Amy Howe reports for this blog that “the Republican National Committee and Wisconsin Republicans … asked the Supreme Court [on Saturday] to block a lower-court order that extended the deadline for Wisconsin votes to submit absentee ballots in the state’s upcoming primary election until April 13 – six days after the election, which is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7”; Howe covers the Democrats’ response, which was filed yesterday, here. Ariane de Vogue and Adam Levy report at CNN that “[t]he emergency filing marks the first coronavirus-related petition that the justices will review since the pandemic gripped the country.” Jess Bravin and Alexa Corse report for The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that “[w]hile Wisconsin voters may have limited impact on the presidential nominations, … the stakes for state and local elections are higher.” At the Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen observes that “the Purcell Principle” —  “the idea that courts should not make last minute changes in election rules because doing so could confuse voters and election administrators” – “plays a major role in the argument here.”

On Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would postpone the nine oral arguments scheduled for the April session, in addition to the 11 from the March session that have already been postponed. Amy Howe covers the announcement for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Pete Williams reports at NBC that the court “left open the possibility that it might hear a few cases before the term ends in late June.” For The Washington Post (subscription required), Robert Barnes reports that “[t]he court’s announcement offered no further detail but seems to leave much leeway, including whether the justices would hold some hearings by teleconference or other method.” At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports that “if the current situation persists into the fall, the justices likely will have to make some hard choices[:] They might opt to try oral argument by remote video, or they could decide cases based on the briefs alone, and without oral argument.” At Quartz, Ephrat Livni writes that “[t]he issues raised by current delays only highlight what some say is a longstanding high court technology problem.”

Joan Biskupic reports at CNN that “[t]he Supreme Court’s decision to postpone indefinitely cases related to President Donald Trump’s financial records represents the latest setback to efforts by the US House to compel information from the President and White House officials.” Sam Baker notes at Axios that the postponements “might spare President Trump from having to release his tax returns before the election.”

Briefly:

  • At this blog, Adam Feldman offers an interim set of statistics for the current Supreme Court term.
  • Also at this blog, Katie Bart conducts an internet quest for information about how to secure a seat in the courtroom for a Supreme Court argument, concluding that “even someone acting on good information can end up locked out of the nation’s highest court.”
  • At The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket blog, Jasper Tran and Cameron Baker write that Allen v. Cooper, in which the court held that the Constitution did not give Congress the power to revoke the states’ immunity from suit for copyright infringement in a 1990 law, “has eviscerated the economic incentive to sue—and thus, effectively deterred potential plaintiffs from suing—states and their employees for copyright infringement, including the possibility to recoup cost for years of litigation.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 6, 2020, 6:33 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/04/monday-round-up-480/