televised, although many state supreme courts and some of the lower federal courts do broadcast their proceedings.

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Posted in Featured

Petition of the day

By on Jan 13, 2017 at 11:10 pm

The petition of the day is:


Issues: (1) Whether a federal official may retroactively ratify an ultra vires government action when: (a) no federal official was authorized to perform the act at the time it was initially undertaken; (b) the purported ratification does not include an examination of any facts related to the act performed; or (c) the ratification purports to encompass not only the initial act but also federal court rulings entered in response to the act; and (2) whether federal courts possess subject matter jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution to hear a case filed at the behest of an individual who, from the time suit was filed until judgment was entered, lacked authority to vindicate the executive branch’s interest in seeing that the law is obeyed.

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

Update at 4:36 p.m.,  January 13: This post has been expanded to include summaries of all the cases the court agreed today to review.

Last week the justices held their first private conference of 2017. They did not grant any cases from that conference, but they made up for last week’s dearth of cases, and then some, after today’s conference, by granting review in 16 new cases, for a total of 13 additional hours of argument. In doing so, the court also took a big step toward filling out its merits docket for this term.

Today’s grants included several closely watched business cases. In Sandoz v. Amgen and Amgen v. Sandoz, the justices will consider the process for resolving patent disputes relating to the federal Food and Drug Administration’s licensing of “biologics” – products such as vaccines, viruses and antitoxins. The court had asked the federal government to weigh in last summer; the U.S. solicitor general recommended that both petitions be granted.

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Neil Gorsuch was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit by President George W. Bush on May 10, 2006, and confirmed shortly thereafter. Both his pre-judicial resumé and his body of work as a judge make him a natural fit for an appointment to the Supreme Court by a Republican president. He is relatively young (turning 50 this year), and his background is filled with sterling legal and academic credentials. He was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, graduated from Harvard Law School, clerked for prominent conservative judges (Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as well as Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court), and was a high-
ranking official in the Bush Justice Department before his judicial appointment. He is celebrated as a keen legal thinker and a particularly incisive legal writer, with a flair that matches
— or at least evokes — that of the justice whose seat he would be nominated to fill. In fact, one study has identified him as the most natural successor to Justice Antonin Scalia on the Trump shortlist, both in terms of his judicial style and his substantive approach.

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Friday round-up

By on Jan 13, 2017 at 7:18 am

At The Economist, Steven Mazie discusses Wednesday’s argument in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court considered what level of educational benefit students with disabilities must receive, observing that it “now falls on the justices to decide whether to endorse the 10th circuit’s all-too-minimal standard for educational equality for disabled students or to articulate a higher standard,” and that the “tenor of the argument suggests they’d like to find a way to do the latter.” In The Christian Science Monitor, Henry Gass notes that Endrew F., along with another argued earlier this term, Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, could make this “a banner year” at the court “for disabled students, their parents, and the cash-strapped school districts that educate them.”  Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up

Petition of the day

By on Jan 12, 2017 at 11:07 pm

The petition of the day is:


Issues: (1) Whether the filing of a proof of claim is debt collection as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; (2) whether the Bankruptcy Code, which governs the filing of proofs of claim in bankruptcy, precludes the application of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to the filing of a proof of claim for an unextinguished time-barred debt; and (3) whether the filing of a proof of claim for an unextinguished time-barred debt in a bankruptcy proceeding violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.



Raymond Gruender, who is 53, was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2004, after working in private practice and serving as a prosecutor in the Eastern District of Missouri, first as an assistant U.S. Attorney and then as U.S. Attorney. Gruender earned a B.A., an M.B.A. and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. He served as Missouri state director for Sen. Bob Dole’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1996. Since his confirmation by a vote of 97-1, after an uncontroversial confirmation hearing, Gruender has provided a solidly conservative vote on the 8th Circuit. He appeared on President-elect Donald Trump’s original list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees that was released on May 18, 2016.

Gruender’s deep Midwestern roots and lack of an Ivy League affiliation may be appealing if Trump is seeking a nominee who hails from outside the coastal elites. Gruender also has a compelling personal story. When he was in law school, his father, angered after Gruender’s mother fled to avoid spousal abuse, pulled a gun on Gruender and his siblings, shooting Gruender and his sister, and later committing suicide. According to an official Minnesota State Bar Association publication, Gruender “knocked his father to the floor before his 12-year-old brother could be shot.”

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