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The rise of certiorari before judgment

SCOTUS FOCUS By Steve Vladeck on Jan 25, 2022 at 5:44 pm For obvious reasons, the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to grant certiorari in a pair of cases challenging race-based affirmative action in higher education drew major headlines. Less well noticed was a curious procedural feature of the second case, Students for Fair Admissions […]

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Court reaffirms duties of retirement-plan sponsors to monitor and update plan options

OPINION ANALYSIS By Ronald Mann on Jan 24, 2022 at 4:24 pm Monday’s decision in Hughes v. Northwestern University will be a strong contender for shortest decision of the term – Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s opinion for a unanimous court did not fill six pages, and included only six paragraphs of explanation following her summary of […]

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Suing the International Finance Corporation, and Chicago police’s destroy-or-sell policy

Petitions of the week By Andrew Hamm on Jan 21, 2022 at 3:49 pm Jeffrey Fisher argues for the plaintiffs in Jam v. International Finance Corp. in 2018. (Art Lien) This week we highlight cert petitions that ask the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, whether the International Finance Corporation is immune from suit […]

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Justices will review scope of McGirt decision, but won’t consider whether to overturn it

SCOTUS NEWS By Amy Howe on Jan 21, 2022 at 3:22 pm Less than two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in McGirt v. Oklahoma by a vote of 5-4 that a large portion of eastern Oklahoma, which was reserved for the Creek Nation in the 19th century, remains a reservation for purposes of a […]

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Majority turns down request to send Texas abortion litigation back to federal district court

SCOTUS NEWS By Amy Howe on Jan 20, 2022 at 5:30 pm The Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon rejected abortion providers’ request to order a federal appeals court to send their challenge to a Texas law banning almost all abortions in the state promptly back to the friendlier confines of a federal district court in […]

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Court rebuffs Trump’s bid to block release of documents related to Jan. 6 riot

EMERGENCY DOCKET By Amy Howe on Jan 19, 2022 at 8:26 pm Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Pennsylvania in 2018. (Evan El-Amin via Shutterstock) In a major victory for the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court turned down a request by former […]

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Over Gorsuch dissent, justices deny review in dispute over definition of “minister” for tax-exemption purposes

SCOTUS NEWS By Amy Howe on Jan 18, 2022 at 5:11 pm After adding five cases to its merits docket for the spring on Friday, the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning issued more orders from the justices’ private conference last week. As expected, the justices did not grant any new cases. Perhaps most notably, they […]

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Boston’s refusal to fly a Christian flag over city hall raises First Amendment questions

CASE PREVIEW By Amy Howe on Jan 17, 2022 at 6:51 pm Three flagpoles stand in front of Boston’s city hall. The city rejected an outside group’s request to fly a Christian flag on one of them. (Kit Leong via Shutterstock) When it hears oral argument on Tuesday in Shurtleff v. City of Boston, the […]

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A quest to reclaim a Pissarro masterpiece hinges on the Erie doctrine

CASE PREVIEW By Suzanna Sherry on Jan 16, 2022 at 11:58 am Detail from Camille Pissarro’s Rue Saint-Honoré, Afternoon, Rain Effect. (Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum) At the beginning of World War II, the heir of a prominent German Jewish art collector was forced to surrender her family’s Camille Pissarro painting to the Nazis. Her heirs have […]

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Justices signal narrow support for allowing equitable tolling of tax deadline

ARGUMENT ANALYSIS By Susan C. Morse on Jan 15, 2022 at 10:36 am Melissa Sherry argues on behalf of Boechler, P.C. (Art Lien) At the argument on Wednesday in Boechler v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, most justices seemed prepared to allow consideration of “equitable tolling” in tax collection due process cases – so long as […]