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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the justices issued additional orders from their conference last Friday; as expected, they did not add any cases to their merits docket. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. At Bloomberg Law, Jordan Rubin reports that the court “chose not to hear a case on the Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause …, turning away an appeal from Alabama but sparking a noteworthy dissent in the process” from “a pairing not seen yet this term, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor.” Additional coverage comes from Marcia Coyle at At Reason, Damon Root observes that “[w]hile it’s common nowadays to think of the Supreme Court exclusively in terms of its conservative and liberal blocs, Gorsuch and Sotomayor have shown that the story is more complicated when it comes to questions of criminal justice.”


  • The latest episode of First Mondays (podcast) features “a deep dive into Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, a nerdy-but-interesting procedural case that arises from some particularly spicy factual allegations.”
  • At SCOTUS OA, Tonja Jacobi and Matthew Sag maintain that “[t]he Supreme Court’s two current pending death penalty cases” “illustrate the added value of empirical analysis of oral argument over purely qualitative or impressionistic readings” in predicting case outcomes.
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes a sample of cert petitions “to see if experts are using different and unique writing techniques to get the attention of the [justices’ law] clerks.”
  • At Balkinization, Marty Lederman explains why one of the court’s newest cases for OT 2018, In re Department of Commerce, et al., a dispute arising out of a challenge to the administration’s decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, is “a very strange, almost inexplicable, grant.”
  • In the latest episode of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, “the Heritage Foundation and National Constitution Center partner[] to bring you a live Supreme Trivia event.”
  • At National Review, John Yoo and James Phillips argue that “[w]ith Justice Kavanaugh now providing conservatives with a more secure majority, the Court can end its sidestepping of the Second Amendment.”
  • At The World and Everything In It, Mary Reichard discusses the oral argument in Bucklew v. Precythe, in which an inmate argues that because he suffers from a rare medical condition, execution by lethal injection will cause him intolerable pain and would violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in this case.]
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Timothy Shriver weighs in on the “troubling” case of Texas death-row inmate Bobby Moore, whose lawyers “are going back to the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking enforcement of its own previous decision that Texas must use medical standards, rather than its own stereotypes, to determine intellectual disability.”
  • At the Washington Blade, Chris Johnson writes that “an anti-LGBT legal group is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to block a Pennsylvania’s school district policy allowing transgender kids to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 20, 2018, 6:48 AM),