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Monday round-up

This morning the justices begin the second week of the January sitting with two oral arguments. First up is Thacker v. Tennessee Valley Authority, in which the court will decide whether an implied discretionary function exception bars a negligence claim against the TVA. Gregory Sisk previewed the case for this blog. Ushin Hong and Russell Mendelson have a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. This morning’s second argument is in Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle USA Inc., which asks whether the term “full costs” awarded to a prevailing party in a copyright case is limited to taxable costs or also authorizes nontaxable costs. Ronald Mann had this blog’s preview. Isaac Syed and Yuexin Angela Zhu preview the case for Cornell.

On Friday the justices added eight cases to their merits docket for this term, but they took no action on high-profile petitions in cases involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, service in the military by transgender people, abortion rights, employment discrimination, and the Second Amendment. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. For The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that the granted cases include “ones on how gun laws apply to undocumented immigrants and whether the police may have blood drawn from unconscious motorists suspected of drunken driving.”

For The Wall Street Journal, Brent Kendall reports that “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will miss another week of Supreme Court proceedings but her recovery from cancer treatment is on track and there is no sign of any remaining disease, the court said Friday.” Lawrence Hurley reports for Reuters that Ginsburg “will continue to work from home and participate in all the cases she has missed.” Additional coverage comes from Nina Totenberg and Domenico Montenaro at NPR and from Adam Shaw and Bill Mears at Fox News. Also for Fox News, Bill Mears reports that Ginsburg’s absence “has touched off a burst of speculation as well as low-key planning from the White House about the possibility of a departure,” but that “observers aren’t convinced the liberal backbone of the court is going anywhere.” At The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Slattery and Elisabeth Daigle caution against “read[ing] too much into Ginsburg’s absence.”


  • At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps suggests that Herrera v. Wyoming“an Indian treaty-rights case argued in the Supreme Court last Tuesday, revolves around a basic of federal Indian law: No promise to Indian people actually binds the United States. Congress can unilaterally void any treaty or agreement.”
  • The latest episode of First Mondays “break[s] down the first week of the January sitting,” catching listeners “up on everything the Court has been up to—including Justice Kavanaugh’s very first majority opinion—before recapping oral arguments in Herrera v. WyomingObduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, and Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt.”
  • At Justia’s Verdict blog, John Cannan explains why, although “[l]egislative history is often not a foolproof method of divining legislative intent, … it provides significant clarity” in the case of Azar v. Allina Health Services, which asks whether the Department of Health and Human Services was required to conduct notice-and-comment rulemaking before altering its Medicare reimbursement formula.
  • In a YouTube video, Philip DeFranco takes a high-octane look at the issues in Carpenter v. Murphy, a capital case in which the justices will decide whether Congress has disestablished the boundaries of an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, affecting the state’s ability to prosecute major crimes in the affected area.
  • At Rewire.News, Heron Greenesmith writes that “two self-proclaimed feminist organizations” “have filed amicus briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of cisgender students challenging the trans-inclusive school policies of a school district in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 14, 2019, 6:48 AM),