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Wednesday round-up

Greg Stohr reports at Bloomberg that “[t]he Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s independence, designed by a Democratic-controlled Congress to insulate the agency from political pressure, now risks being its downfall,” as the court gets ready to hear argument in a constitutional challenge to the structure of the bureau, Seila Law v. CFPB. At Reuters’ On the Case blog (via How Appealing), Alison Frankel writes that “the CFPB has found an unlikely champion” in the case”: “The Trump administration believes that the bureau’s lone director is unconstitutionally shielded from accountability to the president, yet the Justice Department’s final brief before oral argument urged the Supreme Court not to issue a ruling that will halt the CFPB’s ‘critical work.’”

At the Daily Caller, Chris White reports that “[a] conservative group seeking to hold big tech accountable for perceived bias filed an amicus brief Tuesday in support of Oracle” in Google v. Oracle America, a dispute over the copyright status of application programming interfaces, “as the company continues to sue Google over copyright complaints.” Jeff John Roberts reports at Fortune (via How Appealing) that, “depending on which participant you believe,” the outcome of “one of the most momentous tech cases in decades … will either safeguard future innovation or deal a deserved comeuppance to a lawless tech giant.” [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 Reuters, Lawrence Hurley visits a Louisiana abortion clinic whose “fate lies in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which on March 4 is set to hear the clinic’s challenge to a tough Louisiana law placing new restrictions on doctors who perform abortions,” in June Medical Services v. Russo.
  • In an episode of Bloomberg Environment’s Parts Per Billion podcast, David Schultz and Ellen Gilmer discuss U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, which involves the power of the Forest Service to grant a right of way for “a pipeline underneath the famed Appalachian Trail.” [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.]
  • At The National Law Review, Ann Potter Gleason suggests that Allen v. Cooper, which asks whether the Constitution gives Congress power to revoke the states’ immunity from suit for copyright infringement, “could become the vehicle to revisit the underlying assumption of a group of cases that have left patent, trademark and copyright owners without recourse when their intellectual property rights are infringed by states.”
  • In an op-ed at The Hill, John Bursch weighs in on the pending cert petition in First Amendment mootness case Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, arguing that the court “should review the case and declare that federal courts remain open when college officials enforce snowflake policies that violate students’ constitutional rights.”
  • At The New Republic (via How Appealing), Matt Ford explains that “a coalition of religious groups and legal scholars is now asking the Supreme Court to overturn its ruling” in Employment Division v. Smith, in which Justice Antonin Scalia “concluded that courts could not use the First Amendment’s free exercise clause to carve out exemptions from ‘neutral laws of general applicability,’” in a new case, Ricks v. Idaho Contractors Board: “If the justices agree to take up the case, the court’s conservative justices could ultimately scrap one of their icon’s most influential decisions.”
  • At the University of Chicago Law Review Online, Floyd Abrams and Ronald Collins endorse Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s implication during his confirmation hearing that “televising a live video feed of the Justices announcing their rulings could be less threatening to the judicial process than televising the arguments themselves.”
  • In an op-ed at USA Today (via How Appealing), Ken Blackwell laments the omission of Justice Clarence Thomas from “the Black History Month celebration,” which should honor “African Americans who have helped transform our nation.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 19, 2020, 6:44 AM),