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Wednesday round-up

At BuzzFeed News, Chris Geidner reports that “[o]ne of the country’s top lawyers” has filed a cert petition on behalf of an Arizona death-row inmate who “has been arguing for the past three years that the state’s death penalty law is unconstitutional because it doesn’t do enough to narrow who is eligible for the death penalty, among those convicted of murder.” Additional coverage comes from Tony Mauro in The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), who reports that “[f]ormer acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal is … asking the court to decide whether ‘the death penalty in and of itself violates the Eighth Amendment, in light of contemporary standards of decency.’”


  • In USA Today, Richard Wolf cites two upcoming Supreme Court cases, Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Institute, which stems from a challenge to Ohio’s voter-roll purge, and Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, which asks whether mandatory-arbitration agreements that deprive workers of their right to collective proceedings are enforceable, as examples of the “Trump administration … switching sides in some of the nation’s most consequential legal battles.”

  • In The Economist, Steven Mazie reports on the pivotal role Justice Anthony Kennedy will likely play in several high-profile cases on the Supreme Court’s docket for October Term 2017.
  • At E&E News, Amanda Reilly reports that “[t]he Trump administration recently weighed in on two complex interstate water disputes in the Supreme Court, in both cases building on the arguments made by the Obama administration,” and that the administration’s “responses … come as the Supreme Court is considering reports issued by special masters assigned to the cases.”
  • At Balkinization, Mark Tushnet weighs in on Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether a federal statute that prohibits New Jersey from repealing its ban on commercial sports betting is unconstitutional, arguing that “Congress has simply preempted state property law on this issue,” and “[i]t can’t be that the anticommandeering doctrine makes all federal laws preempting state property (or contract or tort) rights unconstitutional.”

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, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 16, 2017, 6:39 AM),