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Thursday round-up

Last weekend, Judge Neil Gorsuch submitted his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire. Amy Howe reports on the submission for this blog. Advice and Consent (podcast) features a discussion of the judge’s responses, focusing on his “record on siding with corporate interests.”

At LegalWritingPro, Ross Guberman offers two posts on Gorsuch’s vaunted writing style: In the first, Guberman identifies four of Gorsuch’s gifts as a writer, but concludes that “he has yet to settle on a consistently confident voice”; the second post enumerates what Guberman views as five weaknesses in Gorsuch’s writing. At Vinson & Elkins’ Lincoln’s Law Blog, John Elwood and Crystal Y’Barbo Stapley look at Gorsuch’s slim record in False Claims Act cases, concluding that although “this small handful of cases is not enough to reflect a ‘trend,’ the decisions have aspects FCA defense counsel may find encouraging.”

At the ACLU blog, Claudia Center weighs in on Gorsuch’s decisions on disability rights, arguing that these rulings “raise important questions about his recognition of the rights of individuals with disabilities, and his willingness to ensure that we receive individualized justice.” At Think Progress, Ian Millhiser argues that despite “his professed admiration for Justice Scalia, Gorsuch’s record is more consistent with Scalia’s much more conservative former colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas.” In commentary for The Washington Post, Ryan Black and Ryan Owens analyze Gorsuch’s votes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and compare them with the votes of the justices in cases the court has decided over the past ten years, concluding that “if confirmed, Gorsuch might be the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court.”


  • At the National Conference of State Legislatures’ blog, Lisa Soronen discusses District of Columbia v. Wesby, in which the court “will decide whether, when the owner of a vacant house informs police he has not authorized entry, an officer assessing probable cause to arrest those inside for trespassing may discredit the suspects’ claims of an innocent mental state.”
  • At EENews, Amanda Reilly reports that “Georgia yesterday notched a big win in the ongoing Southeast water wars when a special master advised the Supreme Court to reject Florida’s claims about the Peach State’s excessive water use.”
  • At Bloomberg BNA, Kenneth Doyle notes that the justices will consider at their next conference “whether to review the latest challenge to disclosure requirements for political ads, which was rejected by a lower court last year.”
  • In the Sacramento Bee, Alexei Koseff reports that at a summit this week on civic education in California schools, Justice Anthony Kennedy “lamented the harm that contemporary American rhetoric has done to our democracy, as an example to both younger generations and other countries,” and decried “our love affair with the internet,” observing that all “that time spent online … deprives us of more intimate social connections and deeper reflection on who we want to be as a society.”
  • In a column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse looks at Hernandez v. Mesa, a case to be argued next week that stems from the cross-border shooting of a Mexican teenager, against the backdrop of Trump’s immigration policies, noting that the case “raises important questions about the extraterritorial reach both of the Constitution and the damages remedy that is available to United States citizens whose constitutional rights are violated on American soil by a federal official.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 16, 2017, 7:07 AM),