For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that “[l]awyers for the House, citing the ‘rapidly advancing impeachment inquiry,’ urged the Supreme Court on Thursday to reject President Trump’s bid to shield his tax returns and financial records from congressional investigators.” At CNN, Ariane de Vogue reports that “[a]s soon as Friday, the justices could decide whether to allow a subpoena to Trump’s long time accounting firm to go forward, while they consider whether to take up the president’s appeal in the case.” Richard Wolf and Kevin McCoy report for USA Today that the House is arguing that “if the justices agree to a delay, … legal papers from both sides should be submitted in the next few weeks so that the high court can consider them at its last private conference of 2019, on Dec. 13.” Joan Biskupic writes at CNN that “[t]he Trump-records controversy has landed at a high court already ensnarled in the politics of the day and at the edge of the impeachment drama.”

In an op-ed at Forbes, Nick Sibilla explains why the court should weigh in on plaintiffs’ claims for attorneys’ fees in civil-forfeiture cases. At Reason, Jacob Sullum observes that the cert petition in this case “call[s] attention to the way the system works in practice, showing that even well-intended safeguards can be defeated by coercive tactics that deprive innocent people of their property.”


  • For The Washington Post (subscription required), Robert Barnes reports that according to a new book by Ruth Marcus, “Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover,” after “[J]ustice Anthony M. Kennedy presided over the ceremonial Rose Garden swearing-in for … Neil M. Gorsuch,” “Kennedy requested a private moment with President Trump to deliver a message about the next Supreme Court opening,” telling “Trump he should consider another of [Kennedy’s] former clerks, Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was not on the president’s first two lists of candidates.”
  • At The Hill, John Kruzel reports that in their private conference today the justices “will consider whether to take up a prominent climatologist’s defamation suit against a venerated conservative magazine, in a case that pits climate scientists against the free speech rights of global warming skeptics.”
  • At the Goldwater Institute’s In Defense of Liberty blog, Timothy Sandefur urges the court to review a case that asks “whether it’s constitutional for states for force lawyers to join bar associations.”
  • In the latest episode of Law360’s The Term podcast, Jimmy Hoover and Nancy Rodriguez “share some of Justice Elena Kagan’s thoughts about the court’s new two-minute oral argument policy (spoiler: she doesn’t love it) and touch down on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first major public speech since his bruising confirmation battle last year.”
  • The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal (via How Appealing) maintains that the plaintiffs’ arguments in this term’s cases about whether federal law protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity pose a “larger threat … to the new Court and the use, or misuse, of textualism[:] If the plain binary meaning of ‘sex’ in 1964 as a man or woman can be redefined to fit today’s cultural politics, then textualism as a legal doctrine becomes meaningless.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 22, 2019, 7:03 AM),