Breaking News

Monday round-up

Coverage continues of last week’s oral argument in Lee v. Tam, a First Amendment challenge to a government refusal to trademark a rock band’s disparaging name. In The Economist, Steven Mazie reports that by “the end of the hearing, it seemed clear that while a majority of the court is hesitant to go as far” as the lawyer for the band as “in forcing the patent office to accept nearly every application that comes its way, the justices are deeply sceptical about the rule that led it to rebuff The Slants.” At The Huffington Post, Cristian Farias also covers the argument, observing that with “or without the trademark, it would not be a stretch to say that the indie band has garnered more press for what it stands for than many others in its field.” Commentary comes from Ken Jost at Jost on Justice, who observes that the “government fared badly in the arguments, but the trademark board deserves better than it got for its well-meaning effort to dissociate the government from a term that still today is offensive to a significant number of Asians and Asian Americans.”


  • In the sixth of a series, Amy Howe looks at Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Lee, who is on President Donald Trump’s list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees, for this blog.
  • In USA Today, Richard Wolf observes that Friday’s administration of the oath of office to President Donald Trump by Chief Justice John Roberts “could be the start of a match made in heaven — or the high point of a rocky relationship,” noting that “a chief justice who endured a testy relationship with Obama faces a potentially stormy one with Trump, who prefers bold strokes to Roberts’ minimalist brand of jurisprudence.”
  • Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade; in Rewire, Jessica Mason Pieklo considers the practical effect of overruling the controversial decision, stating that in “almost half the states in the country, abortion would either be immediately criminalized, or lawmakers would have the ability to begin enforcing otherwise unconstitutional near-total abortion bans.”
  • At his eponymous blog, William Goren looks at the oral argument in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court considered what level of educational benefit students with disabilities must receive.
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman discusses last week’s oral argument in Ziglar v. Abassi, a suit against former high-ranking federal officials stemming from detentions of Middle Eastern men in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
  • At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston reports that a high-profile challenge to Texas voter ID law, in which a cert petition is now pending at the court, “may be affected in a major way by the opening of the Trump Administration on Friday,” because within “hours after President Trump was sworn in, the Justice Department asked for — and got — a month-long delay of a crucial hearing that had been set for next Tuesday before a federal trial judge … on a broad constitutional issue surrounding the Texas law”; he notes that this “development enables the new leaders of the Justice Department in the Trump Administration an option to switch positions at least on the constitutional question, if not on the case as a whole.”

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]

Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 23, 2017, 7:12 AM),