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Tuesday round-up

Court-watchers continue to comment on one of the biggest cases of the February sitting — 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. At the Daily Beast, Barrett Holmes Pitner maintains that “attacks on public-employee unions represent an extension of the numerous attacks upon minorities engulfing America.” The editorial board of The Washington Post endorses a “middle way … that could preserve precedent while addressing employees’ legitimate concerns about involuntarily funding political causes.”


  • At Justia’s Verdict blog, Sherry Colb weighs in on 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, arguing that “finding for the defendant in this case would not risk a slide down a slippery slope,” because “[m]ost of a defense attorney’s strategic decisions do not fall within the range of choices that a defendant has the right to direct.”

  • At The World and Everything In It (podcast), Mary Reichard discusses the oral arguments in McCoy and Dalmazzi v. United States, which involves the effect of the dual-officeholder ban on military judges.
  • Subscript offers a graphic explainer for Currier v. Virginia, which asks what happens to a defendant’s double jeopardy protections when he consents to sequential trials for multiple, overlapping offenses.
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Matthew Finkin looks at Epic Systems v. Lewis, in which the court will decide whether labor laws forbid class waivers in employment contracts, contending that “[t]he NLRA clearly grants workers the right to join together in ‘concerted activities,’ including in collective or class legal action against their employers [, a]nd these forced arbitration waivers clearly contradict both the letter and the intent of the NLRA.”
  • At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps asserts that the Pennsylvania Republicans calling for Supreme Court intervention into a state court ruling, based on the state constitution, that invalidated the state’s congressional maps as a political gerrymander, are mounting a “partisan assault on the courts [at] the tip of a nationwide spear—Republican efforts to purge and remodel state courts to make sure they follow the party’s line.”
  • At The Intercept, Liliana Segura looks at the story behind Bobby Bostic’s cert petition, which raises an Eighth Amendment challenge to the 241-year sentence Bostic received in 1997 for a series of armed robberies he committed when he was 16 years old, arguing that there is a “distinction without a difference” between Bostic’s sentence and the sentence of life without parole for a nonhomicide crime committed by a juvenile that the court found unconstitutional in Graham v. Florida.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 13, 2018, 7:16 AM),