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Tuesday round-up

This morning the court hears oral argument in two cases. The first is Microsoft v. Baker, in which the justices will consider the options available for plaintiffs when a district court determines that a case is not suited for adjudication as a class action. Ronald Mann previewed the case for this blog. At Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, Liza Carens and Jenna Scoville also provide a preview. The second case on the argument docket is Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., which involves the scope of the patent exhaustion doctrine. Ronald Mann had this blog’s preview. Michele Korkhov and Anna Marienko preview the case for Cornell. At Fortune, Jeff John Roberts provides a “plain English guide to what you need to know about the case,” noting that it “carries profound implications for retailers and resellers across the U.S. economy.”

Yesterday the court heard argument in Murr v. Wisconsin, in which the justices will decide what constitutes the “parcel as a whole” for the purpose of regulatory takings analysis. Coverage of the case comes from Bruce Vielmetti in USA Today and Sam Hananel at The Associated Press. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Roger Pilon points out that lawyers “often liken property to a ‘bundle of sticks’ to describe the countless legitimate uses that can be made of it, and argues that courts “should not wait for the last stick to be taken, and all value wiped out, before requiring compensation under the Fifth Amendment.” The second argument yesterday was in Howell v. Howell, a dispute between a divorced couple over the wife’s share of the husband’s military retirement pay. Amy Howe analyzes the argument for this blog.

Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services (via the Arizona Capitol Times) reports that the court denied review yesterday of a Republican equal protection challenge to “Tucson’s unusual method of electing council members.” At Politico, John Bresnahan reports that the court also “rejected Sen. Bob Menendez’s attempt to throw out the bribery and corruption charges against him, setting the stage for a trial for the New Jersey Democrat this fall.”

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee began its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Andrew Hamm rounds up early coverage of the hearing for this blog. At USA Today, Richard Wolf covers the day’s proceedings and highlights “five things to watch for during the next three days.” Additional coverage comes from Jess Bravin in The Wall Street Journal, who remarks that “senators’ opening statements made clear it would be nigh impossible to divorce Judge Gorsuch” “from the deeply divisive circumstances surrounding his nomination by President Trump.” At Jost on Justice, Ken Jost notes that Gorsuch presented himself as “a consensus-minded judge, devoted to the law, free of partisan or ideological bias, and steeped in family, faith, and the common-sense goodness of his native Colorado,” but that “Democratic senators made clear they are smarting from the Republicans’ refusal to hold hearings last year to consider the veteran judge Merrick Garland as President Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.”

At Education Week’s School Law blog, Mark Walsh reports on Gorsuch’s assertion in his opening statement that “he has ruled for students with disabilities and sometimes has ruled against them based not on their personal stories but on the legal issues before him.” At E&E News (subscription or registration required), Ellen Gilmer notes that “Gorsuch will bring an uncommon skill set to the bench if confirmed: broad experience in American Indian law,” and that tribal “groups are hopeful that Gorsuch’s background will bode well for future cases involving Indian Country.”


  • The World and Everything in It features discussions of Dean v. United States, in which the justices will decide whether mandatory statutory gun-sentencing provisions may limit a district court’s discretion under the advisory sentencing guidelines, and Manrique v. United States, which asks whether an appellate court can consider a challenge to the amount of a restitution award as part of an appeal of the underlying sentence.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 21, 2017, 6:19 AM),