WHITE HOUSE MAKES UNUSUAL REQUEST OF SCOTUS | Justices Press Pause On NC Map | Gerrymandering Finally Ready To Get SCOTUS Treatment
January 19, 2018
The Supreme Court yesterday decided North Carolina does not need to redraw its congressional map before the 2018 election. JUSTICES RUTH BADER GINSBURG and SONIA SOTOMAYOR dissented from the decision, which keeps intact district lines that seem to advantage Republicans over Democrats. The justices’ move was expected given the high court is considering two other major tests of partisan gerrymandering — one from Wisconsin and one from Maryland. The outcome of those cases is likely to effectively decide the North Carolina case as well.
ADVANCE TO GO, COLLECT $200|
The Trump administration took an usual step last night when it asked SCOTUS to immediately review and overturn a lower court judge’s ruling that said the White House can’t dismantle the DACA program. The request is a long shot — the justices don’t usually accept cases before an appeals court has acted, and it’s late in the term for the justices to add a new case to their oral argument calendar which ends in April
In The Sacramento Bee, Dean of UC Davis Law School, Kevin Johnson, opines that the Supreme Court is the right place to settle the issue of DACA. However, he notes, “The rise and fall of DACA proves once again that the nation needs Congress to exercise its constitutional responsibility and enact immigration reform.”
ED BOARD OVERTURE|
The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times weighs in on the Sixth Amendment case that came before justices this week. In question was whether it’s constitutional for a lawyer to go against his client’s instructions. In this case, the lawyer went with the legal strategy of admitting his client’s guilt to avoid the death penalty, even though his client claimed innocence throughout the case. LAT argues that the bottom line is a client is “entitled to be represented by a lawyer who won’t contradict him.” Doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.
THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME|
“I feel like sometimes people get caught up with us on, ‘Oh we’re an isolated incident,’” said CHARLIE CRAIG, whose case involving his failed attempt to purchase a wedding cake is currently under Supreme Court review. “This happens all the time. This is not new and it’s going to continue. It happens from birth to death and everywhere in between.” Lucia Graves with The Guardian spoke with Craig and his partner, DAVID MULLINS, about the experience that led them to the Supreme Court — an experience that seems to have only strengthened the couple’s relationship.
AT LONG LAST|
For Bloomberg, Peter Boy and Greg Stohr report that the Supreme Court seems ready to overcome their reservations and finally tackle the issue of gerrymandering. They note, “Political scientists, statisticians, and other number-crunchers have worked hard to reassure the justices that it’s possible to decide cases in a way that won’t expose them to accusations of playing politics. The same sophisticated tools that legislatures use to give their party an advantage can also be used to judge when a party has verged into the realm of unconstitutional bias.”
TODAY IN HISTORY|
On this day in 1970, PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON nominated G. HARROLD CARSWELL to the Supreme Court. However, the nomination was defeated because of controversy over Carswell’s past racial views.
OTHER NEWSThe Baltimore Sun
“Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he will sign a friend-of-the-court brief in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court — joining the side of Republican voters who say Maryland’s congressional district map violated their First Amendment rights.”USA Today
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Thursday vacated decisions that had canceled the Washington NFL team’s federal trademark registrations, officially ending a legal fight that lasted more than 25 years. Legally speaking, the team won. Culturally speaking, Native American petitioners believe they did.”The New York Times
“It was a 12-year legal battle that began as a challenge to Connecticut’s education funding system and came to touch on issues ranging from graduation requirements to teacher evaluations. On Wednesday, it reached its likely conclusion when the State Supreme Court said Connecticut was fulfilling its constitutional obligation to its public school students.”