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Monday round-up

On Friday, the Supreme Court denied two requests to temporarily halt enforcement of the “public charge” rule, which governs the admission of noncitizens into the U.S., until the COVID-19 crisis is over. Amy Howe covers the orders for this blog. At The Washington Free Beacon, Kevin Daley reports that “Friday’s decision is a setback for the plaintiffs, but keeps alive the possibility that a court might put the public charge rule on hold for the extent of the pandemic,” because the orders state that they “do[] not preclude” the plaintiffs from returning to the district court to seek relief.

At E&E News, Pamela King covers last Thursday’s opinion in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, in which the court held that a Clean Water Act permit is required for either a direct discharge of pollutants into navigable waters or its functional equivalent. Also at E&E News, Jeremy Jacobs and King report that “[t]he Supreme Court’s newest justice … waded into the murky waters of Clean Water Act law and may have hinted at where he would come down when other more high-profile cases reach the high court.” At Bloomberg Law, Ellen Gilmer reports that “[t]he Supreme Court’s embrace of a new standard for federal water permitting puts a bull’s-eye on power plant waste sites, environmentalists say.” [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.]

Opening Arguments (podcast) “breaks down two significant Supreme Court decisions released [last] week, … Barton v. Barr (involving immigration) and Ramos v. Louisiana (involving unanimous jury verdicts).” In an episode of Bloomberg Law’s Cases and Controversies podcast, Jordan Rubin and Kimberly Robinson “unpack the ruling” in Ramos v. Louisiana, in which a fractured court ruled that the Constitution requires a unanimous jury verdict in state criminal trials, “a stare decisis throwdown in which Justice Elena Kagan joined some of her Republican-appointed colleagues in dissent, prompting speculation about why she did so.” At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost considers the implications of the opinions for abortion rights.


  • Jayesh Rathod has this blog’s analysis of last week’s opinion in Barton v. Barr, in which the court ruled that an offense that will preclude an alien from being eligible for cancellation of removal does not have to be one of the offenses of removal.
  • At The NCSL Blog, Lisa Soronen discusses the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the Supreme Court’s workload this term.
  • The Committee for Justice hosts a video discussion of Google v. Oracle America, a dispute over the copyright status of application programming interfaces that “is expected to set the standard for how thoroughly computer code is protected by copyright.” [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 the Brennan Center for Justice, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy calls the court’s “refusal last month to hear a case called Doe v. Federal Election Commission, thus leaving in place a pro-disclosure ruling from a lower court,” “a positive step toward more transparency in elections and against the use of straw donors.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 27, 2020, 6:35 AM),