LAST WEEK OF ARGUMENTS | Justices To Weigh Travel Ban Wednesday | Why Is Clarence Thomas Still On SCOTUS
April 23, 2018
THE BEGINNING OF THE END|
Today marks the beginning of the Supreme Court’s last week of scheduled oral arguments for the term — and it promises to be a doozy. The justices will hear a voter discrimination case, an international case involving the U.S. and China, and the much-anticipated travel ban case.
TAKING THE PLUNGE|
Wednesday’s arguments over PRESIDENT TRUMP’S travel ban marks the first big showdown at SCOTUS over a Trump administration policy. The justices take their first deep dive into a dispute over the third and latest version of the administration’s ban on travel from some countries with majority Muslin populations.
THE PRESIDENT VS. THIS PRESIDENT|
Robert Barnes with The Washington Post says the Supreme Court’s final oral argument of the term will echo the debate that has consumed Washington for the past 15 months: separating “the president” from “this president.” Barnes covers both sides of Trump v. Hawaii, reviewing the backstory of the travel ban policy as well as the arguments urging justices to consider the actions of the president that indicate the implementation of the policy was motivated by Trump’s prejudice towards Muslims.
“An upcoming Supreme Court decision in a case most Americans have never heard of, and even lawyers will find obscure, could offer a clue about how the justices would react to President Trump firing SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER.” That’s Peter Shane writing for The Atlantic about what he’s calling the “trial balloon” case — Raymond J. Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission. He notes, “Don’t let the technical details [of the case] fool you. A lot is at stake in Lucia.”
The justices today appeared divided over how to rule in the Lucia case, giving no indication during the hour-long argument as to how a majority might come down. They were hearing a challenge to the constitutionality of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s selection of in-house judges to enforce investor protection laws in a case involving a former radio host and investment adviser backed by the Trump administration.
In The Boston Globe, Margery Eagan wonders why JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS is still on the Supreme Court — some 27 years after ANITA HILL shared stories of sexual harassment. She writes, “Thomas remains on the court, unchallenged, unprotested, with all we know now about sexual harassment and other accusations against him. He wields enormous power over every woman in America. Why are so few of us worked up?”
PODCAST DU JOUR|
The First Mondays folks recorded live at the University of Akron School of Law to preview the high court’s final sitting of October Term 2017. Hear their predictions for Trump v. Hawaii, along with some discussion around a couple of the “slightly-less exciting opinions” from the term.
“Trump’s ban isn’t just unnecessary; it’s also contrary to our constitutional values. Before we worked on counterterrorism policy, two of us were national security lawyers in the executive branch. We believed and continue to believe that the Constitution provides significant leeway to the president to protect Americans. But penalizing individuals because they belong to a particular religion – even when the government tries, as a proxy, penalizing countries with populations overwhelmingly of that religion – falls outside that leeway.”The Hill
“After oral argument this week, close court watchers may try to predict how the travel ban will fare. But trying to predict what this court will do is a fool’s errand. That they will do something unpredictable may be the only safe bet, and focusing on the actual legal issues at stake, rather than the potential political fallout or personalities of the judges, is a better guide to assessing what may happen.”
OTHER NEWSThe Wall Street Journal
“While the solicitor general’s office oversees the government’s Supreme Court docket, the Justice Department’s top officials from time to time have pulled rank to take the lectern for themselves. This will be a first appearance for Mr. Rosenstein, a longtime federal prosecutor.”The Texas Tribune
“In a case that could reshape political districts across the state, the U.S. Supreme Court this week will consider whether Texas for years has been conducting elections under maps that were drawn with the intent to discriminate against voters of color. The high court on Tuesday will consider the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that found Texas lawmakers diminished the voting strength of Hispanic and black voters when they drew the boundaries for congressional and state House districts.”The Associated Press
“The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from a man who committed robbery and other crimes on a single day when he was 16 and now isn’t eligible for parole until he’s 112 years old. The justices on Monday left in place defendant Bobby Bostic’s 241-year sentence. Bostic’s lawyers argued that the prison term violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.”