Traffic Fails and Flushing Tales: Weekly Brief for May 4

The Supreme Court generated a bevy of headlines this week, all for very different reasons. The Court issued two unanimous decisions: In Kelly v. United States, it vacated the fraud convictions of two state officials in the 2013 Bridgegate scandal who caused a traffic fubar by shutting down two lanes of the George Washington Bridge for a few days. And in United States v. Sineneng-Smith, the Court rebuked the Ninth Circuit for abusing its judicial discretion after it wrested control of a criminal case from the parties involved. Meanwhile, the Court heard its first-ever telephonic oral arguments this week. Surprisingly, the project went down quite swimmingly—save for a few mic snafus and the distinctive sound of a toilet flush. Here’s your brief for the week of May 4.

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A Brave New World: Weekly Brief for April 13

Editor’s Note: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court remains closed to the public. The building is open for official business only. Some March and April oral arguments have been rescheduled for teleconference in May, and filing deadlines for petitions have been extended. The Justices are conducting their private conferences remotely. Orders and opinions continue to be issued as scheduled, but the Justices will not take the bench.

The Supreme Court is entering a Brave New World (putting aside Aldous Huxley’s unnerving depictions of a utopian future). On Monday, the Court announced that it will hear oral arguments via teleconference in ten cases that had originally been postponed due to COVID-19. In the process, the Court will make the argument’s audio live to the entire American public for the first time in history. This week’s brief is short, but it details the Court’s symbolic gesture.

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This Week’s Brief: March 16

Editor’s Note: In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Supreme Court is closed to the public. The building will remain open for official business only. March oral arguments are postponed indefinitely, and filing deadlines for petitions are extended. The Justices are conducting their private conferences remotely. Orders and Opinions are still being issued as scheduled, but the Justices will not take the bench.

Regrettably, the headlines from the Supreme Court this week did not come from opinions or cert grants; they came from the Court’s adjustments in response to the spread of COVID-19. The Justices announced that oral arguments scheduled for the next two weeks are postponed indefinitely. Some of the cases affected include the two over President Trump’s tax records, a blockbuster copyright dispute, and a First Amendment and a Fourth Amendment case. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court building has been closed to the public; the Justices are holding their conferences over the phone; and filing deadlines for attorneys have been extended sizably. In these unprecedented circumstances, here is a recap of the Court’s response this week to the worsening public health crisis.

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Oral Argument Calendar for October: Effects on “Madison v. Alabama?”

The Supreme Court released its calendar for Oral Arguments for its October Sitting today. Ten cases were set for Oral Argument. Of great importance to us here at SCOTUS Predictions is the latter case on Tuesday, October 2: Madison v. AlabamaMadison is on our shortlist of cases for selection, so if Madison were to be the case selected for our review, it will not be a tremendously long wait until we release our opinion.

Given that our entire mission is to select a case on the Court’s next term and issue an opinion before the Court does, we must be diligent in ensuring that we are not still authoring our opinion when the Court releases theirs for the selected case. As any Court-watcher knows, the public does not know when the Court will release its opinion for each argued case. However, in a report authored by Kedar Bhatia at SCOTUSBlog, the public can get a rough estimate of the span of time between each case’s Oral Argument and its issued Opinion.Read More »