Breaking News

Monday round-up

On Friday the Supreme Court received a request from Republican legislators in Pennsylvania to temporarily block a ruling by the state’s supreme court invalidating the state’s federal congressional map. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage; her post first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Steven Mazie for The Economist’s Democracy in America blog.

Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal reports that on Thursday the Supreme Court “stopped Alabama from executing an inmate sentenced to die by a judge who overrode a jury finding that life imprisonment was the appropriate punishment.” Additional coverage comes from BBC; commentary comes from the Equal Justice Initiative blog.

At Jost on Justice, Ken Jost argues that Justice Neil Gorsuch’s “two dissents so far in argued cases —  in Perry and now in Artis — have both sought to impose his narrow construction of federal statutes in a way to disadvantage workers challenging adverse personnel actions.” Richard Wolf of USA Today reports that the nation’s “powerful public employee unions stand to lose membership, money and political muscle at the hands of the Supreme Court this year. The only question appears to be how much.”


  • For CNN, Joan Biskupic reports on the “largely untold story” of sexual abuse suffered by women in the nation’s courthouses. After reviewing “nearly 5,000 judicial orders related to misconduct complaints and available online over the past 10 years,” Biskupic concludes that the judiciary’s “system for complaints — where judges police fellow judges — is a world so closely controlled and cloaked in secrecy that it defies public scrutiny.”
  • In an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, Kevin Theriot urges the court in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra “to quickly put on ice” California’s Reproductive FACT Act, which requires crisis-pregnancy centers to post disclosures about the availability of publicly funded family-planning services.
  • A Daily Journal podcast features discussion with Peter Altman about Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the court will consider whether administrative law judges of the SEC are officers of the United States within the meaning of the appointments clause.
  • Silvia Foster-Frau of San Antonio Express-News covers Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s recent appearance at the University of Texas at San Antonio, which drew more than 1,000 people. She reports that “Sotomayor said she goes to bed asking herself two questions that she must be able to answer: ‘What did I learn new today?’ And, ‘Did I do something nice for somebody else?’”
  • Tony Mauro for the National Law Journal covers recent criticism of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s writing, which has also won him praise in other corners.
  • Julia Manchester of The Hill reports that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will not attend President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union on Tuesday; she will speak at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.
  • For The Atlantic, Garrett Epps explains why the “whole travel-ban episode,” now on the justices’ merits docket as Trump v. Hawaii, reminds him “of the 1981 video arcade game, Frogger.”
  • Constitution Daily remembers the anniversary of the nomination of Justice Louis Brandeis, noting that “although Brandeis is a mostly revered figure today, his battle to get a seat at the Court was ugly and hard-fought.”
  • Katie Glueck of McClatchy reports that Americans for Prosperity, “a major conservative group with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers,” “has hired a vice president of judicial strategy who will spearhead the organization’s push for confirmation of a strict constructionist,” “part of a broader commitment from the influential Koch network to spend heavily on judicial engagement in 2018.”

Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 29, 2018, 9:52 AM),