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Monday round-up

Today the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases. The first is Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a constitutional challenge to the federal ban on sports betting. Amy Howe has this blog’s preview. Axel Schamis and Katherine Van Bramer preview the case for Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Damon Root discusses the case in a Federalist Society video. For USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that “[i]t’s not often that the high court tackles a case with so much weighty drama — not just sports and gambling, but a classic constitutional battle between the federal government and the states over the 225-year-old system of government known as federalism.” Additional coverage comes from Kimberly Robinson at Bloomberg BNA, David Porter and Jessica Gresko at the Associated Press, and Nina Totenberg at NPR, who notes that “[i]n the modern economic landscape, there is a growing tolerance for sports betting.”

This morning’s second argument is in Rubin v. Iran, in which the justices will consider the contours of immunity in cases involving foreign state sponsors of terrorism. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog; her preview was originally published at Howe on the Court. Ryan Powers and Larry Blocho have Cornell’s preview.

On Friday the court added one case to its merits docket, Salt River Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. SolarCity Corp., which asks when a state or local government can appeal the denial of a motion to dismiss based on state-action immunity. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court.

Also on Friday, the solicitor general asked the Supreme Court for a stay of a lower-court order requiring the government to review and potentially disclose numerous documents related to the decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston reports that “government lawyers contended that the judge’s order would intrude deeply into the private deliberations of the Executive Branch, raising constitutional questions under the ‘separation of powers’ doctrine that prevents such intrusions.”

At Reuters, Lawrence Hurley reports that Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court will consider at oral argument tomorrow whether the First Amendment bars Colorado from requiring a baker to create a cake for a same-sex wedding, “has become a cultural flashpoint in the United States that underscores the tensions between gay rights proponents and conservative Christians.” Additional coverage of Masterpiece Cakeshop comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR and Mark Sherman at the Associated Press. At Public Discourse, Sharif Gergis weighs in on the case, contending that “this case is about whether political majorities—having won sweeping legal and cultural victories—can go on to regulate the speech of those who still dissent.” Other views on Masterpiece Cakeshop come from John Paul Schnapper-Casteras at the Harvard Law Review Blog, who maintains that “[r]eligious beliefs, no matter how sincerely felt or well-intentioned, simply cannot justify differential treatment of LGBTQ individuals or couples in places of public accommodation,” and Steve Sanders in an op-ed for The New York Times, who argues that “[b]eliefs may not be regulated by the government, but business practices can be.”


  • In the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, Elizabeth Slattery and John-Michael Seibler “talk about the Court’s recent orders and arguments, and they interview criminal law expert Orin Kerr about the cellphone case at SCOTUS.”
  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost discusses last week’s oral argument in 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, observing that “the justices split predictably along party lines, defying efforts by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. among others to portray judges as  something other than politicians in black robes.”
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that during “a recent Harvard Law School panel discussion on appellate advocacy that included Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., [at which] Topic A was how to prepare for and survive oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court,” more than one veteran advocate advised eating bananas for breakfast on argument day.
  • At The Least Dangerous Blog, Joel Nolette explains why a decision by the justices to grant the pending cert petition in Starr International Company, Inc. v. United States, “a case stemming from the government’s bailout of AIG during the recession last decade,” could “mark the end of prudential standing as we know it.”

We rely on our readers to send us links for our round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, podcast, or op-ed relating to the Supreme Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] Thank you!

Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 4, 2017, 6:58 AM),