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Wednesday round-up

Today the court hears oral argument in two cases. First up is Lee v. Tam, a First Amendment challenge to a government refusal to trademark a disparaging name. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog. Alla Khodykina and Rachael Hancock provide a preview for Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute. The second argument today is in three consolidated cases, Ziglar v. Abassi, Ashcroft v. Abassi and Hasty v. Abassi, suits against former high-ranking federal officials stemming from detentions in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Amy Howe had this blog’s preview. Karen Ojeda and Natalie San Juan preview the cases for Cornell. Additional coverage of the Abassi cases comes from Mark Sherman at the Associated Press, who notes that the “justices have twice sided with Ashcroft” in previous cases brought by 9/11 detainees, and that the “odds that the court will come out differently this time are long, especially because only six justices will take part,” and from Abigail Hauslohner and Ann Marimow in The Washington Post.

Yesterday the court issued additional orders from its January 13 conference. The justices did not grant any additional cases, and they requested the views of the solicitor general in two related cases, Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association and New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Ass’n v. NCAA, that ask whether a federal statute can prevent New Jersey from repealing a ban on sports betting. Amy Howe covers the orders for this blog. At the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog, Wen Fa argues that the court’s denial of review in a case of Nebraska financial advisor and tea party activist Bob Bennie, who alleged that government regulators retaliated against him after he criticized President Barack Obama “should be disappointing to everyone who values First Amendment freedom — the indispensable right of all Americans to speak their minds without fear of official reprisal.”


  • According to David Lat at Above the Law, Donald Trump met last week with Judge William Pryor of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, who is on the shortlist of Trump’s potential Supreme Court nominees, suggesting that “a big plus for Pryor’s prospects” is “the ease with which Jeff Sessions sailed through his hearings, making his confirmation as attorney general a near certainty.”
  • In The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that 18 protesters were arrested outside the court yesterday after they displayed a banner calling for an end to capital punishment in America, in violation of a federal law that “prohibits displaying banners and ‘moving in procession’ on Supreme Court grounds.”
  • At Constitution Daily, Scott Bomboy reports on a recent congressional attempt to require the court to televise its proceedings, noting that previous “efforts to get such a bill signed into law have failed” and that “as of last June, cameras were allowed in just two federal circuit courts and 14 federal district courts under controlled circumstances.”

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, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 18, 2017, 7:07 AM),