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Argument transcripts

in Merits Cases on Apr 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm

The transcript of oral argument in Quarles v. United States is available on the Supreme Court’s website; the transcript in Taggart v. Lorenzen is also available.

 
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Argument analysis: Court leaning toward requiring the government to prove that a felon in possession knew he was a felon

in Rehaif v. U.S., Featured, Merits Cases on Apr 24, 2019 at 11:41 am

Tuesday afternoon’s oral argument in Rehaif v. United States was not, as a formal matter, about the well-known “felon-in-possession” provision of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g) and 924(a)(2). It was supposed to be about a much less commonly charged provision, which makes it a federal crime to possess a firearm while in the United States illegally. On Tuesday, however, the justices seemed to operate on the premise that, if they rule that the government must prove an unauthorized immigrant with a firearm knew he was in the country illegally, that ruling will necessarily also require the government to prove that an ex-con with a firearm knew he was an ex-con.

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Event announcement: Home stretch panel in Washington, D.C.

in Event Announcements on Apr 24, 2019 at 10:24 am

On April 25 at 9 a.m. EST in Washington, D.C., the National Press Club will host the sixth annual “Home Stretch at the Supreme Court” panel discussion. Panelists include Kristen Clarke, William Jay, Allison Riggs and Brianne Gorod; Ari Melber will moderate and Elizabeth Wydra will deliver opening remarks. More information, including RSVP instructions, is available here.

 
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Live blog of opinions (Update: Completed)

in Live on Apr 24, 2019 at 8:58 am

We live-blogged as the Supreme Court released its opinion in Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela. The transcript of the live blog is available below and at this link. SCOTUSblog is sponsored by Casetext: A more intelligent way to search the law.

 
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Wednesday round-up

in Round-up on Apr 24, 2019 at 7:04 am

Today the Supreme Court hears its last two oral arguments of the term. First on the agenda is Quarles v. United States, which asks when a defendant must have formed the intent required to commit burglary for purposes of a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act. Rory Little previewed the case for this blog. Matt Farnum and Trevor O’Bryan have a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

Today’s second argument is in Taggart v. Lorenzen, in which the justices will consider whether, after a debtor receives a discharge in bankruptcy, a creditor’s good-faith belief that collection activity does not violate the discharge protects the creditor from sanctions for contempt. Ronald Mann had this blog’s preview. Luís Lozada and Jared Ham preview the case for Cornell.

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A “view” from the courtroom: Counting to five

in Department of Commerce v. New York, Featured, What's Happening Now on Apr 23, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Today is the oral argument in one of the term’s biggest cases, Department of Commerce v. New York, about the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. It is also a rare day for afternoon arguments, and rarer still because there will be two of those.

Solicitor General Noel G. Francisco at lectern (Art Lien)

When the court squeezed the census case into its already announced April calendar, it made the wise decision to push the two cases that were originally set for this morning into the afternoon. Thus, after the 80-minute argument this morning, everyone gets a nice break before the court returns for Mitchell v. Wisconsin, about whether a state law authorizing a blood draw from an unconscious motorist requires a warrant; and Rehaif v. United States, about a “knowingly” provision of a federal firearm statute.

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Argument analysis: Divided court seems ready to uphold citizenship question on 2020 census

in Department of Commerce v. New York, Featured, Merits Cases on Apr 23, 2019 at 5:30 pm

The Supreme Court heard oral argument this morning in the dispute over the Trump administration’s decision to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. The federal government says that the Department of Justice wants data about citizenship to better enforce federal voting rights laws. But the challengers in the case counter that asking about citizenship will lead to an inaccurate count, because households with undocumented or Hispanic residents may not respond. After roughly 80 minutes of often tense debate, the justices seemed divided along ideological lines, with the conservative justices appearing ready to uphold the use of the question.

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Afternoon round-up: Oral argument in Department of Commerce v. New York

in Round-up on Apr 23, 2019 at 5:29 pm

This morning, the justices heard 80 minutes of argument in one of the term’s highest-stakes cases, Department of Commerce v. New York, a challenge to the Trump administration’s decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. Amy Howe analyzed the argument for this blog, in a post that originally appeared at Howe on the Court, reporting that “the justices seemed divided along ideological lines, with the conservative justices appearing ready to uphold the use of the question.”

Additional early coverage comes from Hansi Lo Wang and Nina Totenberg of NPR, Pete Williams of NBC News, Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley of Reuters, Ariane de Vogue of CNN, Mark Sherman of AP, Robert Barnes and Mark Berman of The Washington Post, David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Richard Wolf of USA Today, Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, Devin Dwyer of ABC News, Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, Shannon Bream and Bill Mears of Fox News, Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal and Adam Liptak of The New York Times.

Early commentary comes from Ruthann Robson for the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, who notes that Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan characterized the decision to add the question as a “solution in search of a problem.”

 
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Argument analysis: Justices appear likely to endorse broader reading of FOIA exemption for “confidential” commercial information

in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, Featured, Merits Cases on Apr 23, 2019 at 5:25 pm

An observer might be excused if she was confused by Monday’s oral argument in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media. The case concerns the application of the term “confidential” commercial or financial information in Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act to grocery-store data collected from transactions involving debit cards issued to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits recipients. A South Dakota newspaper had requested the data as part of its investigations into the SNAP program. FOIA cases typically inspire at least gestural exhortations about the necessity of an informed public and the danger that excessive governmental disclosure poses to the nation. Instead, the justices first spent a fair amount of time on complex justiciability issues that arose late in the litigation and then focused on dry questions of statutory interpretation. This was in part the product of the factual and procedural issues in this case, but it suggests that the court may follow the lead of 2011’s Milner v. Department of Navy and reverse purpose-driven lower-court interpretations of FOIA in favor of statutory textualism.

Evan A. Young for petitioner (Art Lien)

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Argument transcripts

in Merits Cases on Apr 23, 2019 at 5:13 pm

The transcript of oral argument in Mitchell v. Wisconsin is available on the Supreme Court’s website; the transcript in Rehaif v. United States is also available.

 
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