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Tuesday round-up

Amy Howe reports for this blog that last night the Supreme Court “gave the federal government a partial victory … in a dispute over discovery in the challenge to the government’s decision to reinstate a question about citizenship on the 2020 census” when,  “[w]ithout any publicly recorded objections, the justices kept on hold plans to depose Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, about the decision.” At The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Tara Bahrampour report that “[t]he court’s action makes it unlikely that Ross will have to give a deposition in the case but allows the suit to go forward, at least temporarily.” Brent Kendall reports for The Wall Street Journal that the justices “did leave open the challengers’ ability to gather information from elsewhere in the Trump administration, including by questioning Justice Department lawyer John Gore about his connection to the citizenship question.” Additional coverage comes from Richard Wolf at USA Today, Mark Sherman at the Associated Press, Stephen Dinan for The Washington Times, and Adam Liptak for The New York Times, who reports that “Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, said the Supreme Court should have gone further, shutting down all pretrial fact-gathering in the census case.”


  • At the Associated Press, Jessica Gresko reports that retired Justice “Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, has stepped back from public life.”
  • Amy Howe reports for this blog, in a post first published at Howe on the Court, that “[t]he Supreme Court has once again been asked to weigh in on the case of a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex marriage celebration because doing so would violate the baker’s religious beliefs.”
  • In an op-ed for The Hill, Mark Miller urges the justices to review Marquette County Road Commission v. EPA, a which asks whether the EPA’s objections to a county road-project proposal are reviewable in court.
  • At the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog, Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran maintain that the court should grant cert in  Bernard Parish v. United States, a case involving flood damage allegedly resulting from the government’s failure to protect the banks of a canal in Louisiana from erosion, and make clear that “when the government, whether through action or inaction, takes private property, it has a distinct, well-established responsibility to compensate landowners.”
  • At the Harvard Law Review Blog, Richard Hasen worries that in North Carolina partisan-gerrymandering case Rucho v. Common Cause, “[t]he Court might do more than simply bar the creation of redistricting commissions via initiative”: “It could stifle the use of state constitutional law to rein in partisan gerrymandering.”
  • At SCOTUS OA, Tonja Jacobi and Matthew Sag explain that “[i]f you wanted to know which way Justice Gorsuch was going to vote in the 2017 Term, you could have placed your bets with 86% accuracy by observing just one statistic from oral argument—how many times Gorsuch interrupted each side.” 

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 23, 2018, 6:45 AM),