SCOTUS To Finally Get A Break From Trump | PA High Court Throws Out Trump Campaign Challenge
November 18, 2020
A WELCOME RESPITE|
Richard Wolf with USA Today reports PRESIDENT TRUMP’S defeat might mean the Supreme Court will finally get a break from the onslaught of Trump-related disputes that have kept justices especially busy these last few years. Wolf writes, “The list of Trump-related cases heading the high court’s way remains long even as the president’s days grow short. He wants a rematch with New York City prosecutors seeking access to his tax returns and financial records. He wants to continue building the wall along the southern border while keeping migrants seeking asylum on the Mexican side. But all that could change after Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Many of the cases tied to Trump’s policies and personal entanglements are likely to become moot or, at least, undeserving of the Supreme Court’s time and attention.”
HOLD THAT THOUGHT|
The House yesterday asked the Supreme Court to postpone its consideration of Democrats’ ongoing effort to obtain secret grand jury testimony from special counsel ROBERT MUELLER’S Russia investigation. The top lawyer for the House, DOUGLAS LETTER, said in the filing that the House Judiciary Committee that takes office in January “will have to determine whether it wishes to continue pursuing the application for the grand-jury materials that gave rise to this case.” This move suggests the House could be reconsidering its posture toward Trump investigations now that JOE BIDEN has won the election.
Alice Miranda Ollstein and Nancy Cook with POLITICO note, “Joe Biden on Tuesday added a slew of top staffers to his White House team with sterling Democratic credentials. But one of his appointments has a line on her resume that would also make Republicans proud: Onetime clerk to Supreme Court JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO.” The former clerk, DANA REMUS, will become counsel to the president in the new administration.
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the Trump campaign’s longest-running post-election challenge, ruling Philadelphia officials did not violate state law by maintaining at least 15 feet of separation between observers and ballot counters. The court held that state law doesn’t specify how close poll watchers are allowed to get to the counting process.
POD DU JOUR|
Hot new pod alert — Elizabeth Slattery with the Pacific Legal Foundation has a new podcast called Dissed and it’s all about dissenting opinions at the Supreme Court. On the pod, Slattery and Anastasia Boden dig into dissents from the past and present, and reveal the stories behind them. As they note in the pod’s description, dissents “can provide a roadmap for future challenges or persuade other justices.” And, sometimes, “they’re just cathartic.”
SCOTUS VIEWSThe Washington Post
“Priscilla Villarreal, who calls herself Lagordiloca, which she translates as the Crazy Fat Lady, is a familiar figure on the streets of Laredo. She has cruised them practicing a form of journalism that she calls ‘News on the Move.’ In December 2017, the police department of Texas’s 10th-largest city arrested her for committing two felonies. She was charged, essentially, with committing journalism: She got information from the government and published it. Three years after her arrest, she is suing the city and some of its employees, charging that her arrest was retaliatory. Her case involves a 2020 preoccupation, police misbehavior, and a court-created rule, ‘qualified immunity,’ that breeds misbehavior by enabling much of it to go unpunished.”
OTHER NEWSBloomberg Law
“Several U.S. Supreme Court justices indicated during oral argument that the court may be leaning toward preserving key pieces of the Affordable Care Act. While their comments don’t always presage the court’s decision, abrupt disruption to the ACA now appears less likely. Foley Hoag LLP attorneys suggest three clues to the legal and political moves that could shape the ACA’s future.”National Law Journal
“The long-awaited oral argument in Google v. Oracle took place in early October and it was as lively as anticipated. To give a short overview, the facts are unfavorable to Google. The company, seeking to attract developers to its Android mobile operating system, incorporated components of the popular Java platform but refused the license it was offered. Instead, it blatantly copied over 11,000 lines of Oracle’s declaring code, as well as the creative structure, sequence and organization of the Java platform. Google lobbed a variety of legal arguments at the court, but a clear majority of the justices seemed unimpressed.”Bloomberg Law
“A set of ‘extraordinary’ claims seeking to hold the oil and gas industry liable for greenhouse gas emissions belongs in federal court, industry lawyers told the U.S. Supreme Court in a new brief that aims to undermine climate litigation across the country. Lawyers for BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., and other companies are waging a highly technical dispute against the city of Baltimore at the Supreme Court, involving the scope of appellate review for certain scuffles over state-versus-federal court venue. But in an effort to fast-track the resolution of bigger issues, they’re also calling on the high court to rule that legal claims related to interstate emissions arise exclusively under federal law.”