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Monday round-up

At Just Security, William Dodge discusses last week’s oral argument in Jesner v. Arab Bank, in which the justices considered whether corporations are liable under the Alien Tort Statute, explaining that “the Justices seemed to be looking at the question in two steps: (1) whether customary international law permits corporate liability; and (2) assuming it does, whether the ATS cause of action should be interpreted to permit corporate liability.” Another look at the argument in Jesner comes from Kenneth Jost at Jost on Justice, who concludes that “[s]even years after giving corporations a First Amendment right to unlimited spending in election campaigns, the Roberts Court appears ready to give corporations a free pass for serious human rights violations committed abroad.”


  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman breaks down the track record before Supreme Court of the solicitor general’s office over time, concluding that “[l]ooking across the history of the office …, the OSG’s success during the Obama Administration was not only at a recent low, but also at a historic low.”
  • At the Florida Court Review, John Cavaliere looks at the cert petition in Truehill v. Florida, a challenge to Florida’s death-sentencing procedures that the justices considered at their conference last Friday, noting that “[t]he two questions before SCOTUS essentially ask whether the jury’s recommendation can be trusted in the first place,” because “the jury thought they were only giving a recommendation and that the judge would have the ultimate decision on sentencing” and “they weren’t required to vote on the specific aggravating factors.”
  • In an op-ed for, Leroy Goldman looks at Gill v. Whitford, in which the court will decide whether Wisconsin’s electoral maps are the product of an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, observing that “[i]f the Supreme Court were to find the map drawn by the Republicans in Wisconsin to be unconstitutional, the stage would be set to reverse partisan gerrymandering, and surprisingly it might revive efforts to strike down racial gerrymandering, too.”
  • In an op-ed for The Hill, James Gottry weighs in on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court will decide whether the First Amendment bars Colorado from requiring a baker to create a cake for a same-sex wedding, arguing that “[b]ecause [the baker]’s wedding cakes are custom works of art, the state of Colorado cannot force him to design those cakes to celebrate ideas about marriage that conflict with his faith.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 16, 2017, 7:27 AM),