Friday round-up

Yesterday the parties in Trump v. Hawaii and Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project filed letter briefs addressing the question of whether the Trump administration’s recent proclamation replacing the president’s March 6 entry ban with new restrictions renders the cases moot. Amy Howe has this blog‘s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Richard Wolf for USA Today, Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, and Robert Barnes for The Washington Post, who reports that “[t]he Trump administration told the Supreme Court … that there is no reason for the court to rule on the legality of the president’s previous bans on travel from certain countries, and that lower court rulings against the president’s position should be erased.” At Just Security, Marty Lederman explains that he “would not be at all surprised if the Court does ‘vacate” the opinions,” but doesn’t “think anything of much practical significance turns on whether it does so or not.”

The final oral argument of the week was on Wednesday in Class v. United States, which asks whether a guilty plea waives a challenge to the constitutionality of an offense. Rory Little analyzes the argument for this blog. At Law 360 (subscription required), Jimmy Hoover reports that “[t]he tenor of the justices’ questions suggest[s] hope for the case of retired veteran Rodney Class, who is seeking to vacate his conviction for bringing firearms on U.S. Capitol grounds in 2013.”

At RealClear Politics, Matt Walter weighs in on Gill v. Whitford, in which the court will decide whether Wisconsin’s electoral maps are the product of an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, arguing that “holding a legislature’s redistricting plan unconstitutional because a political party is unhappy with its election results would politicize the judiciary to its detriment.” At FiveThirtyEight, Oliver Roeder and Galen Druke speculate that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s silence during the challengers’ argument on Tuesday in Whitford suggests that “things don’t look good for extreme partisan gerrymandering.” Additional commentary on Whitford comes from Mark Joseph Stern at Slate.

At Bloomberg BNA, Jordan Rubin reports that “Justice Neil M. Gorsuch revealed two sides of himself during oral arguments in contentious ‘crimmigration’ cases—at the intersection of immigration and criminal law—during the first two days of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 term.” At the ImmigrationProf Blog, Denise Gilman looks at one of the cases, Jennings v. Rodriguez, a challenge to the prolonged detention of immigrants without bond hearings, arguing that “illusory possibilities for release on parole cannot substitute for independent review of detention decisions.”


  • At the Library of Law and Liberty, Mark Pulliam reviews “Scalia Speaks,” a new compilation of “dozens of Scalia’s best speeches (out of hundreds that he delivered), on a variety of subjects, to both legal and lay audiences.”
  • Rewire’s Boom! Lawyered podcast features a discussion of how “legal precedents defining your speech rights are being debated and established all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
  • At the ACS Blog, Ruben Garcia assesses Monday’s argument in Epic Systems v. Lewis, in which the court will decide whether labor laws forbid class waivers in employment contracts.
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman identifies “[s]everal possible facets of the justices’ new oral argument strategies [that] became apparent during the first week of oral arguments for the 2017 Supreme Court term.”

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