Wednesday round-up

At Bloomberg Law, Kimberly Robinson and Jordan Rubin report that the Supreme Court’s announcement Monday of a “plan to hold its first-ever arguments by phone next month introduces special challenges for those presenting their cases, including gauging the full reactions of the justices, high court advocates said.” According to Joan Biskupic at CNN, court-watchers suggested that “the value of Monday’s development would rest in livestreaming becoming the rule rather than the exception and in eventual televising.” The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) calls the live audio feet the court will provide a “modest step, speeding by a few hours or days the delivery of an audio file that the Court was already providing[; p]eople who want to barge into the courtroom with TV cameras will argue it’s a precedent, but there’s no comparison, and plenty of reason still to be wary of television’s intrusion.”


  • At The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via How Appealing), Tamar Hallerman reports that “Florida is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a judge’s recommendation that the state’s 7-year-old water rights case against Georgia be dismissed.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman observes that “if the Supreme Court decides all cases already orally argued this term along with the ten additional cases slated for argument in May by signed decisions, the number of decisions for OT 2019 will reach 58[:] Even with several recent terms where the justices’ opinion output dipped to historic lows, 58 signed decisions would be the fewest since 1864 and 1862 and prior to the blip due to the Civil War it would be the fewest since 1849.”
  • At The National Law Journal, Marcia Coyle reports that “[t]he nation’s public health crisis has triggered concerns among some high court advocates about the [Supreme Court’s] paper copy filing requirement, which may require trips to the post office or the printer at a time when stay-at-home orders govern most states.”
  • At Constitution Daily, Coyle “take[s] stock of what may still be—with an unexpected element—the most significant Supreme Court term in decades.”
  • At The Employment Law Group, R. Scott Oswald writes that Babb v. Wilkie, in which the court held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not require federal employees to prove that age discrimination was the but-for cause of an adverse personnel decision, “provides a framework for plaintiffs who can demonstrate real injustice and wish to hold a discriminator to account for wrongdoing that falls short of a provably biased result.”

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