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Friday round-up

At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie covers the court’s decision Tuesday in Timbs v. Indiana, in which the justices ruled unanimously “that the constitution protects people accused of crimes from having outlandish sums seized by city or state authorities.” Subscript Law offers a graphic explainer for the decision. At Bloomberg Law, Jordan Rubin and Kimberly Robinson report that in separate concurrences, Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch supported “incorporating the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause to the states by way of the privileges or immunities clause instead of via the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause,” “a view of the Constitution that could be incredibly consequential were it to eventually find favor with a majority of justices.” Commentary comes from Jason Snead and Elizabeth Slattery at The Daily Signal and Alan Kaplinsky at The National Law Review. At Stanford Law School’s Legal Aggregate blog, Sharon Driscoll discusses the decision with law professor Robert Weisberg.

At Rewire.News’ Boom! Lawyered podcast, Imani Gandi and Jessica Mason Pieklo weigh in on Thomas’ solo concurrence this week in the denial of review in defamation case McKee v. Cosby, calling it an “alarming … opinion that may signal the start of a prolonged attack on the First Amendment.” At The Daily Caller, Kevin Daley covers reactions to the opinion, in which Thomas “urg[ed] the high court to reconsider a landmark freedom of the press decision called New York Times v. Sullivan,” which “generally shields reporters and news platforms from libel or defamation lawsuits provided they were acting in good faith”; Thomas argued that “the high court was wrong to usurp the role of states in regulating libel.”


  • In the latest episode of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, “Jason Snead joins Elizabeth Slattery to talk about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s return and the Court’s ruling in” Timbs.
  • For The Wall Street Journal, Katy Strech Ferek reports that in Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, which was argued on Wednesday, the “justices are weighing whether trademark users should have more protections in licensing disputes that break out in corporate bankruptcy cases,” and that “[d]isputes over broken licensing deals have split courts across the country.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in this case.]
  • For Education Week, Mark Walsh revisits a landmark school-speech decision, Tinker v. Des Moines Community Independent School District, on its 50th anniversary.
  • At The National Law Review, Richard Davis and others look at the newest addition to next term’s docket: County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which asks whether the Clean Water Act covers pollution that moves through groundwater before reaching a federal waterway.
  • For the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Ruthann Robson previews Monday’s oral argument in Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, in which the justices will consider whether a private operator of a public-access TV channel is a “state actor” who can be sued for violations of the First Amendment.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 22, 2019, 7:03 AM),