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Friday round-up

As the justices reconvene today for their first private conference in several weeks, Kimberly Robinson reports at Bloomberg Law that “[t]he second half of the Supreme Court’s current term will be chock-full of high-profile arguments and blockbuster opinions, and court watchers say it’s going to be explosive.” Mark Sherman reports at AP (via How Appealing) that “[t]he court is poised to issue campaign-season decisions in the full bloom of spring in cases dealing with President Donald Trump’s tax and other financial records, abortion, LGBT rights, immigration, guns, church-state relations and the environment,” testing “Chief Justice John Roberts’ insistence that the public should not view the court as just another political institution.”


  • Amy Howe reports for this blog that last night, with no recorded dissents, the Supreme Court refused to block the execution of Tennessee inmate Nicholas Sutton.
  • Mark Walsh explains at the ABA Journal that June Medical Services v. Russo, which asks whether a decision upholding Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, “is all the more momentous because of recent changes on the court.”
  • At Fox News, Gregg Re reports that “Former Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday openly called for 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices, lending his support to a push that has gained steam among Democrats amid the Trump administration’s rapid-fire federal judicial appointments — and the possibility of a looming Supreme Court vacancy.”
  • In an op-ed at Townhall, Mike Davis weighs in on Google v. Oracle America, a dispute over the copyright status of application programming interfaces, arguing that “it is time for the Supreme Court to course correct on Google’s outrageous interpretation of the ‘fair use’ doctrine under U.S. copyright law.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.]
  • At Quartz, Ephrat Livni writes that “[h]appily, the arguments in the parties’ briefs” in U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, involving the power of the Forest Service to grant rights of way through lands traversed by the Appalachian Trail, “are at times a hoot, which perhaps bodes well for the upcoming hearing and certainly makes for uncommonly fun legal reading.” [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.]
  • In an op-ed at Bloomberg Law, William Bennett Turner shares evidence from Chief Justice John Roberts’ law school days showing that “Roberts does have experience—long ago and not publicly known—with the people’s right to know”; Turner invites the chief justice “to live up to his early First Amendment principles and ensure the kind of transparency all three branches owe the people.”
  • At Reason, Damon Root maintains that, “[a]pplied on its face, the federal prohibition against encouraging illegal immigration for financial gain” at issue in United States v. Sineneng-Smith “criminalizes a wide range of lawful speech.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 21, 2020, 6:45 AM),