Wondering how it went; what to learn from looking back; the importance of moot courts; and why the regular presence of cameras at oral argument is a bad idea.
“Just the way they say, ‘Battle plans never survive contact with the enemy,’ oral argument plans never survive contact with the Court.”
In this six-part interview, Eric Schnapper — Supreme Court advocate and holder of the Betts, Patterson & Mines Professorship in Trial Advocacy at the University of Washington School of Law — discusses his background, from Yale Law School to a twenty-five-year career at the NAACAP Legal Defense Fund to legal academe; how Supreme Court advocacy differs from other legal advocacy; the importance of legal briefs and their relation to oral argument; what one can and cannot prepare for in oral argument; and stories and what one learns from a long career as a Supreme Court advocate.
Eighty-one-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a surgical procedure this morning to relieve a blockage in an artery in her heart, the Court announced.
She had gone to the MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Tuesday night after experiencing discomfort “during routine exercise,” the Court statement said. The procedure involved placing a stent to open the right coronary artery.
“She is resting comfortably and is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours,” according to Kathleen L. Arberg, the Court’s public information officer.
Brian Wolfman is the Edwin A. Heafey, Jr. Visiting Professor at the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Bradley Girard graduated from Georgetown Law in 2014.
On December 1, in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association (consolidated with Nickols v. Mortgage Bankers Association), the Court will consider an important question of administrative law: Whether a federal agency must engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking before it can significantly alter an interpretive rule that articulates an interpretation of an agency regulation. Continue reading »
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! We’re grateful for all of our readers (especially when you send us links for the round-up). Today is the last round-up for the week; we will be back again on Monday before orders at 9:30. Continue reading »
UPDATED Wednesday 12:11 a.m. The wave of federal court rulings against state bans on same-sex marriage swept into the Deep South on Tuesday, as a federal judge in Mississippi struck down that state’s prohibition. In a fervent defense of the role of the courts in protecting individual rights against majority voter sentiment, and a lengthy critique of Mississippi’s history against gay rights, U.S. District Judge Carlton Wayne Reeves of Jackson found the ban to be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equality. He put his ruling on hold for two weeks to allow the state to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where conflicting rulings from Louisiana (upholding a ban) and Texas (nullifying a ban) are already pending. (The post below discusses a ruling in Arkansas earlier in the day.)
Refusing to postpone acting until state courts rule on the issue, a federal judge in Little Rock on Tuesday struck down the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage. This was the second ruling against such a ban in a state within the geographic region of the federal Eighth Circuit, setting up another test case for the federal appeals court in that region — an area for which there is no recent appeals court ruling on the controversy.
U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker found that the state ban violated the right of two lesbian couples to join equally in the fundamental constitutional right to marry. One of the couples was married in Iowa and seeks to have that marriage officially recognized in Arkansas; the other couple seeks to marry A state judge in Arkansas has also struck down the state ban, and the Arkansas Supreme Court held a hearing last Thursday on the state’s appeal in that case.
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The petition of the day is:
Issue: Whether the term “judicial district” in section 1692i of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act should be defined with respect to state law, by determining the smallest unit into which the state consistently and uniformly divides itself (as is the rule in the Second Circuit), or whether the term should be given a federal common law definition that asks what is the smallest geographic area relevant for state court venue (as held by the Seventh Circuit below).
Today’s news coverage features a vigorous debate over last night’s announcement that a grand jury in Missouri declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson for his role in the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager. Some believe that Wilson clearly should have been indicted for an unnecessary and unjustified killing; others counter that the grand jury process allowed the development of facts which show that Wilson acted well within the rules governing law enforcement and self-defense. In this column – which we hope to make a recurring feature on the blog – I hope to situate this legal news in the context of relevant Supreme Court decisions (here, decisions about how grand juries work), and in doing so help to advance a better understanding of both the news and the law. Continue reading »