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Thursday round-up

Two of Supreme Court’s cases slated for the fall generate commentary. In an op-ed in The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse discusses Jennings v. Rodriguez, in which the court will consider whether immigrants who are detained have a right to appear in front of an immigration judge and seek their release after making payments to guarantee that they will appear at later proceedings in the same case. Greenhouse describes the case as one “that has passed nearly completely under the radar in the more than a year that it has been on the court’s docket, a case with important implications for the constitutional rights of noncitizens who get caught up in any kind of immigration enforcement proceeding.”

Two attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom weigh in on Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which ADF represents a cake artist asking the Supreme Court to decide that compelled expression which offends his sincerely held religious beliefs violates the First Amendment. In an op-ed for The Federalist, James Gottry argues that, as with the controversy surrounding the social activism of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, one who disagrees with those who object to performing certain services for same-sex marriages should “write a letter to the editor, attend a rally, and otherwise express [their] beliefs. Raise a flag, burn a flag, but don’t give the government the power to throw a flag.” And at National Review’s Bench Memos, Jonathan Scruggs compares the case to West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, which involved a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses discouraging their children for saluting the American flag; he argues that “neither the strength nor the rightness of an idea (e.g., the greatness of America, same-sex marriage) is enhanced by the government’s ability to force someone to accept it. A social or political movement that can’t withstand some conscientious objections is built of weak ideas, indeed.”


  • At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern argues that Justice Neil Gorsuch’s upcoming speech at a luncheon at the Trump International Hotel “is not technically unethical, but it is imprudent and injudicious.”
  • Three posts at the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog discuss the institute’s amicus briefs in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC and Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Paul Somers.
  • In The National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro discusses various reasons why the court made the “unusual move” of granting Murphy v. Smith – a dispute over attorney’s fees that result from a prison inmate winning a money judgment in a Section 1983 civil rights lawuit – a month before its next scheduled conference on September 25.
  • In The National Law Journal, Tony Mauro reports that Frederick Liu, Christopher Michel and Michael Huston are leaving their respective law firms to become assistants to the U.S. solicitor general; Mauro also notes that while there remains “a conspicuous vacancy at the top” of the office, the Senate is likely to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for solicitor general, Noel Francisco, after Labor Day in time for the October sitting.

Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 31, 2017, 11:31 AM),