UPDATE:  Today Chief Justice John Roberts instructed the challengers in the case to respond to the state’s application to stay the lower court’s ruling.  The response is due on Thursday, August 25, at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Arguing that not only its own voter identification law but virtually all others could be endangered if a lower-court decision is permitted to stand, yesterday North Carolina asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block part of that ruling.  Now represented by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, the state filed an emergency appeal seeking to apply several provisions of its 2013 election law to the November 2016 elections.  It argued that the state should be allowed to use the same voting rules that it used in the March 2016 primary elections, which had what the state described as “exceptionally high” voter turnout.  By contrast, it told the Justices, making “eleventh-hour alterations” to those rules would “put state and local election officials in an exceedingly difficult position” and could create “voter confusion and consequent incentive to remain away from the polls.” Continue reading »

Petition of the day

By on Aug 15, 2016 at 11:11 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-107
Disclosure: Vinson & Elkins LLP, whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.

Issue: Whether the fact that a pending appeal “played no significant role” in an appellant’s voluntary conduct mooting a case, Alvarez v. Smith, is entitled to controlling weight in determining whether a lower court judgment should be vacated, as a majority of courts of appeals have held; or whether a party must make an additional showing of compelling circumstances warranting vacatur, as the Tenth Circuit held in this case.

Monday round-up

By on Aug 15, 2016 at 11:00 am

Briefly:

  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost contends that the Court’s ruling striking down the fraud convictions of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell “is the latest evidence that for all the lip service given to the jury system, juries are an endangered species today in federal and state courts alike.”
  • At Just Security, Steve Vladeck discusses the amicus brief opposing certiorari in a challenge to the constitutionality of the military death penalty.
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman argues that, “at this point, the renomination of Judge Garland to the Supreme Court appears to be the most sensible choice for Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton if she is given such an opportunity.”
  • At Forbes, Robb Mandelbaum looks back at last Term’s unanimous ruling in the government contracting case Kingdomware Technologies v. United States, describing it as a “big symbolic victory for small business.”
  • In The Huffington Post, Michelle Fields reports that “many right-leaning legal scholars” believe “that, as important as the Supreme Court may be, it does not override all other issues when considering” the candidacy of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Remember, we rely exclusively on our readers to send us links for our round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com.

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Petition of the day

By on Aug 12, 2016 at 11:19 pm

The petition of the day is:

15-1530

Issue: (1) Whether a federal court of appeals may exercise jurisdiction when a notice of appeal does not identify correctly the order to be reviewed, but the briefs resolve any potential confusion; (2) whether a federal court of appeals may exercise jurisdiction when an error in the designation of the order to be reviewed neither prejudices nor misleads the appellee; and (3) whether the more lenient standard of Foman v. Davis or the more stringent standard of Torres v. Oakland Scavenger Co. determines if appellate jurisdiction is defeated by an error in the designation of the order to be reviewed.

Mark L. Rienzi is an associate professor at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

It is tempting to think of Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley as a welcome respite from the recent spate of hot-button religious liberty cases that prompt concerns from the gay rights community (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Zubik v. Burwell) and hot-button gay rights cases that prompt concerns from the religious liberty community (Obergefell v. Hodges). After all, this case is about a mundane topic that would seem to have nothing at all to do with either sex or religion: resurfacing children’s playgrounds with recycled tire scraps.

Continue reading »

Friday round-up

By on Aug 12, 2016 at 3:10 am

In The Wall Street Journal, Kristina Peterson reports on recent comments by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who told reporters that “he expected Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would re-nominate Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court if she is elected in November”; similar coverage comes from Jordain Carney for The Hill.  And at Lambda Legal, Eric Lesh argues that there “are many reasons why eight justices are not enough.” Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Richard Katskee is the Legal Director at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of religious and civil-rights organizations, supporting the respondent.

The Framers of our federal and state constitutions saw governmental support as antithetical to religion. They had fled a country where that support incited competition among religious denominations for money and the political power to distribute it, ultimately leading to bloody civil strife.

Continue reading »

Thursday round-up

By on Aug 11, 2016 at 3:25 am

Briefly:

  • In Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro interviews Sidley & Austin’s Jeffrey Green about criminal defense advocacy at the Court.
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes the “network leading to Supreme Court clerkships”: “the judges the clerks worked for as well as at the law schools that the clerks attended.”
  • In The Washington Post, Amber Phillips reports on recent comments (followed by an apology) about the death of Justice Antonin Scalia by Ohio Senate candidate Ted Strickland.
  • In The Economist, Steven Mazie suggests that “there are a host of reasons Republicans may hesitate to give the nod to” Chief Judge Merrick Garland, the president’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, “before Mrs Clinton takes office next January, should she defeat Mr Trump in November.”
  • In The Huffington Post, Catherine Pearson marks the twenty-third anniversary of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s swearing-in with “23 quotes that celebrate Justice Ginsburg’s gift for real talk.”

Remember, we rely exclusively on our readers to send us links for our round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com.

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Petition of the day

By on Aug 10, 2016 at 11:17 pm

The petition of the day is:

16-37

Issue: (1) Whether a violation of the criminal contempt statute, 18 U.S.C. § 401, should be classified as a Class A felony under 18 U.S.C. § 3559 (as the First and Fourth Circuits hold), similarly to the closest analogous offense (as the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits hold), or sui generis based on the penalty actually imposed by the court (as the Third, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits hold); and (2) whether the willfulness mens rea of criminal contempt requires the government to prove that the defendant’s wrongful conduct was knowing (as the First and Eleventh Circuits hold), reckless (as the Fifth, Seventh, and D.C. Circuits hold), or negligent (as the Eighth and Ninth Circuits hold).

 
Share:

Richard W. Garnett is Paul J. Schierl / Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame.

Trinity Lutheran Child Learning Center is, its website reports, a “ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church” that “provides opportunities for children to grow spiritually, physically, socially, and cognitively.” As one would expect at a pre-kindergarten, one place this growth happens is on the swings and slides that are spread around the Learning Center’s colorful and inviting playground.

Continue reading »

More Posts: More Recent PostsOlder Posts
Term Snapshot
Awards