Moones Mellouli, a Tunisian who had been living legally in the United States until he was deported for a minor drug crime, won one appeal to the Supreme Court this past June and on Friday moved into position potentially to win another.  The Justices, in a brief order, put off any further government review of his status under immigration law, saving that question for itself at least until a new appeal is decided.

As the case of Mellouli v. Lynch returned to the Court, it was partly about what the Court meant in its June 1 ruling in his favor, and whether a federal appeals court wrongly failed to follow that decision.  But the case is also about immigration officials’ authority to pursue a possible new avenue to deportation after the Supreme Court scuttled the first try and barred deportation.

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Lawyers for former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell, arguing that he committed no crime but engaged only in “common political pleasantries” toward a man who supplied him with expensive gifts and favors, has asked the Supreme Court to keep him out of prison until he can appeal his political corruption conviction. He faces the prospect of imprisonment, for a sentence of two years, as early as next Thursday.

The former governor’s case reached the Supreme Court on Thursday, not long after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit turned down his request to remain free while he appeals.   His new plea was filed with Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., who handles emergency matters from the geographic region that is the Fourth Circuit.

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“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he co-directs that firm’s appellate practice – a practice formerly run by now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.  Katyal has argued twenty-four cases before the Court, including his first case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Mr Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught constitutional law for fifteen years. He served as Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration and as the National Security Advisor and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.

Mr Katyal is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this five-part interview, Mr Katyal discusses his background, including how discovering high school debate changed his life, working in national security and picking Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as his first Supreme Court case; the details of oral argument before the Supreme Court; understanding the importance of technical knowledge in understanding law, legal arguments and results; serving as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and how the Solicitor General’s office compares to private practice; and teaching law, clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, and what to think about cameras in the Court.

Part five: Clerking & teaching

“When they are discussing and deciding the most momentous questions of the day,…my personal view is that that Court should be open and viewed by the American public at large.”

Clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, a passion for teaching constitutional law; the challenge of teaching students and being an advocate; and whether cameras belong in the Court.

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“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he co-directs that firm’s appellate practice – a practice formerly run by now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.  Katyal has argued twenty-four cases before the Court, including his first case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Mr Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught constitutional law for fifteen years. He served as Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration and as the National Security Advisor and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.

Mr Katyal is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this five-part interview, Mr Katyal discusses his background, including how discovering high school debate changed his life, working in national security and picking Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as his first Supreme Court case; the details of oral argument before the Supreme Court; understanding the importance of technical knowledge in understanding law, legal arguments and results; serving as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and how the Solicitor General’s office compares to private practice; and teaching law, clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, and what to think about cameras in the Court.

Part four: The SG’s office

“You’re walking into an office that has enormously talented, hard-working, respected people in there. People who are always trying to do the right thing. There’s not politics in that office. And, it’s breath-taking…In private practice I’ve tried, quite honestly, to create my own mini-SG’s office.”

The unique role and work of the Solicitor General of the United States and how it compares to private practice.

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Friday round-up

By on Aug 21, 2015 at 8:28 am

Briefly:

  • Greenwire’s Jeremy Jacobs reports that the Court’s recent ruling in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, striking down “an odd Depression-era raisin program[,] may have revived a critical government defense for endangered species and other wildlife protections, legal experts say.”
  • At his eponymous blog, John Q. Barrett remembers civil rights legend Louis Stokes, who represented petitioner John Terry in the Court’s landmark case of Terry v. Ohio. Stokes died on Tuesday at the age of ninety.
  • At the blog of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Lisa Soronen looks ahead to Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the challenge to the university’s use of affirmative action in its undergraduate admissions process in which the Court granted cert. earlier this summer; she observes that the possible reasons why the Court once again agreed to review the case “are mindboggling if not endless.”
  • On Saturday at 6 p.m., C-SPAN Radio will air the next installment in its series on the Court in the movies, focusing on the 1974 oral argument in United States v. Nixon.
  • In The Economist, Steven Mazie questions the rationales behind a proposal to voluntarily limit the terms of Supreme Court Justices but agrees that “breathing new life into the nation’s highest court more often—even if it does not make the tribunal any less political—would bring more dynamism to the judiciary, jog the justices’ decision-making patterns and narrow, even if only slightly, the yawning gap between the enrobed ones and everyday citizens.”

 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.

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Capture

“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he co-directs that firm’s appellate practice – a practice formerly run by now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.  Katyal has argued twenty-four cases before the Court, including his first case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Mr Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught constitutional law for fifteen years. He served as Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration and as the National Security Advisor and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.

Mr Katyal is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this five-part interview, Mr Katyal discusses his background, including how discovering high school debate changed his life, working in national security and picking Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as his first Supreme Court case; the details of oral argument before the Supreme Court; understanding the importance of technical knowledge in understanding law, legal arguments and results; serving as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and how the Solicitor General’s office compares to private practice; and teaching law, clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, and what to think about cameras in the Court.

Part three: Technicalities

“Your job as the advocate is always to win for your client.”

Assessing the meaning of a “win” and the importance of technical knowledge to advocacy and Supreme Court decision-making.

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Thursday round-up

By on Aug 20, 2015 at 7:41 am

In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse looks at the Connecticut Supreme Court’s recent ruling abolishing the death penalty in that state; she argues that the court “not only produced an important ruling for its own jurisdiction” but also “addressed the United States Supreme Court frankly and directly,” “at a crucial moment of mounting unease.”  And in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Kevin Barry contends that the ruling raises “three key questions about the death penalty nationally,” with the first question going to the U.S. Supreme Court: “How many states must abolish the death penalty before the high court will strike it down for good?”  Continue reading »

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“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Neal Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells, where he co-directs that firm’s appellate practice – a practice formerly run by now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.  Katyal has argued twenty-four cases before the Court, including his first case, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Mr Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught constitutional law for fifteen years. He served as Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration and as the National Security Advisor and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration.

Mr Katyal is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this five-part interview, Mr Katyal discusses his background, including how discovering high school debate changed his life, working in national security and picking Hamdan v. Rumsfeld as his first Supreme Court case; the details of oral argument before the Supreme Court; understanding the importance of technical knowledge in understanding law, legal arguments and results; serving as Acting Solicitor General of the United States and how the Solicitor General’s office compares to private practice; and teaching law, clerking for Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge Guido Calabresi, and what to think about cameras in the Court.

Part two: The conversationalist

“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Dissecting oral argument: Filing Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (and trying to give it away before it reached the Supreme Court); how an acting coach helped a new Supreme Court advocate; understanding the value of oral argument; the importance of moot argument, the brief and “the binder” that has been consulted only once; believing every Justice is always in play; answering questions from all directions, advocating for one’s client, serving the Court — all in the form of a conversation; and knowing if you have won or lost.

Posted in Everything Else
 
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Wednesday round-up

By on Aug 19, 2015 at 6:54 am

Briefly:

  • At Cato at Liberty, Andrew Grossman looks ahead to Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, in which the Court will hear oral arguments in the upcoming Term; he urges the Court to make clear “that trial by formula is off-limits, whether a case is brought as a class action or as a ‘collective action’ under the Fair Labor Standards Act or a combination of the two.”
  • At The Labor Dish, Katherine Liao discusses the Court’s recent decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, and she looks at the limits on the extent to which employers must accommodate an employee or job applicant’s religion.
  • The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times discusses some of the reforms to the Court proposed by the group Fix the Court; it acknowledges that the “Court’s independence is essential, which is why politically motivated attacks on the court must be rejected,” but it urges the Justices to “be more open about how they do their important work.”

 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.

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The state of Texas, one of the most energetic opponents of a key part of the federal Voting Rights Act, has turned what it was sure was a Supreme Court victory against that law into a legal defeat that will cost it more than $1 million.  That was the result of a ruling by a federal appeals court on Tuesday, interpreting what it means when the Justices send a case back to a lower court for a new look.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will translate into a sizable legal bill for Texas to cover what opponents in a major election law case spent for their attorneys’ work.

The panel sharply accused the state’s lawyers of failing to obey court rules, echoing an earlier comment by a federal trial court judge that “this matter presents a case study in how not to respond to a motion for attorney fees and costs.”

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