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Thursday round-up

At, Tony Mauro reports that “[t]he book-writing bug has bitten U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, as it has with several of his colleagues”: A “book by Gorsuch titled ‘A Republic, If You Can Keep It,’ will be published in September” and “will include eight original essays as well as a collection of Gorsuch speeches and writings.” Additional coverage comes from Patrick Gregory and others at Bloomberg Law.

At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, John Stinneford writes of Monday’s decision in Bucklew v. Precythe, in which a divided court rejected a death-row inmate’s argument that, because he suffers from a rare medical condition, executing him by lethal injection would be so painful that it would violate the constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, that “had the Bucklew Court focused on the primary meaning of ‘unusual,’ it would have been able to draw on a relatively objective and determinate standard for measuring the cruelty of Missouri’s lethal injection protocol: longstanding prior practice.” At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps remarks that the “truculent tone [of the court’s opinion] suggests the new conservative majority will tolerate no more back talk on this death business.” [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.]

At Modern Democracy, Michael Parsons worries after last week’s oral arguments in two partisan-gerrymandering cases, Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek, that the “Court may be at risk of squandering the opportunity” “to make sense of not one but two of its most convoluted and inexplicable areas of constitutional law: the political question doctrine and political gerrymandering law.” For Bethesda Magazine, Dan Schere reports that “[t]he nine-member nonpartisan redistricting commission redrawing Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District [at issue in Benisek] has released its final map and proposes shifting parts of northern Montgomery County into a different district.”


  • In the latest episode of Bloomberg Law’s Cases and Controversies podcast, Elaine Goldenberg joins Jordan Rubin and Kimberly Robinson to “break down arguments over partisan gerrymandering, administrative power, and race in the criminal justice system” and “discuss the biggest news of the sitting: Justice Thomas speaks!”
  • In The World and Everything in It (podcast), Mary Reichard unpacks the oral arguments in Flowers v. Mississippi, which asks whether a prosecutor’s repeated use of peremptory challenges to remove black people from the jury pool violated the Constitution, and False Claims Act case Cochise Consultancy v. United States, ex rel. Hunt. [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 respondent in Cochise.]
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s “first set of votes on the Supreme Court” to determine whether they “present a picture that may (1) differentiate him from some of the other conservative justices and (2) help us understand where exactly he fits in the Court’s ideological spectrum.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 4, 2019, 7:07 AM),