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Tuesday round-up

Today the court hears oral argument in two cases. First up is Lynch v. Dimaya, a void-for-vagueness challenge to an immigrant-removal statute. Kevin Johnson previewed the case for this blog. Kara Goad and Elizabeth Sullivan provide a preview for Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute. The next case on the argument docket is Midland Funding v. Johnson, which asks whether a federal fair-debt-collection-practice statute applies to stale claims filed by debt-buyers in bankruptcy court. Ronald Mann had this blog’s preview. Kimberly Petrick and Emily Rector preview the case for Cornell.

On Friday, the court granted review in 16 cases, consolidating several, for a total of 13 hours of oral argument. Amy Howe covers the grants for this blog. At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger looks at the four criminal cases among the new grants. At his eponymous blog, Ross Runkel surveys three cases that ask whether agreements to forgo class actions or collective proceedings and instead resolve employer-employee disputes through individual arbitration are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. In the Federal Regulations Adviser, Leland Beck also looks at the arbitration cases, along with a case that asks whether challenges to the EPA’s definition of the “waters of the United States” must be brought in federal district courts or in federal courts of appeal.

In the fifth in a series of profiles in this blog of potential Supreme Court nominees, Eric Citron focuses on Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. At Fortune, Jeff John Roberts looks at the top candidates, observing that although “Democrats will not be thrilled by any of the picks, they are likely go to the barricades if the President-elect proposes Judge William Pryor Jr., who has described the landmark 1974 abortion ruling Roe v. Wade as ‘the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history’ and opposes courts making rules on school prayer and gay rights.”

Constitution Daily explains how the confirmation process is likely to work, noting that “the average Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process has taken between two and three months since the Reagan era.” At CNN, Joan Biskupic looks ahead to a possible second Trump nomination, and backward to prior confirmation battles, concluding that this “time around liberal advocates are hoping that a Democratic show of force on the first nomination serves as a warning to Trump not to put up an uncompromising conservative for a more consequential opening.”

In USA Today Richard Wolf reports on in Lee v. Tam, a First Amendment challenge to a government refusal to trademark a disparaging name that will be argued tomorrow, noting that in “Washington, where a president-elect who criticizes his opponents on Twitter is redefining the outer boundaries of appropriate speech, such power to police language seems almost quaint.” Additional coverage of Lee v. Tam comes from Robert Barnes in The Washington Post, who remarks on the “contradictions” that abound in the case, observing that although “a victory for the Slants would be a godsend for the Washington Redskins, whose legal battle to hold on to its revoked trademark has been put on hold pending the outcome,” the “band members abhor the Washington nickname and wince when the team’s fate is linked to their own.”


  • At Mimesis Law, T. Greg Doucette discusses the court’s per curiam opinion last week in White v. Pauly, in which the justices vacated a lower court ruling that had denied qualified immunity to a police officer sued for a fatal shooting, arguing that “to attorneys who handle civil rights cases, and to victims who’ve had their constitutional rights violated by their government, it’s hard to overstate how bad this opinion will be for the future of §1983 litigation” and maintaining that the “practical effect of the Supreme Court’s Pauly decision will be to disembowel nearly all future §1983 cases.”
  • At the Huffington Post, Cristian Farias looks at the relationship between President Barack Obama and the court, noting that the outgoing president “didn’t dramatically reshape the Supreme Court, as much as progressives might have wished it,” but that “over the course of two presidential terms, Obama and his lawyers found ways to persuade the court to make the law a little more liberal,” even “in the face of a five-justice majority that repeatedly handed Obama notable defeats.”
  • At the Sports Law Blog, Daniel Wallach speculates on the chances that the court will grant review today in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a case that turns on whether a federal statute can prevent New Jersey from repealing a ban on sports betting, maintaining that “New Jersey has a much stronger chance at securing certiorari review than in 2014, when the Supreme Court declined to hear” an earlier iteration of the case, because the state’s challenge to the statute’s “’affirmative requirement’ compelling states to prohibit sports wagering (and, by extension, prohibiting states from ‘repealing’ their sports betting laws)” “fits more neatly into the Supreme Court’s commandeering jurisprudence.”
  • The World and Everything in It (podcast) features a discussion of the oral argument last week in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court considered what level of educational benefit students with disabilities must receive.
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman assesses the importance of the 29 cases argued so far this term according to the number of words spoken by the justices at oral argument, the number of amicus briefs filed in the case, and the number of newspaper articles published within a day of the argument.

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, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 17, 2017, 7:21 AM),