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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the justices heard oral argument in Carpenter v. United States, which asks whether the government must obtain a warrant before obtaining cell-site-location information from cellphone service providers. Amy Howe has this blog’s argument analysis, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Richard Wolf for USA Today, who reports that “[i]n a case that could have broad implications for privacy rights in the digital age, justices on both sides of the ideological spectrum said rapid advances in technology make decades-old precedents inadequate.” Additional coverage comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR, David Savage for The Los Angeles Times, Jess Bravin for The Wall Street Journal, Robert Barnes for The Washington Post, Bill Mears at Fox News, Tony Mauro at The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Adam Liptak for The New York Times, Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, and Kevin Daley at The Daily Caller, who reports that “[t]hough a majority of the Court appeared willing to extend protections to a user’s location data, the justices fractured as to how meaningful those protections might be, as well as the legal rationale on which they should rely.”

Post-argument commentary comes from Andrew Ferguson at PrawfsBlawg. At New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer, Matthew Tokson explains why Carpenter is so important. In three posts at Concurring Opinions, here, here and here, Tokson and Lior Strahilevitz explore the issues in the case. Additional commentary comes from Zac Morgan in an op-ed for USA Today, who argues that “[r]equiring a warrant as demanded by the Fourth Amendment … will prevent the government from claiming your smartphone’s location data as an end-run around the First Amendment.” Subscript offers a graphic explainer for the case.

On Tuesday, the court heard argument in Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers, which involves the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act. Theresa Gabaldon analyzes the argument for this blog.

At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a constitutional challenge to the federal ban on sports betting that will be argued on Monday, “[t]he NFL, a target of the president’s Twitter ire over national anthem protests, is banding together with the administration to fight the outgoing [New Jersey] governor,” “an unusual pairing in a case full of odd alignments and high stakes.” Dustin Gouker previews the case at Legal Sports Report. At Sports Handle, Brett Smiley discusses the upcoming argument with a veteran litigator.


  • At Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports that “[t]his may be the heyday for state solicitors general,” with five former state SGs on President Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees and a report in a new study that “in the last three terms, 41 state SGs or their deputies argued before the high court—nearly double the number a decade ago.”
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Rick Garnett offers a link to a video discussion about the implications of last term’s decision in In Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, in which the court held that the state cannot deny a church a public benefit because of its religious status.
  • At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie “examines the religion question” in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court will consider during oral argument next week whether the First Amendment bars Colorado from requiring a baker to create a cake for a same-sex wedding.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 30, 2017, 7:17 AM),