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More orders, but no new grants

The Supreme Court issued additional orders this morning from last Friday’s conference. The justices added 12 new cases, for a total of 11 hours of argument, to their calendar for this term last week, but they did not add any new cases today.

After announcing on Friday that they would review a pair of appeals involving allegations of racial gerrymandering in Texas, the justices today announced that they would not review two other redistricting appeals from that state, which involve allegations of partisan gerrymandering. The justices dismissed Texas Democratic Party v. Abbott and Morris v. Texas “for want of jurisdiction” – a move that was somewhat surprising considering that the justices currently have two other partisan-gerrymandering cases (out of Wisconsin and Maryland) on their docket. But the state had urged the court not to take on the Democratic Party’s appeal, telling the justices that the orders at the heart of the Democratic Party’s argument were not final (and therefore cannot be appealed) when they were entered; in any event, the state added, the time to appeal those orders, which were entered four and six years ago, has long since passed. (Hat tip: Steven Mazie) Perhaps signaling that it did not regard the case as even worthy of a response, the state waived its right to oppose the appeal in Morris; both strategies were apparently successful.

The court once again did not act on Hidalgo v. Arizona, a challenge to (among other things) the constitutionality of the death penalty. The justices have now considered the case at several conferences without acting on it.

The justices will meet for another private conference on Friday, January 19. The cases slated for consideration at that conference include the challenge to the latest version of the president’s travel ban. On January 22, the court will begin its winter recess; its next regularly scheduled conference is February 16.

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, More orders, but no new grants, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 16, 2018, 10:53 AM),