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Monday round-up

Yesterday President Donald Trump announced new restrictions on entry into the United States by nationals from eight countries; the government has asked the Supreme Court to order briefing addressing the effect of the new order on the entry-ban case now pending before the court. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Jeff Mason and Phil Stewart at Reuters, Michael Shear in The New York Times, Devlin Barrett in The Washington Post, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, Josh Gerstein and Ted Hesson at Politico, Laura Meckler in The Wall Street Journal, Laura Jarrett and Sophie Tatum at CNN, Greg Toppo at USA Today, CBS News, and Gary Gately at Talk Media News. At Reuters, Lawrence Hurley reports that the new travel restrictions could cause the current entry-ban case to end “in a whimper rather than a bang.” In two posts at Just Security, here and here, Marty Lederman takes a look at the new restrictions and their likely effect on the pending Supreme Court case.

Court-watchers are looking ahead to the cases and cert petitions the court will consider in October Term 2017. In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage highlights “the major questions before the court this fall.” E&E News offers overviews of the environmental cases and cert petitions on the court’s docket in a blog post and a video. At The Economist, Steven Mazie reports that at today’s “long conference,” the justices will “sort[] through hundreds of petitions that arrived over the summer.” In Justice Today surveys ten pending cert petitions that involve criminal-justice issues, “including civil commitment, sex offender registries, non-unanimous jury verdicts, death in prison sentences for juveniles, the death penalty, prosecutorial misconduct, Double Jeopardy protections, and solitary confinement.”

At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that 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, is “the first major gay-rights case the high court has heard since it legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.” In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports on an amicus brief filed in the case by a group of “cake artists” that “is drawing outsize attention for its unique approach,” because “it relies on 38 pictures of cakes in various states of construction and completion.” At Justia’s Verdict blog, Vikram Amar and Alan Brownstein weigh in on the free-speech claims raised in the case, asserting that “the Court—to this point—has not done a very comprehensive job in creating compelled speech doctrine,” and that what they view as the relevant factors “militate strongly against the baker’s compelled speech claim.” At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost notes that “[t]he case poses a seeming quandary for [Justice Anthony] Kennedy, who can rightly claim gay rights and freedom of speech as parts of his three-decade legacy.”


  • At Bloomberg BNA, Patrick Gregory reports that, according to legal experts, “[t]he City of Houston’s request [in Turner v. Pidgeon] that the U.S. Supreme Court clarify its LGBT rights precedents may be enticing to the justices, but may also be premature.”
  • At Education Week, Mark Walsh reports that “Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking as the keynoter at a forum on civics education [last week], stressed the importance of engaging young people of various backgrounds on the topic.”
  • In an op-ed for the Mississippi Business Journal, Ben Williams debunks “recent indistinct and misleading news reports” suggesting that “the Supreme Court of the United States has … asked the State of Mississippi or Governor to defend the battle emblem on the Mississippi flag.”
  • In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Angela Allen-Bell urges the court to review Lambert v. Louisiana, a challenge to Louisiana’s non-unanimous jury rule for felony cases that do not involve the death penalty, arguing that such “jury systems are largely unnoticed vestiges of white supremacy and oppression in our legal system.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman examines the Supreme Court litigation record of top-tier law firms.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 25, 2017, 7:14 AM),