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Monday round-up

On Friday the Court issued the first set of orders from its December 5 Conference, granting cert. in three cases:  Walker v. Texas Division, Son of Confederate Veterans, involving a state’s power to create a specialty license plate program which controls the messages that may be displayed; Brumfield v. Cain, a Louisiana capital case in which it will consider whether a defendant has a right to an independent court hearing on whether he is mentally disabled and therefore ineligible for the death penalty; and Commil USA v. Cisco Systems, a case involving a patent invalidity defense.  Lyle Denniston covered the order list for this blog; coverage of the license plate case comes from David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, while Kent Scheidegger weighs in on the grant in Brumfield at Crime and Consequences


  • At his Understanding the Americans With Disabilities Act blog, William Goren discusses City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan, in which the Court granted cert. earlier in the month; at issue is whether the ADA limits police officers’ arresting power when they seek to subdue a person they know to be mentally disabled.
  • At Constitution Daily, Scott Bomboy looks at “the case of the missing 13th amendment to the Constitution”; he reports that “[t]he debate is part of a historical detective story with some surprising twists that is still taking place.”
  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost reviews Monday’s oral argument in the Facebook threats case Elonis v. United States; he urges the Court to “articulate a careful standard that can protect ‘true’ political speech and satire on social media without giving free rein to those who would use the First Amendment as a license for threats of violence, laughing out loud through their posts.”

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 8, 2014, 6:41 AM),