This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on OyezOyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court. The court heard argument this week in: Murr v. Wisconsin Howell v. Howell Microsoft Corp. v. Baker Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. County of Los Angeles v. Mendez Water Splash, Inc. v. Menon

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

Oyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

The court heard argument this week in:

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

SCOTUSblog is hiring

SCOTUSblog is hiringThe blog and Goldstein & Russell, P.C., are looking for someone to serve as both the firm manager for Goldstein & Russell, P.C., and the deputy manager of SCOTUSblog. The principal responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to: Coordinating and proofing Supreme Court filings; Paralegal tasks, including drafting simple legal documents, checking citations […]

The post SCOTUSblog is hiring appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

SCOTUSblog is hiring

The blog and Goldstein & Russell, P.C., are looking for someone to serve as both the firm manager for Goldstein & Russell, P.C., and the deputy manager of SCOTUSblog. The principal responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating and proofing Supreme Court filings;
  • Paralegal tasks, including drafting simple legal documents, checking citations for accuracy and formatting, and light legal research;
  • Administrative work for the firm and in particular for Tom Goldstein, the firm’s managing partner;
  • Scheduling travel, which may entail making frequent last-minute changes and arrangements, sometimes during off hours;
  • Assisting with case coverage; and
  • Overseeing occasional special projects.

The qualifications for this position include:

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Excellent writing and editing skills;
  • Strong interest in learning about the U.S. Supreme Court and its workings;
  • Undergraduate experience with law-related courses is a plus, though not a requirement, as is an interest in attending law school (part-time students are not eligible for this position); and
  • Ability to improvise; we occasionally need all hands on deck both during and outside of normal business hours.

This position would begin in early August 2017. A commitment of at least two years is required for this position. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, transcript (either official or unofficial), and unedited writing sample (no more than five pages) to molly@goldsteinrussell.com and ahamm@scotusblog.com by April 10. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. This position is located in Bethesda, Maryland.

The post SCOTUSblog is hiring appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on OyezOyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court. The court heard argument this week in: Packingham v. North Carolina Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions Dean v. United States Coventry Health Care of Missouri, Inc. v. Nevils

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

Oyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

The court heard argument this week in:

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on OyezOyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court. The court heard argument this week in: Hernández v. Mesa McLane Company v. EEOC Kindred Nursing Centers v. Clark

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

Oyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

The court heard argument this week in:

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

Trump administration rescinds guidance at center of transgender bathroom dispute

Trump administration rescinds guidance at center of transgender bathroom disputeOne day before lawyers for a transgender teen who identifies as a boy and wants to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school are due to file their brief in the Supreme Court, the Trump administration today withdrew guidance, issued by the U.S. Department of Education in 2015 and 2016, on the use […]

The post Trump administration rescinds guidance at center of transgender bathroom dispute appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Trump administration rescinds guidance at center of transgender bathroom dispute

One day before lawyers for a transgender teen who identifies as a boy and wants to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school are due to file their brief in the Supreme Court, the Trump administration today withdrew guidance, issued by the U.S. Department of Education in 2015 and 2016, on the use of school bathrooms and locker rooms by transgender students. In that guidance, the federal government had interpreted a 1975 regulation as requiring schools to “treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity” if they opt to separate students in school bathrooms and locker rooms based on their sex.

In Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., which is scheduled for oral argument in the Supreme Court on March 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had relied on the Department of Education guidance in ordering a Virginia school board to allow the teen to use the boys’ bathroom. Last summer, the justices – with Justice Stephen Breyer providing the crucial fifth vote – agreed to put that ruling on hold until the court could review the merits of the board’s challenge to the lower court’s decision.

In the “Dear Colleague” letter (a standard format used by the Department of Education to remind educational institutions of their responsibilities or inform them of new guidelines) provided this evening to the court by the government, the department criticized the earlier guidance for its failure to “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX,” a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Moreover, the department added, the federal government believes that there must be “due regard for the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”

Although the guidance has been revoked, both the school board and G.G.’s attorneys want the court to decide the case. They emphasize that – regardless of what the Department of Education’s guidance may have said or how much weight courts should accord it – the court also agreed to review whether the school board’s policy requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender that they were assigned at birth is consistent with Title IX and the 1975 regulation interpreting that law.

The justices have a variety of options from which to choose to deal with tonight’s developments. Among other things, they could send the case back to the 4th Circuit for it to weigh in more fully on the Title IX question in light of the government’s changed position, or they could forge ahead and rule on that question themselves. At the very least, we should know more about the justices’ inclinations when they hear oral argument in the case next month, if not before.

The post Trump administration rescinds guidance at center of transgender bathroom dispute appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

Reactions to the Gorsuch nomination

Reactions to the Gorsuch nominationIn reaction to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, politicians and interest groups are releasing statements. We’ve collected all of those we have received below, and will continue to update this post. We invite you to alert us (feedback@scotusblog.com) to any statements we have missed. In support of the nomination: American Center for […]

The post Reactions to the Gorsuch nomination appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Reactions to the Gorsuch nomination

In reaction to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, politicians and interest groups are releasing statements. We’ve collected all of those we have received below, and will continue to update this post. We invite you to alert us (feedback@scotusblog.com) to any statements we have missed.

In support of the nomination:

American Center for Law and Justice (Jay Sekulow, chief counsel)
Americans for Limited Government (Rick Manning, president)
Gregory Garre
Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, PLLC
NRA
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Tea Party Patriots (Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder)
White House Office of the Press Secretary

Against the nomination:

Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (Daniel Grossman, director)
Advocates for Youth (Debra Hauser, president)
Alliance for Justice (Nan Aron, president)
American Constitution Society (Caroline Fredrickson, president)
Center for American Progress (Neera Tanden, president and CEO)
Center for Reproductive Rights (Nancy Northup, president and CEO)
Constitutional Accountability Center (Elizabeth Wydra, president)
Constitutional Responsibility Project (Adam Hodge, spokesman)
Demos (Heather McGhee, president)
Earthjustice (Trip Van Noppen, president)
Everytown for Gun Safety (John Feinblatt, president)
National Women’s Law Center (Marcia Greenberger and Nancy Duff Campbell, co-presidents)
People for the American Way (Michael Keegan, president)
Physicians for Reproductive Health (Jodi Magee, president and CEO)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Neutral:

American Bar Association
Fix the Court

The post Reactions to the Gorsuch nomination appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

Judge William Pryor – A southern conservative who speaks his mind

Judge William Pryor – A southern conservative who speaks his mindOnce it became apparent that President Donald Trump would be nominating a justice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s long-vacant seat on the Supreme Court, Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit was widely considered to be the front-runner for the nomination. Trump mentioned Pryor by name during […]

The post Judge William Pryor – A southern conservative who speaks his mind appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Judge William Pryor – A southern conservative who speaks his mind

Once it became apparent that President Donald Trump would be nominating a justice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s long-vacant seat on the Supreme Court, Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit was widely considered to be the front-runner for the nomination. Trump mentioned Pryor by name during a primary debate shortly after Scalia’s death, and Pryor appeared on Trump’s first list of 11 potential nominees. In recent days, however, Pryor’s front-runner status has seemed to fade, as he is considered a lightning rod by many liberals, but has also come under fire from some on the right for taking an insufficiently conservative position in several cases.

Pryor was born on April 26, 1962, in Mobile, Alabama, to William Holcombe Pryor, Sr., and his wife Laura, both Roman Catholic school teachers. He attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile. His father was a band director, and Pryor himself demonstrated musical talent and was an award-winning timpanist. He began college as a music major, but later switched to legal studies.

Pryor was raised a Roman Catholic and has spoken at length regarding the role his faith plays in his life. His mother has said that as a child, he “was constantly around priests and nuns and brothers.” In his address Moral Duty and the Rule of Law, delivered at a National Federalist Society Student Symposium in 2007, Pryor described the role his faith has played in his professional life. Explaining that he looked to the Catholic legal icon Sir Thomas Moore for inspiration, Pryor said: “My Catholic faith is the foundation of my worldview, and my judicial duty is governed, from beginning to end, by the law. Faith properly informs the religious lawyer or judge, and morality is not in tension with fidelity to the law.”

Pryor, 54, earned his B.A. from Northeast Louisiana University in 1984 and his J.D. from Tulane University Law School 1987, where he graduated magna cum laude, was editor in chief of the Tulane Law Review, and received the George Dewey Nelson Memorial Award for the graduate with the highest grade point average in the common-law curriculum. While at Tulane, Pryor founded the Tulane Federalist Society chapter.

After graduation, Pryor clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. After his clerkship, Pryor worked as a private attorney in Birmingham and, for six years, served as an adjunct professor of maritime law at the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University. He served for two years as deputy attorney general of Alabama before becoming attorney general in 1997 at only 34 years old. He was hired by Sen. Jeff Sessions, then Alabama attorney general, and the two have a close relationship. Sessions praised Pryor during Pryor’s confirmation hearings, calling him “a man of the highest integrity.” Since 2006, Judge Pryor has taught federal jurisdiction each fall as a visiting professor at the University of Alabama School of Law.

Pryor ruffled some conservative feathers as attorney general in 2003 when he prosecuted former Alabama Chief Judge Roy Moore for refusing to follow a federal injunction requiring the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama Judicial Building. Pryor responded to the criticism, which even included calls to resign, by harkening to his “moral duty to obey the law.”

Pryor could face a more uphill nomination battle than the other finalists. President George W. Bush nominated Pryor to the 11th Circuit in 2003, but the nomination stalled after Senate Democrats criticized Pryor for several incidents. While serving as attorney general, Pryor wrote a brief in defense of the Texas law banning sodomy that was later struck down by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas. In the brief he argued that recognizing a constitutional right to sodomy “must logically extend to activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, incest and pedophilia.”

Additionally, Pryor has called Roe v. Wade the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law” and during his 11th Circuit confirmation hearings said: “I believe that not only is the case unsupported by the text and structure of the Constitution, but it had led to a morally wrong result. It has led to the slaughter of millions of innocent unborn children.” His mother has said that Roe, which was decided when Pryor was ten years old, influenced him significantly.

As attorney general Pryor advocated strongly for states’ rights. For example, he testified that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is “an affront to federalism”, co-authored a brief arguing that portions of the Americans with Disabilities Act exceeded Congressional authority, represented the only state that filed a brief arguing that the Violence Against Women Act was unconstitutional, and praised the Rehnquist court as “in matters of federalism is principled, coherent, and true to the text and structure of the Constitution.” In a speech entitled “The Supreme Court as Guardian of Federalism,” Pryor ended with: “Although the ACLU would argue that it is unconstitutional for me, as a public official, to do this in a government building, let alone at a football game, I will end with my prayer for the next administration: Please God, no more Souters.”

Bush eventually appointed Pryor to the appeals court during a congressional recess in 2004, and he was later confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 53-45 as part of the Gang of 14 agreement, by which a bipartisan group of senators agreed to allow a vote on several conservative appeals court nominees in exchange for retention of the filibuster. Of the three Republicans who voted against Pryor’s nomination, only Sen. Susan Collins is still in the Senate.

Pryor has also faced criticism from the other side of the aisle, particularly for his 2011 vote in Glenn v. Brumby, in which he joined a panel ruling that protected transgender individuals from workplace discrimination. A recent CBS news piece suggesting that Judges Gorsuch and Hardiman have outpaced Pryor noted that “because he is not a results-oriented judge” he “does not always reach a conservative outcome.” However, a number of conservatives have defended Pryor. For example, John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation reviewed the “problematic” decisions and wrote that “concerns are unwarranted and should not stand in the way of Pryor’s being nominated or confirmed.”

In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Pryor to serve on the United States Sentencing Commission and he currently serves as Acting Chair. Pryor is married to Kristan Wilson and they have two daughters.

The post Judge William Pryor – A southern conservative who speaks his mind appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on OyezOyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court. The court heard argument this week in: Lynch v. Dimaya Midland Funding v. Johnson Lee v. Tam Ziglar v. Abbasi

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez

Oyez has posted audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

The court heard argument this week in:

The post This week’s oral argument audio and transcripts now available on Oyez appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

Roe: Telling the stories behind the landmark decision

<em>Roe</em>: Telling the stories behind the landmark decisionWhen walking into a play titled Roe, one might expect a dry analysis of a legal case or a fiery pro-choice rally. Instead, Roe delivered a clever, often comic portrayal of the two women at the center of the story behind the controversial Supreme Court abortion decision — Sarah Weddington, the young lawyer who argued […]

The post Roe: Telling the stories behind the landmark decision appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

<em>Roe</em>: Telling the stories behind the landmark decision

When walking into a play titled Roe, one might expect a dry analysis of a legal case or a fiery pro-choice rally. Instead, Roe delivered a clever, often comic portrayal of the two women at the center of the story behind the controversial Supreme Court abortion decision — Sarah Weddington, the young lawyer who argued the case, and Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe — and their divergent recollections of events. Lisa Loomer based the play on Weddington’s and McCorvey’s books, and the play often breaks the fourth wall to explain points of contention in the two accounts.

The play opens with McCorvey at a 1970s “girls’ bar” in Dallas, where she is seeking advice on where to procure an abortion. This is McCorvey’s third pregnancy. Her first child, Melissa, lived with McCorvey’s mother, and her second child was placed for adoption. We learn throughout the play about McCorvey’s troubled upbringing. Her father left the family when she was young and her mother was an abusive alcoholic.

Meanwhile, Weddington, fresh out of law school, is participating in a women’s group where the (hilarious) lesson of the day is how to find one’s cervix. She is passionate, but she is having trouble finding work at a law firm because she is a woman. She delivers a monologue decrying the back-alley abortions of the day, leading the women around her to suggest that she lead the charge towards legalized abortion.

Unable to obtain an abortion, McCorvey is referred by her adoption attorney to lawyers Linda Coffee and Weddington, who are looking for pregnant women seeking abortions to serve as plaintiffs. As the play makes clear, there is some debate as to how far along McCorvey was in her pregnancy when she and Weddington met for the first time at a pizza parlor. McCorvey claimed that Weddington led her to believe she would be able to obtain an abortion because of her involvement with the court case, which would not be resolved for several years. At the time, McCorvey also asserted that the pregnancy was the result of a rape; she would later recant that claim, explaining that she had lied in an attempt to obtain the abortion under a rape exception.

On December 13, 1971, Weddington argued Roe v. Wade for the first time before seven justices (two had recently retired). In his opening argument, Texas attorney Jay Floyd made the “worst joke in legal history”: “Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court. It’s an old joke, but when a man argues against two beautiful ladies like this, they are going to have the last word.”

The case was reargued on October 11, 1972, before a full court. For both arguments, the play used audio from the actual proceedings to represent the justices as they inquired about topics ranging from when life begins to whether privacy is a right to whether an unborn fetus is a person with Fourteenth Amendment protections. The play shows us Weddington’s joy when the decision is released, though her elation is somewhat tempered by the opinion’s exception for “fetal life after viability.”

While Weddington is focused on the case, McCorvey delivers her child despite her attempts at self-abortion. She meets Connie Gonzales, who became her long-time partner. McCorvey went on to become an outspoken advocate for reproductive justice and to work in an abortion clinic.

However, as the play shows us, McCorvey was later introduced to Flip Benham, a minister and leader of Operation Rescue, a pro-life organization. McCorvey connected with Benham and others at Operation Rescue, where she felt accepted as Norma McCorvey, not as “Jane Roe.” Benham was a former alcoholic who had wanted his children aborted but who later became a Christian and pro-life organizer. McCorvey was baptized, stopped identifying as a lesbian, and started work as a pro-life advocate. She claimed that she had been manipulated by Coffee and Weddington and began fighting to see Roe reversed.

The play allowed for the portrayal of legitimate voices on both sides of the abortion debate. The liberal Washington audience’s excited applause at pro-choice lines gave greater weight to that side of the issue, and the line “should a public figure be driven by personal slights?” got the biggest laugh. But the play’s success in humanizing Benham and others at Operation Rescue, and its suggestion that McCorvey may indeed have been manipulated, provided some counterweight.

It is impossible to ignore the timing of the play. Its official opening occurred just days before the inauguration of Donald Trump, who promised throughout the campaign to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. The play ended by noting that a pro-choice woman had won the popular vote for president and that although challenges to Roe exist, it still stands today.

Roe runs through February 19, 2017, at the Arena Stage’s Kreeger Theater in Washington, D.C.

The post Roe: Telling the stories behind the landmark decision appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com

Timeline to confirm Scalia’s successor

Timeline to confirm Scalia’s successorLast Wednesday President-elect Donald Trump said that he will nominate the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement within two weeks of taking office. If Trump wants a new justice on the bench before the April sitting begins, the Senate would likely need to hold hearings in March. A look at the timelines for recent nominations reveals […]

The post Timeline to confirm Scalia’s successor appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Timeline to confirm Scalia’s successor

Last Wednesday President-elect Donald Trump said that he will nominate the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement within two weeks of taking office. If Trump wants a new justice on the bench before the April sitting begins, the Senate would likely need to hold hearings in March. A look at the timelines for recent nominations reveals that such a schedule might be workable, barring any unforeseen issues or Senate delay.

President Barack Obama nominated Elena Kagan to fill Justice John Paul Stevens’ seat on May 10, 2010. Hearings began 49 days later, on June 28. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to endorse Kagan on July 20. Republicans held 41 Senate seats at the time and therefore could have filibustered her nomination, which would have required 60 votes to overcome. However, five Republicans expressed support for the nomination, and the full Senate confirmed Kagan on August 5, 63-37. All told, the process took 87 days from nomination to confirmation.

For comparison, Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination process took 72 days, with President Obama announcing her nomination on May 26, 2009, and the Senate confirmation vote taking place on August 6.

Nominee Days between nomination and hearing Days between hearing day 1 and committee vote Days between committee vote and Senate vote Total number of days
Kagan 49 22 16 87
Sotomayor 48 15 9 72

 

The Senate calendar can also play a role in the timing. The Senate is currently scheduled to have “state work periods” (aka vacations) from February 20 through 24, March 16 through 17, and April 10 through 21.

Given the timing of the two most recent confirmations, we might expect that the next nominee’s hearings will take place during March, leaving enough time for a committee and full Senate vote before the April Supreme Court argument session, the last one of the term, begins on April 17. As in the case of the previous two nominations (leaving aside the failed nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland), the nominating president and the Senate majority share a party affiliation. However, Democrats currently hold 46 Senate seats, enough for a filibuster that could delay the confirmation. If sworn in before the end of the term, the new justice could vote on previously argued cases that have not yet been decided, although traditionally new justices have refrained from doing so, and cases resulting in a tie will likely be reheard in the next term.

The post Timeline to confirm Scalia’s successor appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

from http://www.scotusblog.com