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Thursday round-up


  • For The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that “a group of hip-hop stars, including Chance the Rapper, Meek Mill, Killer Mike, Yo Gotti, Fat Joe and 21 Savage,” filed a brief yesterday “urg[ing] the Supreme Court to hear their fellow rapper’s First Amendment challenge to his conviction” “for threatening police officers — in a song.”
  • At SCOTUS OA, Tonja Jacobi and Matthew Sag predict a 6-3 win for the proponents of the Peace Cross in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, an establishment clause challenge to a World War I memorial shaped like a cross on public property, observing that “[t]he Establishment Clause jurisprudence on questions such as the mandatory prayer readings and the display of religious monuments is inconsistent and unpredictable, but the justices themselves are not.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in this case.]
  • At CNN, Ariane de Vogue catches up with James Dimaya, who won a significant victory last term when the Supreme Court ruled in Sessions v. Dimaya that a mandatory-deportation provision in an immigration statute was unconstitutionally vague.

  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro talks to George Hutchinson, the last crier of the Supreme Court, who shares “anecdotes that go back to the days when the court building, completed in 1935, was brand new.”
  • At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps writes that Justice Clarence Thomas’ recent attacks on a range of “‘super precedents'” stem from Thomas’ apparent belief “that he alone has the insight, gleaned from direct access to the minds of the Framers, to establish single-handedly the ‘original understanding’ of all parts of the Constitution.”
  • At the Cato Institute’s Cato at Liberty blog, Roger Pilon praises Thomas and Justice Neil Gorsuch for urging reliance on the privileges and immunities clause rather than the due process clause in Timbs v. Indiana, in which the court held that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on excessive fines applies to states and localities.
  • At the National Conference of State Legislatures Blog, Lisa Soronen weighs in on employment-discrimination case Fort Bend County v. Davis, arguing that “requiring employees to exhaust their administrative remedies is not burdensome and … holding that Title VII’s administrative exhaustion requirement is a mere claims-processing rule would impose significant costs on state and local governments.”
  • At Dorf on Law, Michael Dorf considers Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent in Jam v. International Finance Corporation, observing that “[i]f Breyer is right to see the majority opinion in Jam as formally rejecting purposivism, he can take comfort from the fact that he has allies–including Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, who all joined the Chief Justice’s opinion in Jam–working on the inside to make textualism more or less indistinguishable from purposivism.”
  • At his eponymous blog, Ross Runkel suggests that the omission of any mention of Chevron v. NRDC, the case prescribing deference to a reasonable agency interpretation of an ambiguous statute, in Monday’s BNSF Railway Company v. Loos decision “heralds the death of Chevron.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 7, 2019, 7:12 AM),