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Monday round-up

This morning the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two criminal-procedure cases. The first is Ayestas v. Davis, which involves the standards for funding an investigation establishing an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim in a capital case. Steve Vladeck previewed the case for this blog. Another preview comes from Madeline Horne and Conley Wouters at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Today’s second argument is in Wilson v. Sellers, which asks when a federal court in a habeas case should “look through” a summary state-court ruling to review the last reasoned state-court decision. Steve Vladeck has this blog’s preview. Amanda Wong and Jared Ham preview the case for Cornell.

For The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports on the gathering of six current or retired Supreme Court justices who convened last week to celebrate the bicentennial of their alma mater, Harvard Law School, noting that “[a]lthough light in substance, the program gave a glimpse of the justices’ wit and personalities away from the solemn and sometimes somniferous legal points they make in oral arguments at the court.” Additional coverage of the event comes from Ariane de Vogue at CNN, who reports that among them, the six justices “have covered a four-decade span at the school and they had some stories to tell.”

At the Associated Press, Emily Wagster Pettus reports that “[a]ttorneys say in written arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi flag is ‘an official endorsement of white supremacy’ and lower courts were wrong to block a lawsuit challenging the flag.” Additional coverage of the cert petition in Moore v. Bryant, an equal-protection challenge by a Mississippi municipal judge to the state’s inclusion of the emblem in its official flag, comes from Linley Sanders at Newsweek.


  • For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that the justices are “weighing whether to hear an anti-abortion group’s challenge on free speech grounds to a California law that requires ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ — which advocate alternatives to the procedure — to also advise clients that the state offers free or low-cost contraception and assistance in ending their pregnancy.”
  • In an op-ed for Wired, Nick Sibilla weighs in on Carpenter v. United States, which asks whether the government must obtain a warrant for cell-site-location information, arguing that “[i]f the Supreme Court rules that CSLI falls outside the Fourth Amendment, warrantless searches will inevitably lead to wrongful seizures.”
  • In an op-ed for the Akron Beacon Journal, David Gans contends that “Ohio’s voter purge [at issue in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute] disenfranchises U.S. citizens because they choose not to vote, … constrict[ing] the electorate and harm[ing] our democracy … in contravention of a law passed by Congress.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 30, 2017, 6:41 AM),