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Tuesday round-up

Today the court hears argument in two cases. The first is Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission, which asks whether a federal statute of limitations on civil penalties and forfeitures applies to disgorgements. Theresa Gabaldon previewed the case for this blog. Kara Goad and Elizabeth Sullivan provide a preview for Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute. In the Santa Fe New Mexican, Bruce Krasnow reports that “the arguments against the SEC have drawn the attention of others who consider themselves wronged by the SEC and have filed supporting briefs in the case, including Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA.” At Yahoo Finance, Erin Fuchs also remarks on Cuban’s interest in the case. Today’s second argument is in Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., in which the justices will decide whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies to debt buyers. Ronald Mann had this blog’s preview. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.] Thomas Kim and Ben Rosales preview the case for Cornell.

Yesterday the court heard argument in Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, in which the justices will decide on the proper form for civil service review in mixed cases. Howard Wasserman analyzes the argument for this blog.

Yesterday also marked Justice Neil Gorsuch’s debut on the Supreme Court bench. Amy Howe covered Gorsuch’s first argument for this blog. Additional coverage of Gorsuch’s initial day on the bench comes from Greg Stohr and Katia Dmitrieva at Bloomberg, who report that “Gorsuch proved to be an aggressive questioner, one tightly focused on statutory wording and perhaps even willing to start what a fellow justice described as a ‘revolution’ in a given area of law”; Nina Totenberg at NPR, who observes that despite “his white hair, Gorsuch looked for all the world like a kid on his first day of high school”; Richard Wolf in USA Today, David Savage in the Los Angeles Times; Tony Mauro at; The Guardian; Lydia Wheeler at The Hill; Robert Barnes in The Washington Post; Adam Liptak in The New York Times; and Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, who reports that Gorsuch passed a “good test for a rookie on the Supreme Court” —  “how well a new Justice can handle a deeply complex case that only a professor of legal arcana could love.”

In The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that two factors may help Gorsuch maintain his voice on the Supreme Court bench: “He is conservative, and he is male.” At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman examines historical data related to Supreme Court tenure and retirement age to assess how long Gorsuch is likely to remain on the court. At CNN, Steven Lubet remarks that with his accession to the court, Gorsuch “will no longer be subject to a written ethics code, as he was as a judge on the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals,” and notes that although “Supreme Court justices obviously face the same quandaries and dilemmas as all other judges, they alone have no set rules for resolving, or even addressing, ethics issues.”

At CNN, Ariane deVogue reports that yesterday the court declined to review “a lower court opinion rejecting claims by undocumented Central American women and children — who were apprehended immediately after arriving in the country without authorization — seeking asylum”; she notes that the “court’s action means the government can continue to deny asylum seekers placed in expedited removal a chance to have their cases heard by federal court.” Additional coverage comes from Andrew Chung at Yahoo News, who reports that with its ruling, the court “sidestepped a turbulent debate over illegal immigration.”


  • The World and Everything in It features discussions of the oral arguments in Lee v. United States, an ineffective assistance of counsel case involving mandatory deportation, TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Brands Group LLC, a case about the venue rules for patent infringement lawsuits, and Honeycutt v. United States, which asks whether co-conspirators can be jointly and severally liable for forfeiture of the reasonably foreseeable proceeds of a drug conspiracy.
  • In The Washington Post, Mark Berman reports that the court early this morning declined to act on a request “by Arkansas officials hoping to carry out the state’s first execution in 12 years,” and that the court’s decision, “coming with just minutes to spare, leaves in place a stay preventing Arkansas from carrying out an execution that was originally set to be one of eight taking place this month.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 18, 2017, 7:29 AM),