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Wednesday round-up

At The Washington Free Beacon, Kevin Daley reports that Monday’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, in which a fractured court ruled that the Constitution requires a unanimous jury verdict in state criminal trials, “featured a continuing debate over the force of precedent” that “was something of a proxy for disputes over basic principles.” The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) observes that the ruling “offers an illuminating look at the diversity of conservative thought.” Matt Ford writes for The New Republic (via How Appealing) that “[t]he justices have deliberated about the scope and limits of stare decisis at length in recent years, and for good reason: Anthony Kennedy’s retirement in 2018 produced a reliably conservative majority on the court that is poised to shape—and perhaps reshape—how the Constitution affects Americans for at least a generation.” At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog (via How Appealing), Josh Blackman lays out “five unanswered questions from Ramos.” At Second Thoughts, Jake Charles highlights “some interesting parts of Ramos that both draw from and can inform Second Amendment jurisprudence.”


  • John Duffy has this blog’s opinion analysis in Thryv v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP, which held that federal patent law does not allow an appeal of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision to institute a procedure for challenging the validity of a patent after a finding that a one-year time bar does not apply.
  • At Foley Hoag’s Law & the Environment blog, Seth Jaffe writes that Monday’s decision in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, in which the court held that federal Superfund laws do not necessarily bar state-law claims that would require companies to pay for clean-up beyond what EPA has already ordered, but landowners need to get EPA’s permission for additional clean-up, proves that “once again, Superfund is the gift to lawyers that keeps on giving.”
  • At the ABA Journal, Mark Walsh reports that “[t]he court’s announcement that it will hold arguments by telephone conference in 10 cases in early May is a significant concession not only to the novel coronavirus that has kept the Supreme Court building closed to the public and altered other business as usual, but also to a growing chorus calling for greater access to oral arguments.”
  • In the latest episode of Strict Scrutiny (podcast), Leah Litman, Melissa Murray, Jaime Santos and Kate Shaw “discuss some covid-related Court issues,” including “the Court’s upcoming telephonic arguments; its order in the Wisconsin election case; and some other covid-related cases that might make their way to the Court soon.”
  • In The New York Times’ The Daily podcast, Adam Liptak notes that “[t]his week, the Supreme Court began rolling out a series of major rulings on the jury system, immigration, abortion rights and presidential power; he explore[s] the importance of these decisions during the pandemic.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 22, 2020, 6:46 AM),