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.

Friday round-up

By on Mar 17, 2017 at 7:04 am

In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Ed O’Keefe report that “Senate Democrats are requesting more information about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s role defending the George W. Bush administration in lawsuits over terrorism policies and interrogation of detainees.” In The New York Times, Charlie Savage reports on Gorsuch’s job at the Justice Department, which put Gorsuch “at the center of both litigation and negotiations with Congress over legislation about” controversial topics such as “detainee abuses, military commissions, warrantless surveillance and [the Bush administration’s] broad claims of executive power.”

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin looks at Gorsuch’s ties to Oxford don John Finnis, Gorsuch’s thesis adviser at Oxford, who “revived the academic vitality of natural law, which posits that law’s legitimacy rests on moral values intrinsic to human nature” and which “undergirds much of modern conservative legal thought.” At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports that “the legal road signs” point to “the nominee’s conservatism,” and that although Gorsuch, “has never ruled directly on an abortion question,” “he has ruled on questions involving contraception and public funding for Planned Parenthood — unrelated to abortion,” and “in none of these cases has he sided with advocates of birth control or abortion rights.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Petition of the day

By on Mar 16, 2017 at 11:25 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-876

Issue: Whether a federal district court’s ancillary jurisdiction in criminal cases includes the power to hear motions to expunge criminal records.

 
Share:

In 2004, Neil Gorsuch was awarded a doctorate in legal philosophy by the University of Oxford, the British institution where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. Gorsuch’s doctoral thesis on euthanasia and assisted suicide served as the basis for his 2006 book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” At Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing that year, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Gorsuch about his writings on assisted suicide and euthanasia, noting that Gorsuch had been “prolific.”

Gorsuch assured Graham that his “personal views” would have “nothing to do with the case before” him in any situation. Having said that, though, Gorsuch added that his writings on assisted suicide and euthanasia had “been largely in defense of existing law” and were “consistent with the Supreme Court’s decisions in this area and existing law in most places.”

Continue reading »

Event announcement

By on Mar 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm

On March 30 at 2 p.m., the State & Local Legal Center will host a midterm review of the Supreme Court’s docket. Speakers will include Matt Wessler, Tom Bondy and Lawrence Hurley. More information and registration are available at this link.

 
Share:

Relist Watch

By on Mar 16, 2017 at 9:49 am

John Elwood reviews the current relists.

It’s going to be another short update this week. Not because we have other pressing engagements, although we do. This installment will be short because there are only three new relists this week, and they raise only two related issues.

All of this week’s new relists involve the Supreme Court’s 2002 opinion in Atkins v. Virginia holding that the execution of intellectually disabled criminals constitutes cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. In 2014, the court extended that ruling, concluding in Hall v. Florida that a state-law threshold requirement that defendants show an IQ test score of 70 or below before being permitted to submit intellectual-disability evidence to jurors violated the Eighth Amendment by creating an unacceptable risk that persons with intellectual disabilities would be executed.

Continue reading »

 
Share:

Thursday round-up

By on Mar 16, 2017 at 7:29 am

At Politico, Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett report that liberal groups “are urging the senators to ramp up their fight against” Judge Neil Gorsuch in advance of next week’s Senate confirmation hearing. At Roll Call, Kate Ackley reports that “Democratic lawmakers and liberal interest groups are intensifying their pressure on senators to probe Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s views on campaign finance law,” in the belief that focusing on campaign finance “would give moderate Democrats, in particular, a reason to oppose him without touching on more politically controversial issues such as abortion or gun rights that would not play well in conservative states.” At Politico, Seung Min Kim reports that “Sen. Dianne Feinstein is demanding more documents from Neil Gorsuch,” “saying he has omitted key information that may shed some light on his work on key national security issues during the George W. Bush administration.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Petition of the day

By on Mar 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-860

Issues: (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred in holding that the causation of bodily injury necessarily establishes that an offense is a “crime of violence” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 16(a), even if the offense does not have as an element the use, attempted use or threatened use of any force; and (2) whether the 9th Circuit erred in holding that the California offense of criminal threats, California Penal Code § 422(a) – which requires a threat of bodily injury but not the use, attempted use or threatened use of any force – is a “crime of violence” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 16(a).

Separation of powers and federalism have many friends of convenience. Those opposed to the current policies of the party in charge of the federal government (or a particular branch of it) will often point to these doctrines as reasons to constrain the enforcement of policies with which they disagree. When another party comes to power, those principles are often readily abandoned. We are currently experiencing that kind of transition, one that will test the durability of principled commitments to the appropriate division of authority between Congress, the executive, and the courts, and between state and federal governments. Enforcing those divisions is an important responsibility for the Supreme Court. So what could we expect from a Justice Neil Gorsuch? Although he was nominated by a president with apparently big plans for enacting significant parts of his agenda through executive action, Judge Gorsuch has expressed sustained skepticism about the power federal agencies have accumulated, particularly in derogation of the judicial role. His views on federalism, however, are less clear.

Continue reading »

Between 2011 and 2013, Tara Menon worked for a company called Water Splash, which builds “splash pads” – recreational areas with spray jets and sprinklers that are popular with city parks because they give kids a place to cool off without the hazards or staffing requirements of swimming pools. During that time, Menon allegedly began stealing and using Water Splash designs and materials on behalf of a competitor. As a result, Water Splash sued Menon in Texas state court, serving her at her residence in Quebec by certified mail, return receipt requested; first class mail; Federal Express; and e-mail. Menon never responded to any of these attempts, and Water Splash won a default judgment. However, the case did not end there. Menon moved for a new trial, asserting that she had never been properly served under the Hague Service Convention, which applies when legal documents are served across national borders. In a 2-1 decision, a Texas appellate court agreed, joining a minority of jurisdictions that hold that the service convention does not permit service by mail. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide that issue.

Continue reading »

SCOTUSblog is hiring

By on Mar 15, 2017 at 12:35 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;
  • Assisting 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.

This position would begin in early August 2017. 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 molly@goldsteinrussell.com and ahamm@scotusblog.com by April 10. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. This position is located in Bethesda, Maryland.

Posted in Everything Else
 
Share:
More Posts: More Recent PostsOlder Posts
Term Snapshot
Awards