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Wednesday round-up

Today the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three cases, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. First up is Salman v. United States, an insider trading case. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog. Another preview comes from Huilanzi Gong and Natalia San Juan at Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. Next is Buck v. Davis, which Amy Howe also previewed for this blog, and which involves racial bias and ineffective assistance of counsel in a death penalty case. Cornell’s Cassandra Desjourdy and Weiru Fang provide another preview of Buck, and Nina Totenberg reports on the case for NPR. After lunch, the court will hear arguments in Manuel v. City of Joliet, which asks whether and when a malicious prosecution case can be brought under the Fourth Amendment. Rory Little previewed the case for this blog, while Alla Khodykina and Rachael E. Hancock do the same for Cornell.

Analysis of yesterday’s oral argument in the federal bank fraud case Shaw v. United States comes from Amy Howe for this blog. At NPR, Nina Totenberg covered the first day of arguments in October Term 2016, observing in an interview on All Things Considered that the justices were “perky, lively, asking lots of questions in the two cases they heard” yesterday morning.

At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr and Patricia Hurtado report on Salman, noting that although the “case could divide the court along ideological lines,” “recent white-collar crime cases have unified the court to some degree.” In The Guardian, Ed Pilkington discusses Buck, stating that the case calls on the court to decide “whether it is acceptable in the United States in 2016 to put a prisoner to death because he is black.” More commentary on Buck comes from Elizabeth Hinton, who in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times suggests that the case is a “microcosm of the racial divisions in contemporary America.” And in an op-ed in The Guardian, Stephen Bright describes Buck as “an extreme example of just how deadly bad lawyering can be.” For CNN, Joan Biskupic highlights upcoming cases on the court’s docket, including Buck, that present the issue of racial bias in the criminal justice system, noting that race “has divided the Roberts court like nearly no other issue.”

Coverage of Monday’s orders denying review in a host of cases continues. Constitution Daily reports on the denials in “two appeals related to a high-profile case about compensation for college student athletes.” In The New York Times, Adam Liptak covers the court’s denial of review in a campaign finance case involving an investigation into the recall campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Ed Morrissey at HotAir weighs in on the denial, arguing that it “ends one of the most abusive political witch hunts in decades.” Also at Constitution Daily, Lyle Denniston discusses why the court may have denied the government’s request for rehearing in the Texas immigration case, observing that although such “denials very rarely mean anything of real consequence,” “United States v. Texas probably will stand out in the court’s history.”


  • In an op-ed in The Huffington Post, President Barack Obama urges Americans to express their dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court nomination stalemate by contacting their elected representatives and voting in November, arguing that by “hobbling the Supreme Court for what could be a year or longer, Republicans are eroding one of the core institutions of American democracy.”
  • At Politico, Richard Primus explores the potential role of Justice Clarence Thomas on the court after the death of his fellow-originalist Justice Antonin Scalia, positing that in “a great act of turnabout, the justice long dismissed as merely copying Scalia may become the chief arbiter of what Scalian jurisprudence means.”
  • For PBS NewsHour, Kassia Halcli reports on the acting solicitor general’s recent request that the court amend a 2003 decision to correct erroneous statistics regarding the average length of immigrant detentions that the government had submitted in that case; the controversy, she notes, “highlights the solicitor general’s ability to submit unvetted evidence directly to the court, free from the discovery process in lower courts, where both parties have equal footing,” and may have implications in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a case on this term’s docket that also involves immigrant detentions.
  • At the Constitutional Accountability Center, Brian Frazelle weighs in on Rosillo v. Holten, a cert petition on the justices’ October 7 conference calendar “in which a plaintiff’s recourse to an appeal was unfairly denied,” arguing that “Rosillo’s petition is an opportunity for the Court to show that at least it can still fulfill its most basic function: resolving confusion and disagreement among the lower courts on matters that affect the disposition of fundamental legal rights.”
  • Lisa Soronen reports on the cases the court agreed to review at its “long conference” that affect state governments at the National Conference of State Legislators Blog; she recaps the recent cert grants with implications for local governments for the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Appellate Practice Blog.
  • The Associated Press reports on the court’s order Monday agreeing “to referee a dispute between Delaware and 23 states over more than $150 million in uncashed MoneyGram checks.”
  • In Vinson & Elkins’ Lincoln’s Law Blog, Ralph Mayrell and Christina Ferma highlight a False Claims Act case in which the justices called for the views of the solicitor general on Monday.
  • In the Denver Post, Kirk Mitchell reports on the court’s decision to review Nelson v.Colorado, which asks “whether those wrongfully convicted of crimes are entitled to reimbursement of certain court costs.”
  • At the American Constitution Society, Carolyn Shapiro discusses the implications of Scalia’s absence for the court’s future treatment of class action cases, noting that the outcome in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, to be argued later this term, “may provide a clue as to whether the Court’s hostility to class actions will survive Justice Scalia’s death.”
  • Ross Runkel, in his eponymous blog, highlights Dignity Health v. Rollins, a pending cert petition involving the scope of ERISA’s exemption for church health plans.

Remember, we rely exclusively 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, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at]

Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 5, 2016, 7:46 AM),