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Justices seek government’s views in antitrust case

The Supreme Court issued orders on Monday from the justices’ private conference on Dec. 4. The justices had already granted two new petitions for review, involving the legality of Medicaid work requirements, from that conference on Friday, so it was no surprise that the justices did not add any new cases to their merits docket for the term.

The justices called for the views of the U.S. solicitor general in Comcast v. Viamedia, an antitrust dispute in which Viamedia alleges that Comcast monopolizes the market for the placement of TV advertisements. There is no due date for the government’s brief, which normally would not be filed until sometime next year – after the change in administrations. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the court’s newest justice, recused herself from the case – presumably because she participated in the case while still a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

The justices denied review in Parents for Privacy v. Barr, a challenge by a group of Oregon parents to an Oregon school district’s policy of allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity. The parents had urged the Supreme Court to grant review to “clarify how its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County,” holding that federal employment discrimination laws protect LGBTQ employees, “affects the rights of students in public schools,” but the court on Monday turned that request down without comment.

The justices did not act on Trump v. Knight First Amendment Institute, in which President Donald Trump has asked the justices to intervene in a battle over the president’s Twitter account. The lawsuit was filed in July 2017 by the Knight First Amendment Institute and seven individuals whom Trump had blocked on Twitter after they criticized the president or his policies. The plaintiffs alleged that blocking them on Twitter violated the First Amendment, and the district court agreed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld that ruling, and Trump – represented by the federal government – has petitioned the justices to review that decision.

The justices will meet for their next conference – the final one scheduled for 2020 – on Friday, Dec. 11.

This article was originally published at Howe on the Court.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Justices seek government’s views in antitrust case, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 7, 2020, 6:37 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/12/justices-seek-governments-views-in-antitrust-case/