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Wednesday round-up

There are two oral arguments at the Supreme Court this morning. The first is 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.  Lisa Heinzerling previewed the case for this blog. Eric Cummings and Andrew Kingsbury have a preview for Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Tucker Higgins reports at CNBC (via How Appealing) that “[a] ruling could have broad ramifications on the reach of federal water rules that were put in place in the early 1970s in response to growing public outcry over the nation’s dirty waterways.” At E&E News, Pamela King highlights “five things to know” about the case. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in this case.]

Today’s second argument is in Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander, which asks whether ERISA plaintiffs can state a claim for breach of a duty of prudence by making general allegations that the costs of undisclosed fraud grow over time. Ronald Mann had this blog’s preview. Allison Franz and Zora Franicevic preview the case for Cornell.

At Greenwire (subscription required), Pamela King reports that yesterday, during the oral argument in CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frascati Shipping Co., Ltd., the justices “sought answers on who should be financially responsible for a 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River.” At Bloomberg Environment, Ellen Gilmer reports that they “appeared skeptical … of a refining company’s argument that it shouldn’t be on the hook” for the spill. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in this case.]

For USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that after yesterday’s argument in Allen v. Cooper, which asks whether the Constitution gives Congress power to revoke the states’ immunity from suit for copyright infringement, the court “appeared likely … to rule that North Carolina’s display of a 300-year-old pirate ship’s salvage operation amounts to piracy.” Additional coverage of the argument comes from Jess Bravin for The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and Kevin Daley at the Daily Caller, who reports that “[s]everal justices appeared troubled by the possible consequences” of a ruling for the state. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Adam Mossoff writes that the case gives the court “a chance to end the double standard that allows state institutions to run roughshod over copyrights, the legal fountainhead of American creativity.”

Evan Lee analyzes Monday’s argument in Kansas v. Glover, which asks whether, for the purposes of an investigative stop under the Fourth Amendment, it is reasonable for police office to suspect that the registered owner of a car is the driver, for this blog. At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog (via How Appealing), Orin Kerr offers some reactions to the oral argument. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondent in this case.]


  • For The New York Times, Kristin Hussey and Elizabeth Williamson report that the court “will consider this week whether to hear a case seeking to pierce firearm manufacturers’ legal immunity in the aftermath of shootings,” Remington Arms Co. v. Soto.
  • For The Washington Post (subscription required), Robert Barnes and Seung Min Kim report that “[i]f Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is called upon to preside over a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, it will be the most high-profile and likely unwelcome test of his skills as neutral arbiter.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 6, 2019, 6:55 AM),