Wednesday round-up

This morning the justices will hear oral argument in two cases. First up is Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, which asks whether service advisors at car dealerships are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime-pay requirements. Ronald Mann previewed the case for this blog. Ryan Powers and Larry Blocho provide a preview for Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

This morning’s second argument is in capital case McCoy v. Louisiana, in which the court will consider whether the law allows a defense attorney to concede a defendant’s guilt to the jury over the defendant’s explicit objections. Amy Howe had this blog’s preview, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Connor O’Neill and Abby Yeo preview the case for Cornell. Subscript offers a graphic explainer. Additional coverage comes from Scott Bomboy at Constitution Daily and Richard Wolf for USA Today, who notes that “[f]ew questions posed to the high court are as basic as this: Who gets to decide whether to admit or contest guilt, the defendant or his defense attorney?” In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Jay Schweikert weighs in on McCoy, arguing that “[t]he denigration of McCoy’s autonomy is all the more dire because the jury trial itself — that cornerstone of American criminal justice — is fast vanishing to the point of practical extinction.”

Yesterday the justices issued additional orders from last Friday’s conference; they did not add any merits cases to their docket, and they dismissed a partisan-gerrymandering appeal from Texas for want of jurisdiction. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog; her coverage was first posted at Howe on the Court. At the Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen discusses the dismissal in the Texas case.

Yesterday the justices also heard argument in civil procedure case Hall v. Hall, which asks when a judgment dismissing one action is final and appealable when multiple actions were consolidated for all purposes under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42. Howard Wasserman analyzes the argument for this blog.

Yesterday’s second case was Dalmazzi v. United States (consolidated with two other cases), which involves the effect of the dual-officeholder ban on military judges. Amy Howe analyzes the argument for this blog; her analysis was first published at Howe on the Court. Subscript’s graphic explainer is here.


  • For the ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss reports on the results of a study that rates the “‘Scalia-ness’” of President Donald Trump’s possible Supreme Court nominees, which “has been updated to rate additional potential nominees in anticipation of additional vacancies on the high court,” noting that of the two new additions to the study, “Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Amul Thapar of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,” “Kavanaugh landed in the top six for Scalia-ness, while Thapar was at or near the bottom of the list.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes the “friend of the court” filings in merits cases so far this term, concluding that “[e]ven as the Court takes fewer cases each term, a regular group of amici, each with strong interests, files briefs in multiple cases,” and the “authors of these briefs tend to be Supreme Court repeat players with extensive amicus experience.”
  • Counting to 5 (podcast) features a discussion of the cases being argued this week.

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