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Friday round-up

In her “Circuit Split Watch” column at Appellate Daily, Michelle Olsen summarizes the issues in Samantar v. Yousuf, in which a former Somali government official has asked the Court to consider whether he is entitled to common-law immunity for atrocities committed in that country.  In 2010, the Court held that he was not entitled to immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act; in June of this year, it asked the federal government to weigh in on the common-law immunity question.   

At Slate, Christopher Lund previews (and discusses the arguments in) Town of Greece v. Galloway, in which the Court will consider a challenge to the town’s practice of allowing prayers at the beginning of meetings.  Observing that the Court’s 1983 decision in Marsh v. Chambersmoved us away from” the idea that the government “should not take religious positions,” Lund contends that, although the Court’s ultimate decision in Town of Greece “will almost surely not overrule Marsh . . . it would be a loss if Greece takes us even further away.”

Blogging at the Huffington Post, William Laney notes that “[t]he next president may well be in a position to decide whether the Supreme Court retains its present conservative-leaning make-up, or becomes a liberal-leaning court,” and he predicts that “there will be a liberal Supreme Court in our foreseeable future.”

[Disclosure:  Along with Tom Goldstein and Kevin Russell, both of whom contribute to this blog, I was among the counsel to the respondents in Samantar during the earlier proceedings at the Court; I am not involved in any way in the current proceedings.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 16, 2013, 7:06 AM),