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Friday round-up

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped up its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. A round-up of early coverage of and commentary on the proceedings, including the possibility of a filibuster by Democratic senators, appeared in this blog. Additional coverage comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR, Ken Jost at Jost on Justice, Tierney Sneed at Talking Points Memo, Tony Mauro in The National Law Journal (registration or subscription required), and Mark Walsh in Education Week. Commentary comes from Kimberly Strassel in The Wall Street Journal, the editorial board of The New York Times, We the People (podcast), Dean Obeidallah at The Daily Beast, Sarah Posner in The Washington Post, and Tony Francois at the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog.

On Wednesday, the court heard oral argument in two cases. The first was County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, a Fourth Amendment case stemming from a police search that resulted in a shooting. Rory Little analyzes the argument for this blog. Wednesday’s second argument was in Water Splash v. Menon, which involves service of process under the Hague Service Convention. Charlotte Garden has this blog’s argument analysis.

Also on Wednesday, the court issued a unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, holding that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires a school to offer an “individualized education program” reasonably calculated to allow the student to progress in the child’s circumstances. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Carolyn Thompson and Sam Hananel at the Associated Press, who report that the “court’s decision to require a more demanding test for progress has major implications for about 6.4 million disabled students who want to advance in school and rely on special programs to make that happen.” At his eponymous blog, William Goren also looks at the decision, and concludes that it “will fundamentally change the way many school districts, hearing officers, and special education attorneys on both sides of the aisle go about their business.”

At Education Week, Mark Walsh reports on the court’s decision on Wednesday in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., which held that a feature of a useful article is copyrightable if it can be perceived as a separately protectable work, observing that the ruling gives “a V for victory to the dominant provider of cheerleader uniforms for schools, colleges, and spirit teams, ruling that some of its uniform designs were protected under federal copyright law.” Another look at the case comes from Patrick Hughes at Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property.


  • At Yahoo Finance, Roger Parloff discusses TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Brands Group LLC, in which the justices will consider the rules governing the venue in which patent infringement lawsuits can be filed, noting that in “light of the Federal Circuit’s dismal past record in Supreme Court appeals, the fact that its patent venue rule is in tension with two prior Supreme Court precedents, and the fact that that rule has spawned and perpetuated a longstanding scandal, the TC Heartland ruling could well bring some serious reform to the patent litigation landscape.”
  • At The Interdependent Third Branch, Jordan Singer looks at a recent survey of “more than 1000 likely voters, concerning their knowledge of and attitudes about the United States Supreme Court,” concluding that although survey “respondents reported very high interest in the Court generally,” “actual familiarity with the Court and its members is middling at best,” and “only 38% of respondents thought that recent decisions demonstrate that the Court acts in a serious and constitutionally sound manner.”
  • At the eponymous blog of the law firm Ogletree Deakins, Hera Arsen looks at the court’s decision in National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc., in which the court held that someone nominated for a Senate-confirmed position may not serve in that position in an acting capacity.

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, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 24, 2017, 7:41 AM),