- At The Huffington Post, Cristian Farias reports that President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, got “a shout-out” from the president at the White House Hanukkah party last week; in predicting that Garland will “’continue to serve our country with distinction as the chief judge on the D.C. Circuit,’” “the president appeared to concede that Garland, who has been waiting 247 days for a Senate hearing on his nomination, won’t get to sit on the Supreme Court.”
- In USA Today, Richard Wolf pronounces the “five unanimous rulings” the court has issued so far this term to be “striking” because in “each case, the justices decided less than they could have — a display of judicial minimalism that wins applause from across the political spectrum but leaves often important questions unresolved.
- At Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage, Nicole Schneider discusses State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel Rigsby, in which the court held that violation of the seal requirement does not mandate dismissal of a lawsuit under the False Claims Act, observing that the “court’s decision solidifies district courts’ discretion to decide whether sanctions are appropriate based on the circumstances rather than instituting mandatory dismissals,” and concluding that as “long as the purpose of the FCA is not impaired by a disclosure, regardless of the reasons or the circumstances, courts will likely allow claims to proceed rather than dismiss them on a technicality.”
- At Bloomberg BNA, Patrick Gregory lists five things to know about Judge Diane Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, who is considered a front-runner for Donald Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees, noting that Sykes “could face scrutiny over her handling of anti-gay discrimination and abortion clinic disputes, including a pending anti-gay work bias controversy.”
- In a UCI Law Talks podcast, Erwin Chemerinsky and Joan Biskupic “discuss the uncertainty surrounding the Supreme Court as Trump’s inauguration approaches, including potential replacements of Justice Scalia, Trump’s nomination of solicitor general and the future of abortion, affirmative action and marriage equality.”
- At the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog, Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry weigh in on the side of The Slants in Lee v. Tam, the upcoming First Amendment challenge to the government’s refusal to register the band’s name as a trademark because it is disparaging, arguing that insulting “terms and disparaging language have played an important role in American history,” and that “the process of reclaiming slurs has been crucial to the development of many groups’ identities.”
- At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes the political preferences of the federal judges on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees based on campaign finance contributions from their former clerks and on their own contributions before they were appointed to the bench.
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