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Friday round-up

On Wednesday, the court heard oral argument in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a class-action due process challenge to the prolonged detention of immigrants. Kevin Johnson analyzes the argument for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, who suggests that the “shorthanded court could be heading toward another 4-4 deadlock, divided along ideological lines,” and Josh Gerstein at Politico, who notes that the “Obama Justice Department’s law-and-order stance in the case took on added real-world significance with Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election earlier this month.” KQED Radio hosts a forum discussing the issues in the case.

In USA Today, Richard Wolf writes that “Donald Trump will need to replace far more than one justice on the Supreme Court if he’s serious about making flag burning a criminal offense.” Commentary critical of Trump’s recent tweet announcing that the government should punish flag-burners by revoking their citizenship or imposing jail time comes from Caroline Frederickson at ACSblog, who declares that one “tweet trampled over two constitutional amendments and three Supreme Court decisions” and asks: “How can a president-elect swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution when he does not understand it in the first place?”


  • In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Brachah Goykadosh reviews two new books featuring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “My Own Words,” “a compilation of Justice Ginsburg’s writing, from early childhood to present day,” and “I Dissent,” a children’s book that “provides an easy introduction to Justice Ginsburg and her role as a civil rights champion”; she concludes that both “books provide new lenses with which to see this formidable, inspirational icon.”
  • In USA Today, Richard Wolf looks at the 21 people on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees, “including key opinions and dissents that shed light on their jurisprudence,” and observing that, as a group that is “overwhelmingly white, male and middle-aged,” who “hail not from the East or West but from the vast midsection of the country,” they are “straight out of conservative central casting”; he notes that their average age is 53, which “likely projects to a quarter century or more on the court.”
  • At Mimesis Law, Andrew King discusses Beckles v. United States, a case argued on Monday that asks whether the residual clause of the career-offender sentencing guideline is unconstitutionally vague and whether a ruling to that effect would be retroactive, arguing that “even with the vagueness, the Sentencing Guidelines may not be the best form of sentencing, but it’s better than all … the others.”
  • In The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro spends a day in court with Judge Margaret Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, who is on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees; he observes that Ryan’s “service on the armed forces court … gives her training that the possible nominees who sit on other federal appeals courts don’t have”: “As with the Supreme Court, the vast majority of the docket of her court is discretionary, which means she has to know how to pick review-worthy cases and reject the chaff.”
  • Across the pond, the UKSC Blog announces the publication of the 2015-2016 edition of the UK Supreme Court Yearbook, “which reviews the jurisprudence of the UKSC each legal year and publishes articles concerning institutional and jurisprudential aspects of the Court and its decisions.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 2, 2016, 6:33 AM),