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Wednesday round-up

This blog’s analysis of Monday’s decision in GE Energy Power Conversion v. Outokumpu Stainless, holding that, under an international convention governing the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, a business that did not sign an arbitration agreement can still compel arbitration based on equitable estoppel, comes from Ronald Mann. At Courthouse News Service, Tim Ryan reports that “[t]he tangled arbitration dispute concerns several U.S. and foreign countries and the requirements of the so-called New York Convention, an international pact that requires the United States and 159 other countries to enforce arbitration agreements struck between companies in other member states.” Russ Bleemer and other discuss the decision in a video at CPR Speaks.

At Dorf on Law, Michael Dorf wonders why the dissenters to the court’s order late last week in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, denying a California church’s request that it block enforcement of the governor’s restrictions on attendance at religious services, “perceive modest favoritism for (Christian) religion as discrimination against it.” At The American Prospect, Paul Starr observes that Chief Justice John Roberts, who voted to deny the request, “has often been said to be concerned about the institutional authority of the Supreme Court.[:] Perhaps in this case he recognized that the Court could jeopardize that authority by blocking precautionary public-health measures and contributing to the spread of the pandemic.”

In an op-ed for USA Today, Patrick Jaicomo and Anya Bidwell urge the court to “reconsider the doctrine of qualified immunity,” which shields police officers from liability for official actions that do not violate clearly established law, by reviewing one of the pending cert petitions involving the doctrine, and to “revoke the license to lawless conduct it granted government officials in 1982.” At BuzzFeed.News (via How Appealing), Zoe Tillman notes that “[n]one of the cases waiting for action before the Supreme Court involve police encounters with demonstrators, but the same qualified immunity principles apply when protesters take law enforcement to court.”


  • In op-ed for The New York Times, Leah Litman and Tonja Jacobi maintain that during the recent telephonic arguments at the Supreme Court, for which the chief justice served as timekeeper, Roberts’ “uneven application of the rules was … gendered and ideological, as interruptions have been in previous courts.”
  • At Reuters’ On the Case blog, (via How Appealing), Alison Frankel writes that the “Supreme Court has given its blessing, at least for now, to a tactic that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has described as ‘a road map marked with an easy-to-follow path’ for California consumers to evade mandatory arbitration with corporations.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 3, 2020, 6:59 AM),