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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the justices heard oral argument in two cases. The first was Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, which asks whether service advisors at car dealerships are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime-pay requirements. Mark Walsh offers a first-hand account of the argument for this blog.

Yesterday’s second argument was in McCoy v. Louisiana, in which the court will decide 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. Amy Howe has this blog’s argument analysis, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports that “[j]ustices liberal and conservative signaled that they have a problem with a lawyer who disregards his client’s express wishes by conceding the defendant’s guilt.” According to Jess Bravin for The Wall Street Journal, “[w]ith the matter of Mr. McCoy’s rights apparently decided, the justices seemed more concerned with writing an opinion that wouldn’t go too far in letting defendants micromanage their cases.” Additional coverage of the argument comes from Mark Sherman at the Associated Press, Kevin Daley at The Daily Caller, Robert Barnes for The Washington Post, Richard Wolf for USA Today and Adam Liptak for The New York Times.


  • At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, Jonathan Adler remarks that “[t]hus far this term, the Supreme Court has issued only one opinion in an argued case,” “the slowest rate in a long, long time.”
  • NFIB points out that Marinello v. United States, a case that was argued last month in which the justices considered the limits of tax-law obstruction charges, is “important to all taxpayers, but particularly small businesses, which tend to file more complicated tax returns and have more paperwork associated with them.”
  • At Justia’s Verdict blog, Sherry Colb looks at Collins v. Virginia, in which the justices are weighing the scope of the automobile exception to the warrant requirement, suggesting that “[o]n Fourth Amendment issues, [Justice Neil Gorsuch] may be our new swing justice,” and that “if the automobile exception shrinks (or fails to expand) as a result, then that might be a surprisingly welcome development.”
  • At National Review, David French explains why National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, a First Amendment challenge by crisis-pregnancy centers to a California law requiring disclosures about the availability of publicly funded family-planning services, including contraception and abortion, is “one of the most dangerous free-speech cases in a generation.”
  • At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston reports that the Trump administration this week “urged the Supreme Court … to rule on the constitutionality of the President’s third version of an executive order strictly limiting entry to the U.S. by foreign nationals from countries with Muslim-majority populations,” and to decide, in addition to the other legal issues raised in the case, “the question of whether the order also involves a form of unconstitutional religious bias.”
  • At Reuters, Alison Frankel asks “what happens to defendants found liable in administrative proceedings” if the court rules in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission that SEC administrative law judges are “officers of the United States” within the meaning of the appointments clause.
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro looks at “Nino and Me,” a “just-published book by legal writing expert Bryan Garner [that] paints a new picture of the human side of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, with whom Garner wrote two books in the final decade of the legendary justice’s life.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 18, 2018, 7:17 AM),