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Wednesday round-up

At, (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle recap “some of the highlights and lowlights at the Supreme Court in 2016,” noting that the “court was in the headlines early and often, especially after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February and the ensuing battle over President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace him.” Another backward glance comes from Bob Blum at Truthdig, who bestows the 2016 SCOTUS awards, or what he terms an “annual—and only partially tongue-in-cheek—review of the highlights, lowlights, pratfalls and pitfalls of the Supreme Court over the past 12 months.”


  • The World and Everything In It (podcast) features discussions of the oral arguments in Beckles v. United States, which asks whether the residual clause of the career-offender sentencing guideline is unconstitutionally vague, and Jennings v. Rodriguez, in which the justices will consider whether immigrants facing deportation who are subjected to prolonged detention have a constitutional right to a bail hearing.
  • In the Federalist Society Review, Erica Smith discusses Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley, a constitutional challenge to the exclusion of a church-run preschool from a state program that provides grants to non-profits; she argues that the issue in the case “has become crucial to the national school choice movement.”
  • At Bloomberg BNA, Patrick Gregory highlights five things to know about Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee, who appears on Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees and whom a recent study named “as the short-lister who most resembles Scalia in his jurisprudence.”
  • At Written Description, Lisa Ouellette surveys the seven intellectual property cases on the Supreme Court’s docket so far this term, remarking that the crowded IP docket confirms “the conventional wisdom” that the eight-member court “would shy away from politically sensitive cases that could lead to 4-4 splits, focusing instead on areas such as intellectual property in which cases tend to be unanimous.”
  • In Commentary, Tara Helfman looks at the future of gerrymandering, noting that two “related cases before the Supreme Court and one unrelated Wisconsin federal case that will probably reach the high court before long are testing the limits of” the court’s reluctance to entertain constitutional challenges to partisan, as opposed to racial, gerrymandering, and observing that “the judiciary is running out of options as it struggles to come up with legal solutions to political problems.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 21, 2016, 7:18 AM),