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Tuesday round-up

At Jost on Justice, Ken Jost weighs in on last week’s oral arguments in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the legislative prayer case, arguing that, although “[t]he justices may be tempted to keep the court out of this controversy, . . . only the courts can protect the religious liberties of religious minorities when they are ignored by the religious majority.”  And at Sightings, Martin E. Marty discusses some of the questions posed by the case:  he characterizes “[t]he main preliminary arguments to the Supreme Court for prayers, as voiced last Wednesday, . . .  [as] ‘we’ve always done that before.’ Or ‘we’re bigger’n you are.’”  If so, he continues, “who are the ‘we?’ . . . Before long in any number of communities Muslims will outnumber many other constituencies. What will the people whose only case is that ‘we and our God were here first, and that we set historical precedents’ have to say and do?”


  • At JURIST, Andy Grewal discusses last month’s oral arguments in United States v. Woods, in which the Court is considering whether a provision of the tax code that prescribes a penalty for an underpayment of federal income tax that is “attributable to” an overstatement of basis in property applies to an un­derpayment resulting from a determination that a transaction lacks economic substance because the sole purpose of the transaction was to generate a tax loss by artificially inflating the taxpayer’s basis in property.  Grewal observes that the oral arguments “suggest that the court is much more interested in another issue—whether the district court enjoyed jurisdiction to consider the penalty in the first instance.”  “However,” he continues, “the court and the parties overlooked a key issue that could be dispositive of that jurisdictional question.”
  • The Jones Day law firm has announced that it has hired six lawyers who clerked at the Court last Term.  Tony Mauro reports for the Blog of Legal Times.
  • At The Life of The Law, Emily Gadek reports on the historical practice of circuit-riding by Supreme Court Justices.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 12, 2013, 7:49 AM),