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Thursday round-up

At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that “the president is a week away from nominating someone who would become a core member of the court’s conservative wing,” and that each of “four appellate judges in contention for the slot, including frontrunners Neil Gorsuch and Thomas Hardiman, would fit neatly into the ideological mold of the man they would succeed, the late Justice Antonin Scalia.” In The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that Gorsuch is “no fan of class actions,” having “criticized what he viewed as baseless litigation by shareholder classes,” and that he is “not big on agency deference either.” At PrawfsBlawg, Richard Re discusses recent remarks by Gorsuch in which the judge stressed the importance of the federal judicial oath, asserting that whoever “the nominee turns out to be, I hope that the resulting confirmation hearings spend some time exploring what it means to do ‘equal right to the poor and to the rich.’”


  • At Mayer Brown’s Class Defense Blog, Andrew Pincus and others look at two cases the court will decide this term that involve two “facets of personal jurisdiction,” general and specific jurisdiction, maintaining that class-action defendants “should follow both cases closely, and both will be important barometers for whether the Court is committed to maintaining strict limits on the scope of personal jurisdiction.”
  • In The Atlantic, Laura McKenna discusses Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court considered what level of educational benefit students with disabilities must receive, observing if “the Supreme Court rules on behalf of Drew and his family, agreeing that special education shall be held to a higher standard, then it will open up a thornier question: Who should pay for it?”; that question, she suggests, “could be even harder to navigate under President Donald Trump, whose pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, during her Senate confirmation hearing last week said she believes that the rights of special-education students should be decided by the states.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman concludes that even in this “unusual term,” “the usual criteria that indicate or signal the importance of a Supreme Court petition to the Court,” such as experienced Supreme Court counsel and a high number of amicus briefs at the cert stage – data he analyzes in this post — are still proving fairly accurate predictors of which cases the justices decide to accept.
  • At the Human Rights at Home Blog, Jeremiah Ho offers a personal perspective on Lee v. Tam, which stems from the government’s refusal to trademark a rock band’s disparaging name, noting that as “as an Asian-American gay man, I find the language aspects of the case truly mind-boggling,” because the case “demonstrates how clumsy and obtuse the law sometimes can be at approaching the ironies of life and civility”; he hopes “that SCOTUS will find a solution somewhere in middle that allows The Slants to be registered but rejects examples such as The Redskins.”
  • At Justia’s Verdict blog, Michael Dorf considers Davila v. Davis, a case the court recently agreed to review that asks “when the law allows lawyer incompetence to lead to an execution.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 26, 2017, 7:33 AM),