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Thursday round-up

For CNN, Ariane de Vogue reports that in an interview on Tuesday evening, Justice Sonia Sotomayor sidestepped a question about whether she was apprehensive about the results of last Tuesday’s election, stating that “’We can’t afford to despair.’” Molly Runkle covered the event for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Robert Barnes at The Washington Post, who reports that Sotomayor said she “looked forward to a nomination that will restore the court to full strength.” Post-election remarks also came from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who, as Robert Barnes reports in The Washington Post, “said the most immediate impact of last week’s election on the Supreme Court is that it will get a new ninth member.” In the ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss also covers Ginsburg’s comments, noting that Ginsburg repeated her previous statement that “’Eight is not a good number.’”

In an op-ed in The Huffington Post, Sammie Moshenberg argues that, to use a real-estate metaphor, “the Supreme Court vacancy should not convey” to the new president, and that in “the interests of turning over a nation with its institutions—including the judiciary—in good shape and working order, the Senate should make confirming Judge Merrick Garland a top priority before the 114th Congress ends.” And in The Washington Times, Valerie Richardson reports that singer Barbra Streisand “is championing a White House ‘We the People’ petition calling on the Democratic president to appoint Merrick Garland without the confirmation of the Senate.”


  • At Constitution Daily, Lyle Denniston reports on the status of the court’s request six months ago that the parties in Zubik v. Burwell, last term’s case involving religious accommodations to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, attempt to find common ground, noting that eight “separate federal appeals courts now have a total of 20 cases that are awaiting word on whether the two sides can come to an agreement” and that hanging “over the future of the mandate, of course, is the uncertainty about where President-elect Donald Trump and his new administration will settle in his expressed desire to get rid of Obamacare entirely.”
  • In an op-ed in the Argus Leader, David Ganje discusses a pending cert petition in a case involving a challenge to a U.S. Department of Agriculture decision designating part of a South Dakota property owner’s farm as wetlands; though he argues that overreaching “by the USDA in Swampbuster and wetlands decision and rulemaking is a genuine issue,” he predicts that the court will decline to hear this case.
  • In an op-ed in Law 360 (subscription or registration required), former Texas Governor Mark White and former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley weigh in on Moore v. Texas, a case to be argued in the December sitting that asks whether Texas can rely on an outdated standard in determining whether an inmate’s intellectual disability precludes him from being executed, arguing that the court should “ensure that the Eighth Amendment prohibition on the execution of individuals with intellectual disability is honored in every state, including Texas.”
  • In Vinson & Elkins’ Lincoln’s Law Blog, Jeremy Marwell and others highlight a recent request by relators in a False Claims Act case for a “GVR,” in which they ask the Supreme Court to grant the petition for certiorari, vacate the decision below, and remand the case to the lower court for further proceedings in light of last term’s decision in Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar.
  • At Bloomberg, Kevin McGowan surveys the possible effects of a “Trump-era U.S. Supreme Court” on various areas of the law, including labor and employment law, the scope of religious exemptions from the federal government’s law governing pensions, and transgender rights.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 17, 2016, 7:13 AM),