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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the court released two opinions. In Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International, a unanimous court held that a case falls under the expropriation exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act only if the property in which the party claims to hold rights was taken in violation of international law. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog. At Reuters, Lawrence Hurley reports that “[d]uring the argument, some of the justices appeared wary about the foreign policy implications of making it too easy for foreign governments to be sued in U.S. courts.”

In Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami, the justices ruled 5-3 that cities can bring suits alleging discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, but must prove direct injury from the discrimination. Amy Howe has this blog’s opinion analysis. Additional coverage comes from Robert Barnes in The Washington Post, Richard Wolf in USA Today, Adam Liptak in The New York Times, Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin in The Wall Street Journal, and Tony Mauro in The National Law Journal, who notes that the court’s “mixed-bag ruling” “gives ammunition to both sides in litigation between cities and banks under the Fair Housing Act over the impact of predatory lending practices on local communities.”

 The court also granted certiorari in two cases yesterday. The first is Patchak v. Zinke, which involves Congress’ ability to direct the outcome of litigation. The second is Merit Management Group, LP., v. FTI Consulting, Inc., a case about the scope of the safe harbor provision of the Bankruptcy Code. Amy Howe reports on the order list, including these two grants, for this blog.

At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that the justices “let stand a California law that bans licensed therapists from working with children to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight, rejecting an appeal that said the measure violates religious rights.” Additional coverage comes from Ronn Blitzer at LawNewz and Jeff Taylor at LBGTQ Nation. EJI notes that yesterday’s order list also included an order sending back Alabama death-row inmate Taurus Carroll’s case to the state court “for further review in light of the Court’s recent decision in Moore v. Texas,” which involves the standards for assessing intellectual disability in capital cases.


  • In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports on the “’rescheduled’” “dinner between POTUS and SCOTUS,” observing that if “they do ever get together, there would be plenty to talk about — or, perhaps, to avoid.”
  • At CNN, Ariane de Vogue and Joan Biskupic report that “Justice Neil Gorsuch has been on the bench for less than a month and conservatives are already preparing for the next Supreme Court confirmation fight,” “talking openly about a next seat and even possibly trying to woo 80-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy into retirement.”
  • In The Hill, Brandon Carter reports that in an interview published yesterday, President Donald Trump “says he has personally swung the Supreme Court with his appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch.”
  • Video from last week’s panel discussion on the “home stretch” of October Term 2016 hosted by the Constitutional Accountability Center is here.
  • In an op-ed in The New York Times, Jason Stanley argues that last week’s argument in an immigration case, Maslenjak v. United States, demonstrated that “the administration’s hard line on the standard for criminalization has gone so far as to alarm several members of the Supreme Court.”
  • At Tax Notes, Scott Levine and Sean Jackowitz discuss Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission, which asks whether a federal statute of limitations on civil penalties and forfeitures applies to disgorgements, warning that “unless the Court is careful, it could end up rewriting the tax law and turning Kokesh’s statute-of-limitations issue into a boon for the federal fisc.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 2, 2017, 6:44 AM),