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Monday round-up

Today the Supreme Court begins its last argument session of the term with oral arguments in two cases. The first is Wisconsin Central Ltd.v. United States, which asks whether stock options are taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act. Daniel Hemel has this blog’s preview. At Law360 (subscription required), Amy Lee Rosen reports that “experts believe oral arguments and the case itself will hinge on whether ‘money remuneration’ should be broadly or narrowly interpreted.” Marissa Rivera and Michael Chou preview the case for Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Subscript has a graphic explainer for the case.

This morning’s second argument is in WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., in which the justices will consider whether damages for infringement of a domestic patent overseas include lost profits for overseas contracts the patentholder would have obtained if the infringement had not occurred. Ronald Mann previewed the case for this blog. Shelby Garland and Larry Blocho have Cornell’s preview, and Subscript’s graphic explainer is here.

At the Harvard Law Review Blog, Samuel S.-H. Wang offers a “two-part framework” that could help the justices decide their pending partisan-gerrymandering cases. In an op-ed for the Hendersonville Times-News, LeRoy Goldman argues thateven if [the court] curtails partisan gerrymandering, its work will be incomplete,” “because none of these cases presents the opportunity for the court to deal with the equally vexing and related problem of racial gerrymandering.”


  • In a podcast at Constitution Daily, Jeffrey Rosen “sits down with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer … [to] discuss the First Amendment, hate speech, the Citizens United decision, and other free speech cases.”
  • For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage notes that next week’s oral argument in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, which asks whether SEC administrative law judges are “officers of the United States” within the meaning of the appointments clause, “turns on the president’s power to hire and fire officials throughout the government,” and “it comes just as the White House is saying President Trump believes he has the power to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.”
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that “[i]n what appears to be a historic first, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has hired Tobi Young, a Native American lawyer, to be one of his law clerks starting this summer.”
  • Also at The National Law Journal, Tony Mauro reports that “Rod Rosenstein, the embattled U.S. deputy attorney general, is planning to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 23, representing the United States in a criminal sentencing case.”
  • At The Conversation, Monte Mills looks at Washington v. United States, in which the justices will consider the scope of tribal fishing rights, asking: “Supreme law or not, what good is the ‘right to take fish’ if there are no more fish to take?”
  • At the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog, Ilya Shapiro and Reilly Stephens urge the court to review a challenge to a California law banning the sale of any product that is the result of force-feeding a bird, arguing that “Congress has established uniform standards for poultry products, consistent with federal authority to normalize the flow of interstate commerce, and that California isn’t entitled to override this congressional judgment.
  • At Burnham & Gorokov’s legal blog, law student Sarah Kelley discusses the oral argument in City of Hays v. Vogt, which asks whether a probable-cause hearing is part of a criminal case within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination clause, predicting that the court “may issue a narrow ruling for Vogt.”
  • At Legal Sports Report, Ryan Rodenberg wonders whether changing views among professional-sports-league officials maytrigger a suggestion of mootness” in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a constitutional challenge to the federal ban on sports betting.
  • In an op-ed for The San Diego Union-Tribune, Denise Harle maintains that “all Americans should consider it great news that the Supreme Court is taking a hard look at the Reproductive FACT Act” in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, a First Amendment challenge to a California law that requires licensed crisis-pregnancy centers to post notices informing patients about the availability of publicly funded family-planning services.
  • At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps recalls several times when “government has decided to lower the boom on unpopular racial or religious groups,” and notes that “[s]urvivors of three of these previous episodes have filed amicus briefs [in the travel-ban case, Trump v. Hawaii,] urging the justices not to hide behind the wishful assumption that the executive branch this time—finally, really, this time—is telling us the truth, and that the ‘ban’ is based on national-security needs rather than raw racism and nativist politics.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 16, 2018, 7:21 AM),