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Wednesday round-up

This morning the Supreme Court wraps up the November session with two more oral arguments. The first case today is Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, in which the court will decide whether, in a  claim under a federal statute that prohibits race discrimination in contracting, a plaintiff is required to show that the defendant’s action would not have been taken but for the alleged discrimination. Amy Howe had this blog’s argument preview, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Thomas Shannan and David Relihan preview the case at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

Today’s second argument is in Ritzen Group Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC, in which the court will decide whether an order denying a creditor’s motion to lift an automatic stay of efforts by creditors to collect debts from the debtor is a final order that the creditor can appeal. This blog’s preview came from Ronald Mann. Emma Horne and Nicole Jaeckel preview the case for Cornell.

This blog’s coverage of yesterday’s oral argument in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, a high-profile challenge to the Trump administration’s decision to terminate the DACA program, comes from Amy Howe, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mark Walsh provides a first-hand view of the argument for this blog. For USA Today, Richard Wolfe reports that the court “appeared likely to side with the Trump administration in its effort to end a program that lets nearly 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.” At the Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that “[t]he high court’s conservative majority appeared to think the administration has provided an adequate basis for ending the policy, and in spaces even wondered if the courts had power to review the dispute.” Robert Barnes reports for The Washington Post (subscription required) that “[t]he Supreme Court’s somewhat reluctant review of the DACA program — it waited for months before accepting the case — meant that, for the third consecutive year, the high court will pass judgment on a Trump priority that has been stifled by federal judges, this time in a presidential election year and in a case with passionate advocates and huge consequences.” Additional coverage comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR, here and here, Mark Walsh at Education Week, Pamela King at E&E News, Shannon Bream and Bill Mears at Fox News, and Joan Biskupic at CNN, who writes that Chief Justice John Roberts “was yet again at the decisive middle of a contentious dispute.”

Amy Howe analyzes yesterday’s second argument, in Hernandez v. Mesa, a case arising from a Mexican family’s efforts to hold a U.S. Border Patrol agent liable for the shooting death of their son, who was on the Mexican side of the border, for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. For The Washington Post (subscription required), Ann Marimow reports that the court “expressed concern … about the implications for U.S. foreign policy and national security if the families of Mexican teenagers killed by Border Patrol agents in cross-border shootings were allowed to sue in American courts.”

Yesterday the court issued additional orders from last week’s conference, adding no new cases to its merits docket. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Elizabeth Williamson and Kristin Hussey report for The New York Times that the court declined to “hear an appeal in a case seeking to pierce firearm manufacturers’ legal immunity in the aftermath of shootings, allowing relatives of victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School to sue Remington Arms Co., maker of the rifle used there, in Connecticut courts.” Additional coverage comes from Mark Walsh at Education Week, who reports that “[t]he lawsuit brought by parents of nine of the Sandy Hook victims argues that Remington and other defendants negligently entrusted to civilians an AR-15-style assault rifle that is suitable for use only by military and law enforcement personnel.”


  • At The Washington Times, Alex Swoyer reports that “[a] federal court delayed a cop killer’s execution in Texas for the second time after the Supreme Court said the man deserves to have his Buddhist priest in the execution chamber the same way the state allows clergy to accompany Christian inmates.”
  • For The New Yorker, Margaret Talbot profiles Justice Elena Kagan, who “is emerging as one of the most influential Justices on the Court—and, without question, the most influential of the liberals.”
  • At Gambit, Kaylee Poche looks at the implications of “a lesser known legal argument” in June Medical Services v. Gee, which asks whether a decision upholding Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital conflicts with a recent precedent: Louisiana’s argument “that abortion providers should not have what’s called third-party standing — the ability to sue on behalf of their patients to challenge health and safety regulations.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes the justices’ use in recent majority opinions of citations to separate opinions in prior cases, concluding that “[t]he justices utilize this practice in varying degrees, but as a general matter, they appear to frequently look to past separate opinions to rehash old ideas and to help justify new ones.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 13, 2019, 6:42 AM),