Breaking News

Friday round-up

Amy Howe reports for this blog that yesterday “President Donald Trump announced that his administration will end its battle to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 census … two weeks after the Supreme Court blocked the government from including the question.” For The New York Times, Katie Rogers and others report that the president “instructed the government to compile citizenship data from existing federal records instead.” Additional coverage comes from Mark Walsh at Education Week’s School Law Blog. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Leah Litman and Joshua Matz call the result “a resounding victory for the rule of law over the rule of Trump.” At The Atlantic, John Yoo and James Phillips maintain that “the census case—especially when viewed alongside lower-profile cases that the high court decided this term—signals the beginnings of a long-term shift in the tectonic plates of our constitutional system that will challenge government by administrative agency, rather than by our elected representatives.” Additional commentary on the Supreme Court’s census decision comes from Adam Carrington in an op-ed for Fox News.


  • At The Atlantic, Emma Green remarks that “[t]he most significant part of [Justice Clarence] Thomas’s legacy … may take shape long after he has stopped writing opinions”: “Through his clerks and mentees, the notoriously silent justice may end up with an outsize voice in the legal system for years to come.”
  • At The Federalist Society blog, James Phillips looks at “a little-noticed [cert] petition from Kentucky that raises a crucial question under the First Amendment: Can courts allow disgruntled ministers to punish churches for being fired?”
  • At Take Care, Emma Andersson and Jay Schweikert explain that “the Cato Institute and the ACLU are working together to urge the Court to abolish or narrow qualified immunity,” “a judicial doctrine that shields government officials from liability for their misconduct, even when they break the law,” and to “reopen the doors of federal courts to hearing cases about government officials’ abuses of power.”
  • Also at Take Care, Joshua Matz continues his series of posts about a trio of cases in which the court will consider next term whether federal law protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity.
  • At the Pacific Legal Foundation blog, Jeff McCoy writes that after the Supreme Court sent a criminal case under the Clean Water Act back this term for the court of appeals to determine what effect the death of the defendant had on the case, the lower court has vacated the conviction and the associated restitution order.
  • At Modern Democracy, Michael Parsons elaborates on the implications of Rucho v. Common Cause, in which the court held that partisan-gerrymandering challenges to electoral maps are not reviewable in federal court, for racial-gerrymandering cases; he observes that “[a]fter Rucho, state and federal courts alike might find themselves forced to answer a new question: How much pursuit of partisan advantage is permitted before it subordinates substantial equality?”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 12, 2019, 6:51 AM),