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Monday round-up

At the Associated Press, Mark Sherman reports that the Supreme Court “is making new legal filings available online starting [today], years behind the rest of the federal court system.” For The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that the court “is developing its own online system, rather than being part of PACER, which serves the other federal courts.”

At (subscription or registration required), Marcia Coyle reports that “[t]he U.S. Justice Department’s request that the Supreme Court consider sanctions against lawyers who advocated for an immigrant teenager at the center of an abortion case [, Hargan v. Garza,] has raised questions about the government’s motivation and threatened to jeopardize the reputation of the solicitor’s office before the justices.” In an op-ed at The Hill, David Luban argues that “[t]he irony is that filing frivolous accusations with the Supreme Court is itself an ethics violation — and DOJ’s accusations against Jane Doe’s lawyers come perilously close to crossing that line.” At The Faculty Lounge, Steve Lubet suggests that “when the government characterizes its own position as ‘at least arguably’ valid, that seems to be at least an admission of weakness, or perhaps an even greater concession.”

In an op-ed at the Huffington Post, Hannah Riley asserts that the cert petition in Hidalgo v. Arizona, which challenges Arizona’s death-penalty scheme and the death penalty nationwide, offers an opportunity for the Supreme Court to “transform— or even end — the death penalty in America.” In another Huffington Post op-ed, Ray Krone, an Arizona death-row exoneree, argues that “[t]he court should look at where we are as a country, find that a national consensus has emerged against the death penalty and rule it unconstitutional, once and for all.”


  • The Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast features discussions of “Clarence Thomas’ interview with Laura Ingraham and the Supreme Court’s first opinions of the season.”
  • At The World and Everything in It (podcast), Mary Reichard analyzes the oral arguments in two habeas cases, Ayestas v. Davis, which involves the standards for government-funded investigations to establish an indigent defendant’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, and Wilson v. Sellers, which asks when a federal court should “look through” a summary state-court ruling to review the last reasoned state-court decision.
  • At the Houston Chronicle, Keri Blakinger reports that “[a]mid international outcry and claims of global treaty violations, Texas [last] Wednesday executed a Mexican national,” Ruben Cardenas Ramirez.
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports on last week’s Supreme Court Historical Society re-enactment of “the 1971 Supreme Court case Clay v. United States, in which legendary boxer Muhammad Ali appealed the rejection of his application for conscientious objector status at the height of the Vietnam War”; Justice Sonia Sotomayor presided, and “Justice Clarence Thomas, who sometimes seems bored on the bench, watched raptly from a spectator’s seat.”
  • NFIB discusses its amicus brief in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, in which the justices will decide whether service advisors at car dealerships are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime-pay requirements, asserting that “it is time for the Supreme Court to expressly repudiate the idea that FLSA exemptions should always be construed against the employer.”
  • At the Federalist Society Review,  Jonathan Wood and Ilya Shapiro weigh in on Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a constitutional challenge to the federal ban on sports betting, arguing that “[t]he Constitution forbids Congress from ‘commandeering’ the states by compelling them to enact or administer federal policy; it should also be held to forbid Congress from compelling states to continue enforcing past state policy after it has proven ineffective, unpopular, or both.”
  • 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 “”[a] failure to embrace and protect freedom for all people to live and work consistent with their beliefs is a failure to preserve our diverse national fabric.”
  • At The Federalist, Margot Cleveland predicts that the court will review Kolbe v. Hogan, a Second Amendment challenge to Maryland’s ban on semiautomatic rifles and large-capacity magazines, in part because “the Fourth Circuit’s majority opinion is strikingly at odds with the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller.”
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Nicholas Stephanopolous assesses the relevance of last week’s strong Democratic election showing in Virginia to the issues in the Supreme Court’s pending partisan-gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford, concluding that “gerrymandering is deeply troublesome even if it can be overcome, at least temporarily, by a wave election.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 13, 2017, 6:58 AM),