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Friday round-up

For the Tribune News Service (via Governing), Todd Ruger reports on this week’s oral argument in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, in which the justices considered whether a Minnesota law banning political apparel at polling places is facially overbroad under the First Amendment, remarking that “[l]eft to figure out what exactly Minnesota’s law would ban, the arguments featured liberal Justice Elena Kagan uttering Trump’s ubiquitous campaign slogan, and conservative Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wondering about someone wearing a rainbow flag shirt.” At the Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen has two takes on the case, here and here.

At Take Care, Brianne Gorod argues that the oral argument in Janus v. AFSCME, in which the justices will decide whether an Illinois law allowing public-sector unions to charge nonmembers for collective-bargaining activities violates the First Amendment, included “a lot of empirical questions—but not a lot of answers,” because “those opposed to the unions didn’t bother to develop a record in the lower court that would answer those questions,” and that “[u]ntested assumptions are no basis for overruling a 40-year-old precedent and disrupting carefully calibrated public-sector labor regimes around the country.”  Additional commentary on Janus comes from E.J. Dionne in an op-ed for The Washington Post. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in this case.]


  • At the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates “talk about a snippy exchange between John Roberts and Stephen Breyer, … they break down recent decisions and oral arguments in Janus, Microsoft, and Minnesota Voters Alliance[, and] chat with the queen of SCOTUS advocacy, Lisa Blatt.”
  • At The Marshall Project, Ashley Nellis weighs in on the predicament of Henry Montgomery, whose case led to a Supreme Court decision that expanded the reach of a prior ruling banning mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles and who was recently denied parole by the Louisiana Parole Board, noting that “members of the board cited Montgomery’s short list of official classes completed during his time in prison,” but didn’t acknowledge “that he was excluded from such programming for the first 30 years of his sentence because of his life sentence.”
  • The Lars Larson Show (audio) offers a discussion of “what should be the place of the Supreme Court in the second amendment debate and where they should be stepping in on the gun control issue.”
  • In a podcast at The International Municipal Lawyers Association, Lisa Soronen discusses South Dakota v. Wayfair, in which the justices will reconsider a ruling that prevents state governments from collecting sales taxes from many online retailers. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.]
  • At the ABA Journal, Mark Walsh previews National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, a First Amendment challenge to a California law requiring certain disclosures by “licensed and unlicensed facilities that exist to steer women away from abortion”; he reports that as with “most of the high-profile cases of the current Supreme Court term, President Donald J. Trump’s administration has gotten involved,” but that “[d]espite the administration’s strong anti-abortion stance, it sides with the pregnancy centers only for half a loaf.”
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Marcia Coyle reports that a Texas regulatory board this week sent a cease-and-desist letter to a company that was promoting cryptocurrency using a photograph of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and several former U.S. solicitors general.
  • Counting to 5 (podcast) covers “three new opinions in argued cases, three newly granted cases for next term, and several orders and other developments.”
  • At the University of Virginia School of Law, Eric Williamson reports that yesterday, Justice Stephen Breyer told students there “that the world is changing, and that the U.S. judiciary can’t afford to keep its head in the sand of its own shores.”
  • In an interview at PRI, Kevin Johnson discusses the court’s decision this week in Jennings v. Rodriguez, in which the court held that immigration-law provisions do not give detained aliens a right to periodic bond hearings; he notes that “[t]his case is far from over, because [t]he Supreme Court has not said the final word” about “whether or not it’s constitutional to detain noncitizens without a hearing.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 2, 2018, 7:22 AM),