Thursday round-up – SCOTUSblog

Posted Thu, October 11th, 2018 7:16 am by Edith Roberts

Yesterday the court heard argument in Nielsen v. Preap, which involves the immigration law’s mandatory detention provision. Robert Barnes reports for The Washington Post that “President Trump’s two nominees to the Supreme Court might play key roles in deciding the rights of some immigrants to challenge their detention during deportation hearings,” “[b]ut it wasn’t clear that they would arrive at the same conclusion.” For The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that “[t]he question in the case was whether federal authorities must detain immigrants who had committed crimes, often minor ones, no matter how long ago they were released from criminal custody,” and that Justice Brett “Kavanaugh said a 1996 federal law required detention even years later, without an opportunity for a bail hearing.” Lawrence Hurley reports for Reuters that “[a] majority of justices, including [Justice Neil] Gorsuch, appeared concerned about immigrants being detained without a hearing years after they committed criminal offenses,” but “the sticking point appeared to be how to define what would be a reasonable period of time for immigration agents to detain a person whose criminal sentence is completed.” Additional coverage comes from Kevin Daley at The Daily Caller, Jess Bravin for The Wall Street Journal, David Savage for the Los Angeles Times, and Richard Wolf at USA Today. Commentary comes from Liz Martinez in an op-ed for The Hill.

Amy Howe reports for this blog, in a post originally published at Howe on the Court, that on Tuesday the Supreme Court “declined to intervene in a challenge to a North Dakota law that requires voters to present identification that includes a current residential street address.” For The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that the challengers had argued “that the measure would harm Native Americans who are less likely to live at standardized addresses or possess the identification cards required by the statute.”

At CNN, Ariane de Vogue reports that “Chief Justice John Roberts said in a letter on Wednesday that he had transferred judicial misconduct complaints related to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Judicial Council of the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals for further review.” Additional coverage comes from Ann Marimow and Tom Hamburger for The Washington Post, who report that “[t]he judiciary’s rules on misconduct do not apply to Supreme Court justices, and the 10th Circuit could decide to dismiss the complaints as moot now that Kavanaugh has joined the high court.”

At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks for empirical indications about what kind of justice Kavanaugh will be, noting that “[w]hile much about Kavanaugh’s behavior as a justice on the Supreme Court will take years to process, we should start seeing inklings of his judicial behavior early this term.” For The Economist, Steven Mazie explains that “[i]n the short run, the 114th justice’s impact will not be earth-shaking,” because a “docket of smaller-stakes cases this year … limits the potential impact of Justice Kavanaugh’s ascent to the Supreme Court,” but that “the newly entrenched right-leaning majority will eventually find an appetite for cases with openings to push American law in their direction.” Commentary comes from Linda Greenhouse in an op-ed for The New York Times and from Hans von Spakovsky in an op-ed for Fox News.


  • At Law360 (subscription required), Edward Zelinsky looks at Dawson v. Steager, which asks whether federal law or the doctrine of intergovernmental tax immunity prevents West Virginia from differential taxation of retirement benefits of certain former state and federal employees; Zelinsky predicts the court will hold “that any income tax exemption a state extends to any of its former employees must also be given to all federal retirees living in the state.”
  • At Route Fifty, Bill Lucia reports that “[t]op officials from 17 Republican-leaning states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge a firearms group and gun owners have brought against a New York City handgun law … that bans people from transporting licensed and unloaded handguns to destinations other than one of seven shooting ranges in the city.”
  • At Crime & Consequences, Kent Scheidegger weighs in on the debate over whether video cameras should be permitted in the Supreme Court courtroom, suggesting that the court “should not stream its arguments live but instead should make them available on video largely the same way it presently does in audio.”
  • At the Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice & Comment blog, Bernard Bell offers the last in a series of posts on Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, which involves the scope of the Freedom of Information Act’s trade-secrets exemption and in which the Supreme Court recently recalled the mandate; he concludes that “the Court should hesitate before upending uniform court of appeals precedent that has been extant for more than 40 years.”
  • At the Cato Institute, Bradley Benbrook and others urge the justices to review “a farm business’s challenge to a California state-established commission that compels grape growers to contribute money for government-sponsored advertisements,” arguing that the court should “treat forced subsidies for generic advertising the same way it treats other such subsidies: as violations of the First Amendment freedoms of speech and association.”

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