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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court added five more cases to its docket for the term, for a total of four hours of oral argument. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog; her coverage first appeared at Howe on the Court. Adam Liptak reports for The New York Times that in two consolidated cases, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel, the court will “decide how broadly federal employment discrimination laws apply to schools run by churches.” At Education Week’s School Law Blog (subscription or registration required), Mark Walsh reports that the cases are “appeals of two Roman Catholic schools in cases in which lower courts allowed employment-discrimination lawsuits by former teachers to proceed”: “The schools … argue that the teachers were integral to the religious mission of the schools and thus their suits were barred by the ‘ministerial exception’ to the civil rights laws recognized by the justices in a 2012 case.”


  • At The National Law Journal, Tony Mauro reports that at an event on Tuesday night, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg elaborated on an oft-told story about calls to her at work from her son James’ school complaining about the boy’s behavior, “revealing that the school official she received calls from was Dalton’s headmaster Donald Barr, father of current U.S. Attorney General William Barr.”
  • At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps highlights a “surprise opinion” by a court of appeals judge in the decision at issue in Mckesson v. Doe, a cert petition now pending in the Supreme Court: Judge Don “Willett, a Trump appointee and former Texas Supreme Court justice, has now changed his vote and issued a full-throated defense of the idea that free speech covers even unruly protest.”
  • At the Human Rights at Home Blog, Margaret Drew comments on the court’s order earlier this week in City of Boise, Idaho v. Martin, letting stand a lower-court “ruling that people who experience homelessness cannot be criminally charged for sleeping in public outdoor spaces without offering the individuals alternative shelter.”
  • In an op-ed for The Palm Beach Post, Brianne Gorod writes that “[i]f and when Chief Justice Roberts is asked to preside over an impeachment trial, he will bear witness to a powerful reminder of the critical importance of our nation’s system of checks and balances,” a “reminder [that] should guide him when he’s doing his day job.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 19, 2019, 6:58 AM),