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Friday round-up

At The Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that “GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of Calif., chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, may invite Chief Justice John Roberts to testify before the panel on alleged FISA abuses” in the wake of the committee’s recently released “memo on the secret intelligence courts, which alleged the FBI sought authorization to surveil President Donald Trump’s campaign aides on the basis of political opposition research.” At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that Nunes’ suggestion “is drawing criticism and raising questions about the separation of powers.” Additional coverage comes from Katie Bo Williams at The Hill.

For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, in which the court will consider whether an Illinois law allowing public-sector unions to charge nonmembers for collective-bargaining activities violates the First Amendment, “threatens the financial foundation of public employee unions in 22 ‘blue’ states” and “is being closely watched for its potential to shift political power in states and across the nation.” Mark Walsh reports for Education Week that “[j]udging by the tone of a joint press conference the four largest public-employee unions held last week [about the case], the labor movement is girding for an era in which they will no longer be able to charge ‘agency fees’ to employees in a bargaining unit who refuse to join the union to cover those workers’ share of collective bargaining costs.” For USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that “the lead plaintiffs in four successive Supreme Court cases challenging the power of public employee unions,” including Mark Janus, all “take pride in helping conservative groups reach a tipping point in their decade-long, anti-union campaign.”


  • At the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates “talk about the latest in SCOTUS fashion (an ‘I Dissent’ handbag)[,] chat with Fix the Court’s Gabe Roth[,and] catch up on two voting-related cases from North Carolina and Pennsylvania.”
  • The National Constitution Center (video) hosted a panel discussion “commemorat[ing] the constitutional legacy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia two years after his death.”
  • At the State and Local Legal Center, Lisa Soronen offers a midterm review of Supreme Court cases affecting state and local governments.
  • At Bloomberg BNA, Jordan Rubin reports that President Donald Trump “appears to have kept his word” about appointing “a U.S. Supreme Court justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia,” because “[l]ike Scalia, a Reagan appointee who sometimes sided with the court’s Democrat appointees on criminal matters, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch has voiced support for criminal defendants’ rights but without voting to halt any executions.”
  • Counting to 5 (podcast) features a discussion of “the latest orders from the Court, and … a close look at Gill v. Whitford, a case about the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.”
  • For The New York Times, Adam Liptak goes on tour with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who “is set to make at least nine public appearances” “[i]n the space of three weeks.”
  • At SportsHandle, Ryan Rodenberg notes that in a “prediction market” run by a Washington, D.C. company that allows participants to bet on the outcomes of Supreme Court cases, including Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a constitutional challenge to the federal ban on sports betting, “New Jersey is the favorite and the sports league quintet are heavy underdogs.”
  • At Justia’s Verdict blog, Vikram David Amar maintains that “[t]his week’s decision by Justice Samuel Alito … to leave undisturbed the congressional districting ruling last month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court … is a helpful reminder of the importance of state courts and state constitutions in safeguarding American democracy.”
  • At the National Conference of State Legislatures blog, Lisa Soronen looks at Weyerhaeuser Company v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicein which the Supreme Court will decide whether the ‘critical habitat’ designation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) may include land currently uninhabitable for the species in question.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman tries to measure the impact of the litigants on case outcomes by tak[ing] a basic look at the relative amount of law shared between Court opinions and the parties’ merits briefs.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 9, 2018, 7:30 AM),