Breaking News

Thursday round-up

Yesterday 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. Ryan Lockman discusses the case in an interview on WNYC’s The Takeaway. Yesterday’s second argument was in Water Splash v. Menon, which involves service of process under the Hague Service Convention.

The court also issued three opinions yesterday. In Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corporation, the court held 6-2 that structured bankruptcy dismissals must follow priority rules unless creditors consent. Daniel Bussel analyzes the opinion for this blog. At his eponymous blog, Ross Runkel writes that in “sweeping terms, the Court rejected the notion that there could be ‘rare cases’ in which courts could find ‘sufficient reasons’ to disregard priorities,” and warns that all “bankruptcy lawyers will need to pay close attention to this case.” In Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., a 6-2 court held that a feature of a useful article is copyrightable if it can be perceived as a separately protectable work. Ronald Mann has this blog’s opinion analysis. In The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that the opinion “included four pages of colored drawings and photographs—three of them inserted by dissenting Justice Stephen Breyer—as well as 10 pages of reproduced copyright registration forms,” noting that the court “rarely illustrates its decisions,” but that “when it does, the images can draw criticism as shiny distractions that distort or confuse the facts of the case.”

In Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, a unanimous court ruled 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. Coverage of the decision comes from Emma Brown and Ann Marimow in The Washington Post, who report that the court “raised the bar for the educational benefits owed to millions of children with disabilities in one of the most significant special-education cases to reach the high court in decades.” In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that although “the specific decision overruled was decided in 2015, the phrase the justices rejected derives from a 2008 ruling by Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, who had been defending that very decision at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when word of Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion reached the Hart Senate Office Building.” At Education Week, Mark Walsh covers the decision, and its ripple effect at the Gorsuch hearing, here and here. At Syracuse Law, Arlene Kantor discusses the decision, concluding that because the court has put “school districts (and lower courts)” “on notice that it is not simply pre-Endrew business as usual,” the decision is “a step forward – not a huge step, but one that moves us forward, nonetheless.” Jim Gerl takes a close look at the decision at the Special Education Law Blog.

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted the third day of its hearing on the Gorsuch nomination. Andrew Hamm collected early coverage of and commentary on the proceedings for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR, Richard Wolf of USA Today here and here, Adam Liptak, Charlie Savage, Matt Flegenheimer and Carl Hulse in The New York Times, Jess Bravin in The Wall Street Journal, Henry Gass in The Christian Science Monitor, Ken Jost at Jost on Justice, Tony Mauro in The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), and Andrew Rafferty at NBC News. Commentary comes from the editorial board of The Washington Post, E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post, Michelangelo Signorile at The Huffington Post, Paul Collins and Lori Ringhand at Slate, Seth Davis at PrawfsBlawg, Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog, and Carolyn Shapiro at the ACS Blog.


  • At the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog, Thomas Berry discusses Tuesday’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, calling the ruling “a double victory, both for the separation of powers between the president and Senate and for textualism.”

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, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 23, 2017, 7:36 AM),