Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

We expect additional orders from the January 19 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Last Wednesday President-elect Donald Trump said that he will nominate the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement within two weeks of taking office. If Trump wants a new justice on the bench before the April sitting begins, the Senate would likely need to hold hearings in March. A look at the timelines for recent nominations reveals that such a schedule might be workable, barring any unforeseen issues or Senate delay.

President Barack Obama nominated Elena Kagan to fill Justice John Paul Stevens’ seat on May 10, 2010. Hearings began 49 days later, on June 28. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to endorse Kagan on July 20. Republicans held 41 Senate seats at the time and therefore could have filibustered her nomination, which would have required 60 votes to overcome. However, five Republicans expressed support for the nomination, and the full Senate confirmed Kagan on August 5, 63-37. All told, the process took 87 days from nomination to confirmation.

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Argument transcripts

By on Jan 17, 2017 at 2:49 pm

The transcript in Lynch v. Dimaya is here; the transcript in Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson is here.

Posted in Merits Cases
 
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No new grants, but a significant CVSG

By on Jan 17, 2017 at 11:00 am

Last week the justices added a whopping 16 new cases to their merits docket when they issued orders from the January 13 conference. When the justices returned from the holiday weekend this morning, they issued more orders from that conference, including a call for the views of the U.S. solicitor general in a pair of related cases, but did not grant any new cases.

The invitation to the federal government to file a brief came in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association and New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. The two cases have their roots in a federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which pre-empts state efforts to regulate sports betting. After the New Jersey legislature passed a law that would allow sports betting in casinos and racetracks in the state, professional sports leagues and the NCAA filed a lawsuit, arguing that the state law runs afoul of the PASPA. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and a horseracing group that operates a racetrack in the state counter that the PASPA unconstitutionally “commandeers” the state’s regulatory power. There is no deadline for the federal government to submit its brief, which will almost certainly be filed by the new solicitor general (or acting solicitor general) in the Trump administration. If the Supreme Court were to grant review, the case would likely be argued next term, at which point the court is likely to have a ninth justice.

The court did not act on the challenge to a Texas law that requires voters to present specific forms of government-issued photo IDs to cast a ballot. The justices had first considered the petition for review at their January 6 conference and then relisted the case for further consideration at their January 13 conference.

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Tuesday round-up

By on Jan 17, 2017 at 7:21 am

Today the court hears oral argument in two cases. First up is Lynch v. Dimaya, a void-for-vagueness challenge to an immigrant-removal statute. Kevin Johnson previewed the case for this blog. Kara Goad and Elizabeth Sullivan provide a preview for Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute. The next case on the argument docket is Midland Funding v. Johnson, which asks whether a federal fair-debt-collection-practice statute applies to stale claims filed by debt-buyers in bankruptcy court. Ronald Mann had this blog’s preview. Kimberly Petrick and Emily Rector preview the case for Cornell.
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Petition the day

By on Jan 16, 2017 at 11:12 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-668

Issue: Whether Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies only to physical spaces that people can enter.

This week at the court

By on Jan 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm

The court issued additional orders on Tuesday from the January 13 conference. It called for the views of the solicitor general in two related cases. On Wednesday the court released its opinion in Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation. The court also heard oral arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday. The calendar for the January sitting is available on the court’s website. On Thursday the justices met for their January 19 conference; that afternoon the court granted certiorari in two cases.

 
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For the fourth time in as many Congresses, a bill has been introduced to compel the Supreme Court to televise its proceedings. Earlier versions of the bill, which was sponsored in the House of Representatives by members from both sides of the aisle, have failed to become law. The justices have generally opposed any suggestion that their public sessions should be televised, although many state supreme courts and some of the lower federal courts do broadcast their proceedings.

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Petition of the day

By on Jan 13, 2017 at 11:10 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-673

Issues: (1) Whether a federal official may retroactively ratify an ultra vires government action when: (a) no federal official was authorized to perform the act at the time it was initially undertaken; (b) the purported ratification does not include an examination of any facts related to the act performed; or (c) the ratification purports to encompass not only the initial act but also federal court rulings entered in response to the act; and (2) whether federal courts possess subject matter jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution to hear a case filed at the behest of an individual who, from the time suit was filed until judgment was entered, lacked authority to vindicate the executive branch’s interest in seeing that the law is obeyed.

Oyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

The court heard argument this week in:

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Update at 4:36 p.m.,  January 13: This post has been expanded to include summaries of all the cases the court agreed today to review.

Last week the justices held their first private conference of 2017. They did not grant any cases from that conference, but they made up for last week’s dearth of cases, and then some, after today’s conference, by granting review in 16 new cases, for a total of 13 additional hours of argument. In doing so, the court also took a big step toward filling out its merits docket for this term.

Today’s grants included several closely watched business cases. In Sandoz v. Amgen and Amgen v. Sandoz, the justices will consider the process for resolving patent disputes relating to the federal Food and Drug Administration’s licensing of “biologics” – products such as vaccines, viruses and antitoxins. The court had asked the federal government to weigh in last summer; the U.S. solicitor general recommended that both petitions be granted.

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