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Friday round-up

For The Economist, Steven Mazie reports after Wednesday’s oral argument in Timbs v. Indiana, in which the justices considered whether the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive fines applies to the states, that “[t]he unusual left-right coalition of organisations urging the Supreme Court to side with Mr Timbs—Christian conservatives, libertarians, anti-poverty activists, the Chamber of Commerce—seems to have the support of an ideologically diverse array of justices.” At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, Ilya Somin writes that “[e]ven if the justices punt on the excessiveness issue, a ruling that incorporates the Excessive Fines Clause against the states and holds that the Clause applies to at least some substantial number of civil asset forfeitures would be an important victory for civil liberties and property rights.”


  • At The Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that “[c]onservative legal luminary Ken Starr is backing a Texas death row inmate who is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his pending execution because he is mentally disabled.”
  • In the latest episode of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, “Sheldon Gilbert from the National Constitution Center joins Elizabeth Slattery to talk about recent oral arguments, the return of Coach K, and John Roberts v. Donald Trump.”
  • In an op-ed for USA Today, Alexis Lightcap urges the justices to review Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, in which she and other Pennsylvania high school students are challenging their school district’s policy of permitting transgender students to use restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, arguing that “my privacy shouldn’t depend on what others believe about their own gender.”
  • At the Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice & Comment blog, Bernard Bell offers the last in a three-part series of posts on PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic Inc., which asks whether the Hobbs Act, a jurisdictional-channeling statute, requires courts to accept the Federal Communications Commission’s interpretation of a statute allowing recipients of “junk faxes” to sue the senders for damages; he concludes that “the district court’s conception of ‘advertisement’ was too narrow,” and that “even under that narrow definition, PDR Network’s ‘commercial aim’ in sending the fax sufficed to make the fax an ‘advertisement.’”
  • At National Review, John Yoo and James Phillips hope the court will use its decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association, an establishment clause challenge to the placement on public land of a World War I memorial shaped like a cross, to “return to an establishment-clause jurisprudence that supports the free exercise of religion rather than undermining it.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 30, 2018, 7:20 AM),