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Thursday round-up

Tucker Higgins reports at CNBC on friend-of-the-court briefs filed in support of the city in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, a challenge to New York City’s limits on transporting personal firearms, by groups of senators and representatives, including several Democratic presidential candidates. At National Review, David French takes aim at the senators’ brief, suggesting that its “true intent … is to cast aspersions on the integrity of the Court itself.” In an op-ed for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse argues that, “[q]uirky as the [city’s] regulation might be, this case is potentially the vehicle that Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have been waiting for — a chance to turn the ambiguous and quite narrow Heller decision into the constitutional charter for gun rights that the gun lobby had hoped for but has not yet obtained.”


  • At Bloomberg Law, Ben Penn and others report that “[t]he Trump Justice Department is urging the federal employment rights agency to change its position and tell the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that businesses can discriminate against transgender employees without violating the law, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.”
  • At Greenwire (subscription required), Ellen Gilmer reports that “lawyers for Maui County told the Supreme Court this week” in 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, that a “narrow reading of the Clean Water Act does not create a loophole in the landmark law but rather interprets it as Congress intended.”
  • At E&E News, Pamela King profiles a Virginia widow whose “call[] for federal courts to address a quirk in the pipeline eminent domain process that enables pipeline developers to gain access to private property before paying to use the land … is now before the Supreme Court, which will decide this fall whether to take up the case.”
  • Kevin Daley notes at The Daily Caller that “[t]he Supreme Court’s liberal minority forged winning alliances in unexpected rulings throughout the 2018-2019 term, suggesting the newly entrenched conservative majority is hardly a cohesive unit.”
  • At the Duke Center for Firearms Law’s Second Thoughts blog, Jake Charles writes that “[t]wo factors seem key to the Court’s holding” in Rucho v. Common Cause “that partisan gerrymandering is a nonjusticiable political issue”: “the difficulty of finding a manageable standard to assess such claims and the thorny expansion of judicial review into an area of deep political controversy”; Charles observes that although “[s]ome of these same concerns permeate Second Amendment litigation, … they gave the Heller majority no pause when it first announced an individual right to keep and bear arms.”
  • Subscript Law has a graphic explainer for Ramos v. Louisiana, in which the justices will decide next term whether the whether the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a unanimous jury applies to the states. 

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 15, 2019, 7:02 AM),