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Wednesday round-up

Coverage continues of Monday’s three new cert grants. At CNN, Ariane de Vogue reports that “[t]he Supreme Court agreed … to take up the death penalty case of Russell Bucklew, a Missouri inmate who claims his execution would likely cause him ‘needless suffering’ because he suffers from a rare disease.” Steven Mazie notes at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog that under the court’s precedent, “[i]t may fall on Mr Bucklew … to show that Missouri has a viable way to kill him that is demonstrably less liable to cause him excruciating pain than would lethal injection.” At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that in Frank v. Gaos, the court “will use a privacy case involving Google to consider making it harder for companies to settle class-action lawsuits without providing direct compensation to those affected.” Kevin Lessmiller reports for the Courthouse News Service that the justices will decide in Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela “whether the Federal Arbitration Act precludes state-law interpretations of arbitration contracts that would allow class-wide arbitration.”

At Dorf on Law, Michael Dorf explains why Jesner v. Arab Bank, in which a splintered court held last week that foreign corporations cannot be sued under the Alien Tort Statute, provides a more coherent framework for understanding the cause of action associated with the statute. At the Human Rights at Home blog, Margaret Drew suggests that after Jesner, “[k]eeping an eye on upcoming cases on the rights of individuals versus business entities will clarify how much corporate shielding the court is willing to do while eliminating some remedies for individual human rights violations.”


  • At Roll Call, Todd Ruger reports that “[s]ome legal experts say the court seems to be feeling out a new dynamic with Justice Neil Gorsuch in his first full term,” which may explain the historically slow pace of opinions through April of this year.
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman identifies a “confluence of events [that] have come together to help precipitate this term’s ‘snail’s pace’” of decisions.
  • For The National Law Journal, Tony Mauro interviews Richard Hasen about Hasen’s “controversial book on [Justice Antonin] Scalia, ‘The Justice of Contradictions,’ … [which] takes a broad view of what [Hasen] sees as the inconsistencies in Scalia’s decision-making.”
  • At Legal Sports Report, Ryan Rodenberg charts a path to “a 9-0 vote [in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, a challenge to the federal ban on sports betting,] that permits New Jersey to authorize sports betting under the state’s ‘partial repeal’ law but otherwise keeps the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act … on the books for other states.”
  • For the Knight First Amendment Institute, Garrett Epps assesses Justice Samuel “Alito’s approach to constitutional interpretation in general and to First Amendment questions in particular,” remarking that in First Amendment cases, Alito’s “focus is on what might be called the centrality of speakers and of hearers.”
  • In an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee, Erwin Chemerinsky asserts that “[t]here is no excuse for keeping cameras out of the Supreme Court,”arguing that “[m]any of the arguments against allowing cameras in the courtroom are really arguments against allowing the public and reporters to be there at all, something that is thankfully unthinkable as well as unconstitutional.”
  • Michael O’Sullivan reviews the new documentary about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “RBG,” for The Washington Post.
  • For People, Sam Gillette takes an early look at two new versions, one for middle-schoolers and one for children, of Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s 2013 memoir, “My Beloved World.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 2, 2018, 7:26 AM),