Oyez has posted the aligned audio and transcripts from the November 2020 oral arguments at the Supreme Court. The court heard argument this month in:

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Thursday round-up

By on Jan 21, 2021 at 10:11 am

Here’s a round-up of Supreme Court-related news and commentary from around the web:

We rely on our readers to send us links for our round-up. If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, podcast or op-ed relating to the Supreme Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion, please send it to roundup@scotusblog.com. Thank you!

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In a speech at Harvard Law School in 2015, Justice Elena Kagan told the audience that “we’re all textualists now” – that is, that any effort to interpret a statute begins (and often ends) with the language of the statute. That principle may ultimately prove dispositive in BP v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, in which the justices heard oral argument on Tuesday regarding a procedural aspect of a major climate-change lawsuit. Although the justices expressed concerns about the implications of a ruling for the oil and gas companies who are defendants in the lawsuit, several of them also seemed persuaded by the companies’ argument that their interpretation of the federal law at the heart of the dispute was more consistent with the actual text of the law.


Kannon Shanmugam, for oil companies, and Victor Sher, for Baltimore (Art Lien)

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On Thursday, the Supreme Court’s opinion in City of Chicago v. Fulton clarified that creditors do not violate the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay if they passively retain a debtor’s property after the debtor files for bankruptcy protection. The automatic stay is the provision of the Bankruptcy Code that halts all collection activity to allow the bankruptcy proceeding to unfold without creating a race among creditors.

The city of Chicago, like many municipalities, impounds cars for nonpayment of fines and fees. After their cars were impounded and they sought bankruptcy protection, Robbin Fulton, Jason Howard, George Peake and Timothy Shannon argued that the automatic stay in 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(3) required the city to return the cars. The city refused, claiming that the debtors needed to use the Bankruptcy Code’s turnover provisions in 11 U.S.C. § 542(a) to request their cars back. The difference between the two provisions is one of timing and convenience. If Section 362 is the operative provision, merely filing a bankruptcy petition would create an obligation for Chicago to return the vehicles to the debtors. If Section 542 is the operative provision, the debtors may need to initiate an adversary proceeding — a mini lawsuit within the bankruptcy case — to obtain their cars. Continue reading »

Wednesday round-up

By on Jan 20, 2021 at 9:35 am

Here’s a round-up of Supreme Court-related news and commentary from around the web:

We rely on our readers to send us links for our round-up. If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, podcast or op-ed relating to the Supreme Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion, please send it to roundup@scotusblog.com. Thank you!

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The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Tuesday morning in a dispute arising from the Federal Communications Commission’s attempts to deregulate local media ownership. After nearly an hour and a half of debate, the justices seemed inclined to uphold the FCC’s efforts – even if not on the ground that big broadcasters would prefer.

Ruthanne Deutsch argues for Prometheus Radio Project (Art Lien)

FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project and National Association of Broadcasters v. Prometheus Radio Project, which the court consolidated for oral argument, center on the FCC’s 2017 orders that repealed rules governing “cross-ownership,” which bar the same entity from owning both a daily newspaper and either a radio or television station within the same market and also limit ownership of both radio and television stations in the same market. The FCC also modified rules limiting how many television stations one entity can own in the same local market. The FCC pointed to the decline of the newspaper industry and the proliferation of other media outlets as reasons for the change. On appeal, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit vacated the orders, with the majority holding that the FCC had failed to adequately consider the effect that repealing or loosening the ownership rules would have on media ownership by women and minorities. Continue reading »

The Supreme Court issued orders on Tuesday morning from the justices’ private conference last Friday, Jan. 15. The order list was most notable for what the justices did not do: Not only did they not grant any new cases, but they did not act at all on any of the high-profile cases that they considered last week, including the challenge to Mississippi’s ban on abortion after the 15th week of pregnancy; the dispute – now apparently moot – over whether President Donald Trump can block people from his personal Twitter account; the federal government’s effort to reinstate the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; and the challenges to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to extend the deadline for mail-in ballots during the 2020 election.

The justices will meet again for another private conference on Friday, Jan. 22.

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

 
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Tuesday round-up

By on Jan 19, 2021 at 8:00 am

The Supreme Court convenes at 10 a.m. for its final argument day of January. The justices will first hear argument in a pair of consolidated cases —  FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project and National Association of Broadcasters v. Prometheus Radio Project — about whether the Federal Communications Commission acted lawfully when it rolled back rules preventing a single company from owning both a newspaper and a TV or radio station in the same local market. Our case preview is here. The second argument of the day will be BP PLC v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, which could determine whether a lawsuit seeking to hold oil companies responsible for climate change will be heard in state court (as the plaintiffs want) or federal court (as the companies want). Our preview is here. Continue reading »

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On Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the latest chapter of a long-running battle between the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit over the FCC’s efforts to deregulate media ownership. Although the case is a technical one, the court’s eventual ruling could affect who owns local newspapers and radio and television stations – which could in turn influence how Americans get their news from those outlets. Continue reading »

President-elect Joe Biden has not yet announced a nominee for solicitor general, the top lawyer who represents the government before the Supreme Court. SCOTUStalk host Amy Howe and SCOTUSblog’s media editor, Katie Barlow, discuss potential picks. The next solicitor general could be a Washington insider, or it could be someone unexpected — like Elena Kagan, who had never argued a case before the Supreme Court when President Barack Obama chose her as solicitor general in 2009. The two also discuss who may be on the short list for a Supreme Court nomination if a justice were to retire in the coming year.

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