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Monday round-up

This morning, the first day of the December argument session, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases. The first is Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group, a challenge to the constitutionality of inter partes review, a process used to determine the validity of existing patents. Ronald Mann had this blog’s argument preview. Another preview comes from The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket blog. The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the case, arguing that “[i]nter partes review was well-intended, but any economic benefits aren’t worth the constitutional damage.” At the Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice and Comment blog, Philip Hamburger maintains that “patents are property, which cannot be invalidated outside the courts.”

The second argument of the day is in  SAS Institute Inc. v. Matal, which asks whether the board conducting an inter partes review must issue a final written decision as to all the claims raised by a challenger. Ronald Mann previewed the case for this blog. On the Docket also offers a preview of the case.

For Fox News, Bill Mears reports that “[a]dvocates on both sides of the issue” in Wednesday’s case, Carpenter v. United States, which asks whether the government must obtain a warrant for cell-site-location information, “hope the justices are now prepared to clarify guidelines on access to digital records.” For The New York Times, Adam Liptak explains why “the case could transform privacy law in the digital era.” In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Stephen Sachs urges the court to “develop a modern Fourth Amendment doctrine … [that] would recognize the legitimate claims of law enforcement but set objective boundaries — such as the duration of an intrusion or the nature of the data seized — that constrain those claims.” Additional commentary on Carpenter comes from Margaret Sullivan in The Washington Post, who explores the implications of the case for journalists, and from the editorial board of The New York Times.

In advance of next Tuesday’s oral argument in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court will consider whether the First Amendment bars Colorado from requiring a baker to create a cake for a same-sex wedding, Richard Wolf reports for USA Today that in a term full of high-profile cases, “it is the justices’ third date with same-sex marriage that’s dominating the docket.” At Casetext, David Boyle discusses the reply brief filed by the cakeshop last week, arguing that “under Petitioners’ ‘compelled speech’ theory of the case, bakers could quite possibly discriminate against interracial marriages and refuse to sell them a wedding cake, legally.”


  • For The Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports that in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a constitutional challenge to the federal ban on sports betting, “a broad ruling for New Jersey could have consequences for other ways that the federal government tries to push policy preferences on state officials.”
  • At the Associated Press, Mark Sherman reports that “50-year-old [Justice Neil Gorsuch] has been almost exactly what conservatives hoped for and liberals dreaded when he joined the court in April.”
  • At the Associated Press, Jessica Gresko reports that thanks to Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Sonia Sotomayor, “[g]ames created by iCivics [that] teach students concepts from how the nation’s court system works and how laws are made to how presidential campaigns work and what it’s like to be on a jury” are now available in both English and Spanish.
  • At The Economist’s Espresso blog, Steven Mazie looks at Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers, which will be argued tomorrow and which involves the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • At In a Crowded Theater, Erica Goldberg suggests that “[c]ataloging some of the instances where courts incorporate math helps illuminate how the Court should proceed in Gill v. Whitford,” in which they will decide whether Wisconsin’s electoral maps are the product of an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 27, 2017, 7:03 AM),