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Friday round-up

Last night the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to take the highly unusual step of agreeing to review a lower-court decision preventing the federal government from dismantling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, even though the appeals court has not yet ruled on the case. Amy Howe covers the government’s request for this blog; her coverage first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Ariane de Vogue at CNN, Robert Barnes at The Washington Post, and Pete Williams at NBC News, who reports that “[t]he Supreme Court has granted similar requests only about a dozen times in the past century, most often involving national emergencies.”

Yesterday evening the Supreme Court, at the request of North Carolina Republicans, agreed to put a hold on a lower-court order to redraw the state’s congressional districts, which the lower court had invalidated as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. For The New York Times, Adam Liptak and Alan Blinder report that the Supreme Court’s order makes it “likely that the midterm elections this year will be conducted using districts favorable to Republican candidates.” Additional coverage comes from Gary Robertson at the Associated Press, Ariane de Vogue at CNN, Andrew Chung at Reuters, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, Josh Gerstein at Politico, and Robert Barnes for The Washington Post, who reports that “[t]he decision was not unexpected, because the Supreme Court generally is reluctant to require the drawing of new districts before it has had a chance to review a lower court’s ruling that such an action is warranted, especially in an election year.” At the Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen observes that “it will take a few months before the Court decides whether to hear the case, and that means either a remand after the other partisan gerrymandering cases are decided this term or setting the case for argument (almost certainly next term).”


  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Marcia Coyle reports that “[d]uring U.S. Supreme Court arguments Wednesday over a federal issue important to the auto industry, Justice Elena Kagan questioned the absence of the U.S. solicitor general ‘in a case in which one would expect the government to be here.’”
  • At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie predicts that in McCoy v. Louisiana, which asks whether the law allows a defense attorney in a capital case to concede a defendant’s guilt to the jury over the defendant’s explicit objections, that “Mr McCoy may get a chance to spin out his somewhat wild innocence story with the assent and assistance of a new lawyer in front of a new jury.”
  • At the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates “talk about recent oral arguments (spoiler alert: no blockbusters) and a study measuring the ‘Scalianess’ of appellate judges.”
  • At LAWnLinguistics, Neal Goldfarb parses the statutory language at issue in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether Ohio’s voter-roll-maintenance process violates federal voter-registration laws, explaining “why the use of because of and by reason of doesn’t necessarily require but-for causation.”
  • At The Guardian, Lucia Graves talks to the couple at the center of one of this term’s highest-profile cases, 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, who say that “[n]one of this is anything like what they had in mind when they went cake-shopping back in 2012.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 19, 2018, 7:16 AM),