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Wednesday round-up

Joan Biskupic writes at CNN that the court’s ruling Monday in Republican National Committee v. Democratic National Committee, which blocked a lower court order extending the deadline for mailing absentee ballots in Wisconsin’s election because of the coronavirus pandemic, “reflects Chief Justice John Roberts’ cramped view of voting rights in America, a long-held position that has often favored Republican interests.” At Vox, Ian Millhiser argues that “the Court’s decision in Republican suggests that the Supreme Court will give the GOP broad leeway in how US elections should be conducted.” At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern asserts that although “[t]he conservative majority claimed that its decision would help protect “the integrity of the election process,” “[i]n reality, it calls into question the legitimacy of the election itself.” The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) calls the ruling “a reminder that, even in a pandemic, steps as grave as rewriting voting rules should be up to elected representatives and not freelanced by judges.” Additional commentary comes from Elie Mystal at The Nation and Leah Litman at The Atlantic.

Evan Lee has this blog’s analysis of Monday’s opinion in Kansas v. Glover, in which the court held that in an investigative stop under the Fourth Amendment, it is reasonable for a police officer to suspect that the registered owner of a car is the driver, absent evidence to the contrary. Ariane de Vogue reports at CNN that “[t]he decision will give law enforcement broader latitude, but the majority stressed that it was narrow in scope, and closely tied to Kansas law and the facts in the case at hand.” At Forbes, Nick Sibilla notes that dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor protested that “[d]ecisions to pull cars over should be based on the presence, not absence, of evidence.” At the NCSL Blog, Lisa Soronen writes that the court “did note that additional facts might dispel reasonable suspicion.” At Crime & Consequences, Kent Scheidegger observes that “[t]he Court has not given a green light to police officers to stop every car registered to a person with a suspended or revoked license[:] Although the stop was upheld in this case, officers would be well advised to get a look at the driver to see if he matches the sex and approximate age on license, at least, before making the stop.” At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, Orin Kerr remarks that “Glover ends up as a minor case in the grand scheme of things[:] Its ruling will be practically important in a specific set of cases, but it didn’t break new theoretical ground.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondent in this case.]

This blog’s analysis of Monday’s opinion in Babb v. Wilkie, which held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not require federal employees to prove that age discrimination was the but-for cause of an adverse personnel decision, but some forms of relief may not be available without such proof, comes from Charlotte Garden. At his eponymous blog, Ernie Haffner explains why, “[a]lthough nominally ruling for the petitioner, a longtime employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Court has in reality handed a significant win to federal agencies.”


  • For the Miami Herald, Jay Weaver reports that “[a] Miami-area mother who saved $15,000 for her daughter’s ‘quince’ birthday party but had it wrongfully seized by federal agents won’t get the chance to recover some of that money in court,” after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected her petition for review on Monday.
  • At Freedom Forum, Tony Mauro notes that at least one alternative to in-person Supreme Court oral arguments “could be videoconferencing, allowing the justices and lawyers arguing cases to conduct proceedings from multiple locations,” and “the justices don’t have to look far to view a test run of how it might work in another setting; namely, the lower federal courts.”
  • The latest episode of Bloomberg Law’s Cases and Controversies podcast, which covers “all of the latest high court coronavirus action,” among other things, is here.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 8, 2020, 7:04 AM),