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Monday round-up

Coverage and commentary continue 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. For The Economist, Steven Mazie reports that during oral argument in the case last week, “[w]hile his colleagues sparred over forced subsidies, free speech and the merits of Abood—which holds that mandatory fees preserve “labour peace” and prevent cheapskates from free-riding on their dues-paying colleagues—Justice [Neil] Gorsuch sat mum.”  At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost remarks that “[i]f Supreme Court arguments were scored in the manner of high school debate tournaments, liberal justices would be credited with a hands-down win in last week’s showdown.” The Nation offers a conversation “with author and organizer Jane McAlevey about Janus … and the way forward for labor.” [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.]

Constitution Daily’s We the People podcast features a discussion of United States v. Microsoft Corp., which asks whether the Stored Communications Act allows the government to gain access from email providers to data that is stored overseas. At Wired, David Newman observes that “a ruling for either side will likely add to the pressure on Congress to act by highlighting the extent to which the current framework is badly outdated and in need of revision.” [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 respondent in this case.]

At Governing, Liz Farmer reports that “[t]he U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule on a landmark case that could lift the federal ban on sports gambling in 46 states,” Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, “[b]ut that hasn’t stopped some places from betting on the outcome.” At ESPN, David Purdum and Ryan Rodenberg take “a look back at how New Jersey’s odds stood during this lengthy battle.”


  • At NPR’s All Things Considered, Nina Totenberg offers possible explanations for the Supreme Court’s “continued refusal to act” in gun-related cases, suggesting that either “the court believes it laid down guidelines in 2008 in the Heller decision and would just as soon stay out of this,” or, “more likely[,] … neither side, those justices who support strict gun regulation laws or those who oppose them, … is sure that they have the votes to prevail if the court were to take up those issues.”
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Marcia Coyle reports that “[t]he Trump administration’s Justice Department, despite its announced regret, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court not to review challenges to $380 million that third-parties are set to receive as part of a larger U.S. government settlement with Native American farmers and ranchers.”
  • At The Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that in their request to the Supreme Court for a stay of “a judge-imposed congressional district map at the U.S. Supreme Court after the state’s highest judicial tribunal struck down the old map, finding it was purposely drawn to favor the GOP,” Pennsylvania Republicans argue “that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court intentionally usurped the legislature’s constitutional power to draw district lines.”
  • At the Brennan Center, Andrew Cohen weighs in on Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion in Murphy v. Smith, in which the justices held that courts must apply up to 25 percent of a judgment to pay attorney’s fees in civil-rights cases brought on behalf of prisoners, arguing that “[w]hat the newest justice said, in effect, is that a dubious federal law used for decades to undermine accountability in cases of prison abuse and neglect ought to be even moreprotective of corrections officials and even less hospitable to inmates,” a position that “doesn’t bode well for Justice Gorsuch’s criminal justice jurisprudence going forward.”
  • At The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin considers Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida, “civic gadfly” Fane Lozman’s second Supreme Court case in five years, in which the justices will decide whether the existence of probable cause defeats a retaliatory-arrest claim, observing that “Lozman had an unusual problem before the Justices: his case was too good.”
  • At Rewire, Imani Gandy discusses Jennings v. Rodriguez, in which the court held that immigration-law provisions do not give detained aliens a right to periodic bond hearings; she notes that “just because Congress passed immigration laws that permit mandatory indefinite detention, that doesn’t mean those laws are constitutional.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 5, 2018, 7:30 AM),