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Friday round-up

Bloomberg BNA’s Cases and Controversies podcast features a discussion of Epic Systems v. Lewis, in which the court will decide whether employment agreements that ban collective resolution of workplace disputes violate federal employment laws, calling the case “a major showdown between businesses and their workers and the increasing use of arbitration agreements in employment contracts.” In USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that the government’s recent “about-face” in Epic Systems “has created an extremely rare scenario: the Justice Department and National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency, will oppose each other in court”; he concludes that “[b]y all indications now, the case … looks like a 5-4 victory for employers.”

At Take Care, Jim Oleske explores the contested meaning of “general applicability” in the Supreme Court’s free exercise jurisprudence as it relates to the religion-clause issues in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court will decide whether the First Amendment allows a state to require a Christian baker to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. At The World and Everything In It (podcast), Mary Reichard hears from eight lawyers who filed amicus briefs asking the justices to hear a similar appeal from a florist alongside the baker’s case.

Previews of the upcoming term abound. At Bloomberg BNA, Kimberly Robinson provides “the most vital statistics for SCOTUS watchers who want an inside-baseball look at the court’s upcoming cases.” Also at Bloomberg BNA, Jordan Rubin surveys the criminal cases on the docket for October Term 2017, including cases involving “the balance between surveillance and privacy in the mobile phone era, the treatment of immigrants who break the nation’s laws, and whether death row inmates can challenge legal errors they claim are grave enough to save them.” Boom! Lawyered, a podcast from Rewire, looks ahead to “the opening of the U.S. Supreme Court term and the big decisions on the horizon.” The Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast offers a look at “amicus briefs and the start of the Supreme Court’s next term,” as well as an interview “with the New York Times reporter Adam Liptak about covering the Supreme Court.”


  • For the Associated Press, Jessica Gresko reports that “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a surprise guest speaker Wednesday evening during services for the Jewish new year in Washington, telling worshippers she believes being Jewish helped her empathize with other minority groups.”
  • In The Washington Times, Alex Swoyer reports that “Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Thursday she doesn’t support having cameras inside the Supreme Court, saying she fears they would distort the justices’ behavior and hurt the court’s role in government.”
  • At Greenwire, Amanda Reilly reports that “[e]nvironmental groups and a New York-led coalition of states have asked the Supreme Court to overturn a decision that reinstated U.S. EPA’s contentious ‘water transfers’ rule.”
  • At Lawfare, Steve Vladeck looks at Dalmazzi v. United States and two related cert petitions the justices will consider at Monday’s “long conference,” the first after their summer recess, that “present what is unquestionably the most important civil-military relations question that [the court has] confronted in decades.”
  • In an op-ed in Forbes, Richard Samp weighs in on Jennings v. Rodriguez, a challenge to the prolonged detention of immigrants without bond hearings that will be reargued in October, pointing out that “in a very significant sense, criminal aliens detained under § 1226(c) hold the keys to unlock their own jail cells,” because a “criminal alien can regain his liberty instantly by agreeing to return to his native country.”
  • In an op-ed for Time, Shane Claiborne urges the Supreme Court to halt the execution of Keith Tharpe, a Georgia death-row inmate whose execution is scheduled for Sept. 26, arguing that the justices “should protect a man with intellectual disability from being sentenced to death by a jury containing a man whose agenda was racism, not justice.”
  • For Education Week, Mark Walsh discusses “a new book of essays that examines [the late Justice Antonin] Scalia and education,” whose authors suggest that although “Scalia’s views and legal opinions on education are not his best-known legacy, … they provide a window into his broader judicial philosophy.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 22, 2017, 7:28 AM),