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Monday round-up

On Friday afternoon, the court added five cases to its merits docket, for a total of four hours of oral argument, including three cases stemming from efforts by congressional committees and a New York grand jury to subpoena President Donald Trump’s financial records from the president’s accountants and lenders. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. At Fox News, Bill Mears and Shannon Bream report that “[a]t issue is the extent a sitting president can be subject to congressional oversight — under ‘valid legislative purposes’ — of his private business dealings before he took office[; t]he high court will also look at the extent a sitting president can be subject to state and local grand jury investigations and prosecutions.” For The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Jess Bravin and Brent Kendall report that “[a] court ruling will likely come by late June, amid the president’s re-election campaign.” At The Economist, Steven Mazie explains that “it is far from obvious how the justices will rule in these disputes.” Additional coverage comes from Nina Totenberg at NPR.

At The Oklahoman (via How Appealing), Chris Casteel reports that “[t]he U.S. Supreme Court, which failed this year to decide a case that could have a major impact in eastern Oklahoma, has chosen a different path to determine whether tribal reservations in the state were officially terminated,” agreeing on Friday to review McGirt v. Oklahoma, “the appeal of a man convicted of child sex crimes who contends he should not have been tried in an Oklahoma state court.” At Bloomberg Law, Kimberly Robinson reports that in USAID v. Alliance for Open Society, the court will also “consider the reach of First Amendment speech protections” when it reviews “a ruling finding that foreign affiliates of U.S. health groups who fight HIV and AIDS abroad don’t have to comply with federal law in order to receive funding.”

For The Washington Post (subscription required), Marissa Lang reports that “[c]ivil rights lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to intervene in a lawsuit [against a Black Lives Matter organizer] that activists and legal scholars fear could have wide-reaching consequences for protest organizers across the country,” in McKesson v. Doe. At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps urges the court to either reverse the lower-court’s decision without briefing and oral argument or to “stay the trial below and hear the case now,” arguing that “[t]he danger of cases like this is not simply the possibility of local juries turning their ire on unpopular defendants; it is the certainty that this type of lawsuit will impose crippling litigation costs on those defendants.”


  • At the Washington Legal Foundation blog, Stephen Bainbridge observes that Carney v. Adams, in which the court will rule on a First Amendment challenge to a Delaware constitutional provision that limits the number of judges that can be affiliated with a particular political party, “will attract great attention from corporate lawyers, because it may call into question the validity of the judiciary of the state that dominates corporate law.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 16, 2019, 7:07 AM),