At Constitution Daily, Lyle Denniston discusses this week’s Supreme Court orders, including the denials of review in two class-action cases involving challenges to a settlement between the NFL and former professional football players who suffered brain injuries linked to repeated concussions, noting that the “Justices offered no explanation as they turned aside appeals by two groups of retired players, leaving intact the 2015 deal that ended the lawsuits.” Additional coverage of the NFL cases comes from Alexandra Bodnar in The National Law Review , who observes that the “Supreme Court’s denial of review was not a surprise.”


  • At Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports that the “U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard arguments Monday … on the constitutionality of the law that makes it unlawful to, among other things, ‘make a harangue or oration’ in the Supreme Court building or on its grounds.”
  • In the National Law Review, T. Reed Stephens and Alisha Johnson look at the court’s decision in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, in which the court ruled that a violation of the seal requirement does not mandate dismissal of a suit brought under the False Claims Act.
  • At, Jim Saunders discusses Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent on Monday from the court’s denial of review in a Florida death-penalty case, noting that “Breyer used the case to raise broader questions about the death penalty.”
  • In the Associated Press, Kristin Wyatt reports on the court’s denial of review on Monday of “a challenge to a Colorado law requiring online sellers such as to notify customers and the state how much they owe in taxes,” noting that “other states are likely to see Monday’s move as a green light to step up collection efforts.”
  • At the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog, Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry discuss a pending cert petition that asks the court to decide whether the double jeopardy clause bars a state criminal prosecution of a defendant who has already been prosecuted for the same offense in federal court, arguing that the court should “put an end to the misguided dual-sovereignty exception, at least as it works in practice in modern times.”
  • In an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Derek Muller dubs Judge Raymond Gruender of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, an “outstanding choice” for the Supreme Court, noting that Gruender wrote the dissenting opinion in a high-profile free exercise of religion case awaiting argument this term, and suggesting that if the judge’s dissent “has favorably attracted the attention of the justices already on the Supreme Court, perhaps it is time to consider nominating him so that he might join them.”
  • At the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog, Caleb Trotter looks at Lee v. Tam, an upcoming First Amendment challenge to the government’s refusal to trademark a disparaging name, maintaining that “classifying trademarks as commercial speech, and relegating them to diminished First Amendment protection that accompanies that classification, is unconstitutional and unjust.”
  • At the Sixth Amendment Center, David Carroll surveys state practices relating to the use of non-lawyer judges in criminal cases, an issue presented in Davis v. Montana, a pending cert petition that asks the court to decide “whether it is okay for a defendant to be tried by a non-lawyer judge where a state does not give the defendant a new trial on the appeal to a court whose judge is a lawyer”; he notes that eight states allow the practice, and questions whether “a non-lawyer judge” will “have the legal knowledge to make rulings that comply with statutes and the Constitution.”

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]

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 14, 2016, 7:38 AM),