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Thursday round-up

Amy Howe reports for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court, that yesterday a Louisiana abortion clinic filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to strike down a state law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals; the justices had put the law on hold in February, in June Medical Services v. Gee. At AP, Mark Sherman reports that “[i]f the justices agree to hear the Louisiana case, as seems likely, it could lead to a decision on the high-profile abortion issue in spring 2020, in the midst of the presidential election campaign.” At Rewire.News, Jessica Mason Pieklo writes that “[a]dvocates have asked the Court to grant their request to summarily reverse the Fifth Circuit,” meaning that “they want the Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit without briefs or oral arguments on the merits of the case” because the Louisiana law “is identical to provisions the Roberts Court already struck down as unconstitutional.”

Leah Litman has this blog’s analysis of yesterday’s oral argument in United States v. Davis, which asks whether the definition of “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague in the context of federal criminal prosecutions involving firearms. At Bloomberg Law, Jordan Rubin reports that “[t]he dispute calls on the justices to apply precedent from last term’s decision in Sessions v. Dimaya, where they split 5-4 in finding a similarly-worded immigration law too vague.” Additional coverage of the argument comes from Tim Ryan at Courthouse News Service.

This blog’s analysis of Tuesday’s argument in Parker Drilling Management Services. Ltd. v. Newton, in which the justices considered whether California’s overtime and wage laws apply to drilling rigs on the outer continental shelf, comes from Andrew Seigel. At Law360 (subscription required), Michael Phillis reports that “[a]n offshore drilling worker tried to convince skeptical U.S. Supreme Court justices Tuesday that applying California state labor law to an offshore oil rig would not make language in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act pointless.” Tim Ryan reports at Courthouse News Service that “[w]hile the justices in general appeared more receptive to Parker Drilling’s side of the case Tuesday, some did struggle to find a basis in the law for the company’s position.”

At Law360 (subscription required), Maria Koklanaris reports that during Tuesday’s oral argument in North Carolina Dept of Revenue v. Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust, which asks whether a trust beneficiary’s residence is sufficient under the due process clause for a state to assert tax jurisdiction over trust income, the justices questioned “whether a North Carolina beneficiary’s expectation of distribution from a trust gave the state taxing rights, even though its settlor and initial trustee were out of state and distributions weren’t guaranteed.” Brandi Buchman covers the argument for Courthouse News Service. At the Journal of Accountancy, Frances Schafer and Eileen Reichenberg Sherr observe that “[t]rusts generate more than $120 billion in earnings every year, so the question of which state is entitled to tax that income is a significant one.”


  • At CNN, Ariane de Vogue reports that “Chief Justice John Roberts denied a request from CNN and other news outlets on Wednesday to release same-day audio of oral arguments next week in a highly anticipated case concerning the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.”
  • The Mercatus Center’s podcast The Bridge focuses on Kisor v. Wilkie, in which the justices have been asked to reconsider precedents that require courts to defer to a federal agency’s reasonable interpretation of its own regulations.
  • In an op-ed for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Keisha Russell weighs in on The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, an establishment clause challenge to a World War I memorial shaped like a cross on public property, arguing that “[t]earing down this memorial would … destroy a critical moment of our history.” [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.]

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 18, 2019, 6:44 AM),