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Thursday round-up

Amy Howe analyzes yesterday’s oral argument in Republic of Sudan v. Harrison, which involves service of process on foreign governments under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Jess Bravin reports for The Wall Street Journal that “Sudan’s government argued … that it shouldn’t have to pay a $315 million judgment for helping terrorists attack a U.S. warship because the plaintiffs sent the legal papers to the wrong place.” At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports that “to the consternation of the victims and veterans groups, the Trump administration is siding with Sudan, long designated a state sponsor of terrorism and now on the Trump travel ban list.” Jessica Gresko reports at AP that “[i]t wasn’t clear how the justices would rule,” and that the case did not seem to “split the court along typical ideological lines.” Additional coverage comes Adam Liptak for The New York Times and Robert Barnes for The Washington Post, who reports that “[i]f the court rules for Sudan, the judgment for the families probably would be thrown out, and the legal process must begin anew.” Jared Hubbard provides an account of the argument at Letters Blogatory.


  • This blog’s argument analysis BNSF Railway Company v. Loos, in which the justices considered on Tuesday whether a railroad’s payment to an employee for time lost from work can be taxed under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, comes from Daniel Hemel.
  • For Capitol Media Services (via, Howard Fischer reports that this week’s ruling against an Arizona fire district, Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido, in which the justices held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to all state and local governments, no matter how many employees they have, “has implications nationwide, subjecting other small local governments to the same anti-discrimination laws that larger entities already must obey.”
  • At the Pacific Legal Foundation blog, Christina Martin suggests that the court may have ordered reargument in Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, which asks whether the court should reconsider a precedent that requires property owners to exhaust state remedies before bringing federal takings claims under the Constitution, “because the justices were deadlocked and need Justice Kavanaugh—who had not yet been confirmed when [the] case was argued—to break the tie,” or “that the Court is still deciding upon the best theory for overturning the 33-year old precedent.”
  • In an op-ed for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse argues that, with its recent requests that the Supreme Court “keep[] the public from learning how the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census actually came about” and grant “immediate review of decisions by three Federal District Courts that have prevented the administration from shutting down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,” “[t]he Trump administration [is treating] the Supreme Court as a wholly owned subsidiary.” 

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 8, 2018, 7:30 AM),