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Tuesday round-up


  • In The National Law Journal (registration or subscription required), Tony Mauro reports on the amicus briefs filed in Elonis v. United States, in which the Justices will consider whether a Pennsylvania man’s Facebook posts violated a federal law prohibiting the transmission of threats across state lines.  Mauro notes that, in the briefs, the Court “is getting an intense education in another genre: the rhythmic, slangy — sometimes violent — poetry of rap music.”
  • In The New York Times, Adam Liptak previews next month’s argument in Warger v. Shauers, in which the Court will consider whether federal evidentiary rules allow a litigant moving for a new trial based on juror dishonesty during voir dire to introduce juror testimony about statements made during deliberations that tend to show the alleged dishonesty.
  • At CitiesSpeak, Lisa Soronen compiles a list of eight petitions on the Court’s certiorari docket that either involve or could affect local governments.
  • At The Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Kontorovich summarizes the amicus brief that he filed on behalf of law professors and a human rights group in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of a federal statute that directs the Secretary of State, on request, to record the birthplace of an American citizen born in Jerusalem as “Israel” on a U.S. passport.
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke last week at the George Washington University Law School; video of that speech is now available on
  • In The Atlantic, Garrett Epps weighs in on Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, in which the Arizona legislature is challenging the constitutionality of a voter initiative that gives authority for drawing districts for the House of Representatives to a bipartisan commission. He argues that, with the Court having “refused to prevent gerrymanders,” “[t] o insist that the people of a state can’t do it either would be something else again.”

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[Disclosure:  John Elwood, a frequent contributor to this blog, is among the counsel to the petitioner in Elonis.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 16, 2014, 10:10 AM),