Planned Parenthood asks justices to step into abortion dispute

Planned Parenthood asks justices to step into abortion disputeArguing that two Missouri abortion requirements are “virtually identical” to the Texas regulations that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016, Planned Parenthood asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a lower court’s order blocking the state from enforcing the requirements. After the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt in 2016, Planned Parenthood […]

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Planned Parenthood asks justices to step into abortion dispute

Arguing that two Missouri abortion requirements are “virtually identical” to the Texas regulations that the Supreme Court struck down in 2016, Planned Parenthood asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a lower court’s order blocking the state from enforcing the requirements.

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt in 2016, Planned Parenthood went to federal district court in Missouri, arguing that two of the state’s abortion requirements violate the Constitution: the requirement that physicians providing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic; and the requirement that abortion facilities be licensed as surgical centers. The combined effect of the two requirements, Planned Parenthood tells the justices, is that there are only two facilities providing abortions in Missouri, “a state that covers nearly 70,000 square miles and has a population of over six million people.” And that in turn, Planned Parenthood argues, “imposes enormous burdens on women seeking abortion” in the state, particularly women who are poor, have medical conditions, or are victims of abuse.

The district court temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the two requirements, reasoning that both rules bore a close resemblance to the Texas rules that the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health. The state appealed the district court’s order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and asked that court to stay the lower court’s order pending appeal. After the 8th Circuit declined to freeze the district court’s order, the state went to the full 8th Circuit, which agreed to do so.

Today Planned Parenthood asked the Supreme Court to step in, arguing that if it does not, three other health centers “will remain unable to provide abortion services pending resolution of the appeal before the Eighth Circuit—even though the laws preventing them from doing so are surely unconstitutional.” The group’s filing was directed to the court’s newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, who handles emergency appeals from the geographic region that includes Missouri. Gorsuch can handle the request himself or refer it to the full court; he can, and is likely to, also direct the state to respond before ruling on Planned Parenthood’s application.

This post originally appeared at Howe on the Court.

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Francisco confirmed as solicitor general

Francisco confirmed as solicitor generalBy a vote of 50-47 that broke down almost completely on party lines, the Senate today confirmed Noel Francisco to serve as the solicitor general, the government’s top lawyer in the Supreme Court. Francisco’s confirmation comes less than two weeks before the court’s new term is scheduled to start, with a number of important cases […]

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Francisco confirmed as solicitor general

By a vote of 50-47 that broke down almost completely on party lines, the Senate today confirmed Noel Francisco to serve as the solicitor general, the government’s top lawyer in the Supreme Court. Francisco’s confirmation comes less than two weeks before the court’s new term is scheduled to start, with a number of important cases – ranging from the challenge to the Trump administration’s March 6 executive order, often known as the “travel ban,” to a dispute over the right of employees to pursue work-related claims against their employers as a group – on the docket for October.

Even before President Donald Trump nominated him to serve as solicitor general, Francisco was well known in the Washington legal community. A former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Francisco served in the George W. Bush administration before going to the Washington office of Jones Day. While at that firm, he argued in the Supreme Court on behalf of (among others) former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, the president named Francisco as the principal deputy solicitor general. Francisco then served as the acting solicitor general until Trump announced that he intended to nominate Francisco as the solicitor general. But because federal law prohibited Francisco from serving as the acting solicitor general once he had been nominated to be the solicitor general, Francisco then moved to another part of the Department of Justice to await his confirmation. Jeffrey Wall has been the acting solicitor general since then, serving as the federal government’s lead lawyer in its defense of the travel ban.

The vote on Francisco was closer than those for some of his predecessors: Donald Verrilli, who served as solicitor general from 2011 to 2016, was confirmed by a vote of 72-16; Elena Kagan, who served from 2009 to 2010, was confirmed by a vote of 61-31; and Gregory Garre, who served from 2008 to 2009, was confirmed unanimously.

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

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Event Announcement

Event AnnouncementOn September 29 at 12 p.m., the Pacific Legal Foundation and National Review Institute will host an event titled “The Consequential Cases in the Supreme Court’s 2017-2018 Term.” Speakers include Michael Carvin, John Elwood and Donald Verrilli, Jr.; Ramesh Ponnuru will serve as moderator. More information about the event can be found on the Foundation’s […]

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Event Announcement

On September 29 at 12 p.m., the Pacific Legal Foundation and National Review Institute will host an event titled “The Consequential Cases in the Supreme Court’s 2017-2018 Term.” Speakers include Michael Carvin, John Elwood and Donald Verrilli, Jr.; Ramesh Ponnuru will serve as moderator. More information about the event can be found on the Foundation’s website and Eventbrite.

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Event Announcements

Event AnnouncementsOn September 28 at 5 p.m., the American University Washington College of Law will host a panel entitled “On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term.” Panelists include Tom Goldstein, Janai Nelson, Jayesh Rathod and Richard Wolf; Steve Wermiel will moderate the panel. More information is available at the college’s website. In […]

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Event Announcements

On September 28 at 5 p.m., the American University Washington College of Law will host a panel entitled “On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term.” Panelists include Tom Goldstein, Janai Nelson, Jayesh Rathod and Richard Wolf; Steve Wermiel will moderate the panel. More information is available at the college’s website.

In addition, on September 28 at 1 p.m., the Washington Legal Foundation will host a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term. Speakers include Allyson Ho, Jeffrey Lamken and Andrew Pincus; Judge Jay Stephens will serve as moderator. More information about the event, which will also be live-streamed, is available at the Foundation’s website.

Additionally, on October 5 at 7 p.m., the National Archives, in partnership with The Constitutional Sources Project, will host a panel entitled “Women and the Supreme Court.” Panelists include Judge Patricia Millett, Deanne Maynard, Sarah Harrington and Marlene Trestman; Amy Howe will moderate the panel. More information about the event, which will also be live-streamed, is available at the Archives’ website.

Finally, on October 20 at 1:30 p.m., the Syracuse University College of Law will host a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term. The event will begin with a lecture by Amy Howe entitled “When Elections Matter: The Supreme Court, the Scalia Vacancy, and the 2016 Election.” Following the lecture, Judge Rosemary Pooler, William Wiecek, Lauryn Gouldin and Andrew Kim will join Howe on a panel discussion moderated by Keith Bybee. More information about the event is available at the college’s website.

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Event Announcements

Event AnnouncementsOn September 14 at 9 a.m., the American Constitution Society will host a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term. Panelists include Dale Ho, Anil Kalhan, Marty Lederman, Erin Murphy and Claire Prestel; Steve Schwinn will serve as the moderator. More information about the event is available at the society’s website.  

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Event Announcements

On September 14 at 9 a.m., the American Constitution Society will host a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term. Panelists include Dale Ho, Anil Kalhan, Marty Lederman, Erin Murphy and Claire Prestel; Steve Schwinn will serve as the moderator. More information about the event is available at the society’s website.

 

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Justices stay lower-court rulings striking down Texas redistricting maps, ordering new ones

Justices stay lower-court rulings striking down Texas redistricting maps, ordering new onesJust a few hours after it put an order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on hold in the litigation over President Donald Trump’s “travel ban,” the Supreme Court blocked two more lower-court orders, which had invalidated two of Texas’ federal congressional districts and the state’s maps for the lower house […]

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Justices stay lower-court rulings striking down Texas redistricting maps, ordering new ones

Just a few hours after it put an order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on hold in the litigation over President Donald Trump’s “travel ban,” the Supreme Court blocked two more lower-court orders, which had invalidated two of Texas’ federal congressional districts and the state’s maps for the lower house of the Texas legislature. The lower courts’ original orders, issued last month, had given the Texas governor three days to decide whether to call a special session of the legislature, and it directed the state to be ready to redraw the maps by early September. Tonight’s rulings by the Supreme Court put those orders on hold to give the state time to file its appeals; they will remain on hold until the justices rule on those appeals.

Texas’ request had gone first to Justice Samuel Alito, who – acting alone – temporarily blocked the lower-court rulings while the challengers responded to the state’s requests. Those responses were due last week. But once the briefing on the stay requests was finished, Alito referred the disputes to the full court, which acted tonight. Unlike tonight’s order in the travel ban case, four justices noted their disagreement with the court’s orders in the federal congressional and Texas House cases: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan indicated that they would have denied the state’s applications.

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

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Event Announcements

Event AnnouncementsOn September 19 at 12 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will host a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court Term. Speakers will include Paul Clement and Pratik Shah; the discussion will be moderated by Elizabeth Slattery. More information about the event, which will be live-streamed, can be found at the foundation’s website. In addition, on September […]

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Event Announcements

On September 19 at 12 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will host a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court Term. Speakers will include Paul Clement and Pratik Shah; the discussion will be moderated by Elizabeth Slattery. More information about the event, which will be live-streamed, can be found at the foundation’s website.

In addition, on September 27, from 12 pm to 2 pm, the Federalist Society will host a panel entitled, “Supreme Court Preview Panel: What is in Store for October Term 2017?” Panelists will include Kyle Duncan, Samuel Estreicher, Orin Kerr, Andrew Pincus and Carrie Severino; Jan Crawford will serve as moderator. More information about the panel, which will be live-streamed, is available at the Society’s website.

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Event announcement

Event announcementOn September 13 at 9:30 a.m., the DC Bar will host a seminar on some of the issues and cases that will be before the Supreme Court in the next term. John Elwood, Irving Gornstein and Sarah Harrington will serve as panelists, and Amy Howe will moderate. More information and registration are available for the […]

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Event announcement

On September 13 at 9:30 a.m., the DC Bar will host a seminar on some of the issues and cases that will be before the Supreme Court in the next term. John Elwood, Irving Gornstein and Sarah Harrington will serve as panelists, and Amy Howe will moderate. More information and registration are available for the in-person presentation and the webinar.

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Supreme Court releases November argument calendar

Supreme Court releases November argument calendarThe Supreme Court today released the calendar for the November sitting, which actually begins on Monday, October 30. The calendar is a relatively light one: The justices will hear oral arguments in eight cases over six days, with six of those eight days featuring only one argument each – a departure from the court’s general […]

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Supreme Court releases November argument calendar

The Supreme Court today released the calendar for the November sitting, which actually begins on Monday, October 30. The calendar is a relatively light one: The justices will hear oral arguments in eight cases over six days, with six of those eight days featuring only one argument each – a departure from the court’s general practice of hearing two arguments on each day of a sitting. The November calendar also lacks the potential-blockbuster cases that are currently slated for argument during the court’s October sitting. The highest-profile case is probably Husted v. Randolph Institute, scheduled for oral argument on November 8. In that case, the justices will consider a challenge to Ohio’s system for removing voters from its voter registration lists. The Randolph Institute, a labor and civil rights group, alleges that the state’s procedures violate the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which bars states from removing someone from the voter registration list for not voting and sets out a process for states to remove voters who have moved away.

Brief summaries of the other seven cases set for oral argument in November follow below the jump.

Ayestas v. Davis – Monday, October 30: The standard for receiving federal funds to assist a death-row inmate in his federal post-conviction proceedings.

Wilson v. Sellers – Monday, October 30: Which state-court rulings should federal habeas courts review in considering an inmate’s case?

U.S. Bank National Association v. Village at Lakeridge – Tuesday, October 31: What standard of review should courts use to determine whether someone is an “insider” for purposes of the Bankruptcy Code – de novo or “clearly erroneous”?

Artis v. District of Columbia – Wednesday, November 1: The interpretation of the federal law that allows (but does not require) federal courts to consider state-law claims related to the plaintiff’s federal claims, putting the statute of limitations for the state-law claims on hold while the case is pending in federal court.

Merit Management Group v. FTI Consulting – Monday, November 6: Whether the Bankruptcy Code’s “safe harbor” provision, which bars bankruptcy trustees from unwinding transfers “made by or to (or for the benefit of)” a “financial institution,” applies when the financial institution merely “acts as a conduit” for the transfer.

Leidos v. Indiana Public Retirement System – Monday, November 6: Whether a Securities and Exchange Commission regulation that requires companies to disclose (among other things) “any known trends or any known demands, commitments, events or uncertainties that will result in or that are reasonably likely to result in the registrant’s liquidity increasing or decreasing in any material way” creates a duty to disclose that would allow shareholders to file a lawsuit under Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act.

Patchak v. Zinke – Tuesday, November 7: The constitutionality of a federal law that “ratified and confirmed” the federal government’s decision to take the land into trust for a local Indian tribe and ordered courts to “promptly” dismiss any pending lawsuits related to the land.

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

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Alito grants stay in Texas House redistricting case

Alito grants stay in Texas House redistricting caseJustice Samuel Alito acted quickly this afternoon to grant a request by Texas officials to block a lower court’s order that had invalidated the state’s maps for the Texas House of Representatives, the lower house of the Texas legislature. Today’s order putting the lower court’s ruling on hold came shortly after state officials filed their […]

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Alito grants stay in Texas House redistricting case

Justice Samuel Alito acted quickly this afternoon to grant a request by Texas officials to block a lower court’s order that had invalidated the state’s maps for the Texas House of Representatives, the lower house of the Texas legislature. Today’s order putting the lower court’s ruling on hold came shortly after state officials filed their request, and only a few days after the justice, acting alone, agreed to the state’s request to stay an order by the same court invalidating two of the state’s federal congressional districts. Like Monday’s order in the congressional redistricting case, today’s temporary stay relieved the state of its obligation to comply with a rapidly approaching deadline to redraw the maps.

The filing came in a case that began as a challenge to the redistricting maps drawn by the Texas legislature after the 2010 census. In 2013, the legislature adopted a court-ordered interim map. But last week the three-judge district court struck down the existing plan. And as it had after invalidating two of the state’s federal congressional districts, the district court ordered the state to act quickly to formulate new maps: The court gave the governor three days to decide whether to call a special session of the legislature, and it commanded the state to be ready to redraw the maps on September 6.

In today’s filing, Texas officials complained that the district court’s ruling on the Texas House maps “relies on the same grievously flawed conception of intentional discrimination that pervades its order” on the federal congressional maps – the idea that, when it adopted the court-ordered interim map almost in its entirety, the legislature retained the discriminatory intent underlying the map that was enacted in 2011 but never went into effect. Therefore, the officials urged, the justices should not “treat the district court’s erroneous and onerous order on the Texas House maps (Plan H358) any different from its erroneous and onerous order on Texas’s congressional maps.” Judging by the speed with which he granted the state’s request, Alito apparently agreed. He directed the challengers to file their response by 3 p.m. on September 7.

 This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

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