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Thursday round-up

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports on Tuesday’s confirmation of Noel Francisco as solicitor general, noting that “[t]he Senate divided 50-to-47 along partisan lines, reflecting a distrust among some Democrats toward any lawyer—even an accomplished professional—who would step forward to pursue President Donald Trump’s legal agenda.” In The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Marcia Coyle and Mike Scarcella offer “a snapshot of things to know about Francisco and matters on his plate as he prepares to step up to the lectern at the high court.”

At The Economist, Steven Mazie looks at Epic Systems v. Lewis and its two accompanying cases, in which the court will decide whether employment agreements that ban collective resolution of workplace disputes violate federal employment laws, noting that “[i]n a plot twist brought on by the executive branch’s ideological about-face on January 20th of this year, the solicitor general’s office filed an amicus brief backing the companies, … revers[ing] the office’s prior position from September 2016, an uncommon and awkward switcheroo that the justices typically frown upon.” In an op-ed for Newsweek, Ceilidh Gao contends that a ruling for the employers in Epic Systems would harm “individual workers [who] might not be owed much on an individual basis, making it difficult if not impossible for them to seek justice if they can’t join together with coworkers.”


  • For Glamour, Bryant Johnson, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer, provides a version of the justice’s twice-weekly workout routine.
  • At Slate, Palma Joy Strand points to Supreme Court precedent that, in her view, requires the court in partisan-gerrymandering case Gill v. Whitford to “fulfill its responsibility to protect small-d democracy, as well as small-r republicanism.”
  • Subscript provides the first part of a two-part explainer on 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 Keen News Service, Lisa Keen explains why the “new U.S. Supreme Court session, which begins October 2, could be a critical one for LGBT people.”
  • The editorial board of The Oregonian weighs in on a cert petition the Supreme Court will consider next week in a “case challenging Louisiana’s non-unanimous jury law and, by extension, Oregon’s,” arguing that “[i]t’s long past time for Oregon to abandon a practice that can silence minorities, racial and otherwise, and embrace a higher standard of diligence.”
  • The Open File provides an in-depth view of two cert petitions that offer “the Supreme Court … the opportunity to shut down judicial evasion of doctrines requiring prosecutorial accountability.”
  • At KJZZ (audio), Lauren Gilger looks into the cert petition in Hidalgo v. Arizona, which asks the justices to decide whether “the state’s death penalty law is constitutional and should exist at all.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 21, 2017, 7:02 AM),