In the latest issue of Supreme Court Brief, we reported on oral arguments in Kaley v. U.S., involving the use of frozen assets to pay for criminal defense. We also took note of recent recusals by the justices, and reported, exclusively, on the upcoming display of a portrait of all four female justices later this month at the National Portrait Gallery. The next edition of our newsletter focusing on the nation's highest court will be sent to subscribers on Monday.
A New York firm that specializes in financial services is looking
to bolster its appellate practice with the hiring of a Supreme Court advocate
for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Jeffrey Wall, an assistant to the Solicitor General who has argued
10 cases before the Supreme Court, is leaving to serve as one of the co-leaders
of Sullivan & Cromwell's appellate practice.
Wall will lead the practice with Palo Alto, Calif.-based partner
Brendan Cullen. It's not uncommon for lawyers to leave the SG's office to
take leadership roles in appellate practices. In August, Pratik Shah left
the Office of the Solicitor General to co-lead Akin Gump Strauss Hauer &
Feld's Supreme Court practice. Shah is working with Patricia Millett, a veteran
high court advocate. William Jay in September 2012 left the SG's office for
A life-sized painting of the Supreme Court’s four female justices is due to be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. on October 28 in an invitation-only ceremony that the entire court is expected to attend.
Renowned portraitist Nelson Shanks painted the work last year under commission from the gallery. His past subjects have included Bill Clinton, Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II and Luciano Pavarotti.
“It was a great opportunity to do a group portrait of four different personalities,” said Shanks in a phone interview. Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan participated in two sittings, one of which lasted more than four hours, Shanks said. With the frame, which was built this year, Shanks said the painting is "huge," measuring roughly 10 feet tall.
In the latest edition of Supreme Court Brief, our newsletter that focuses on the nation's highest court, we report on Tuesday's major oral arguments -- one a challenge to Michigan's ban on state affirmative action programs, and the other a jurisdictional test of the ability to hold companies such as DaimlerChrysler liable in U.S. courts for their role in human rights abuses abroad. We also have a profile of Matt Wessler of Public Justice, who argued in an ERISA case on Tuesday. Our next edition will go out to subscribers later today.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to wade into the tangled dispute over the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
The court agreed to hear six of nine challenges to the greenhouse regulations, and to limit the parties to answering a single question: “Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.”
The petitions challenged a 2012 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit broadly upholding the EPA's greenhouse gas regulations, which business advocates have criticized as a set of rules that could make small businesses, apartments, even individual homes, polluters under the law.
In Wednesday's Supreme Court Brief, we talked to lawyers whose cases are set for argument next week about how they prepared in light of the uncertainty caused by the government shutdown. Late Wednesday afternoon, the court let it be known that next week's arguments will take place as scheduled. We also reported briefly on Tuesday's highly technical arguments in a tax case and a civil procedure dispute. Next week, the subscription newsletter will publish Tuesday and Wednesday. The court will not be in session Monday because of the federal Columbus Day holiday.
Also, Justice Antonin Scalia's extraordinary interview in New York magazine this week has generated a lot of buzz for what he said about the devil, Duck Dynasty, and the "shrilly liberal" Washington Post. But in the newsletter we've highlighted portions of the interview that lawyers should know about, including his views on Supreme Court practitioners, law clerks, and originalism at Harvard Law School. Finally, court scholar Lisa McElroy makes a plea for the court to stay open next week in spite of the government shutdown.
In today's edition, sent to subscribers this afternoon, we'll report on today's oral arguments, and an important petition before the court on class action settlements.
The last government shutdown in 1996 had a "debilitating" effect on court operations, retired U.S. District Judge W. Royal Furgeson Jr. told lawmakers on Capitol Hill today. Testifying in Washington, Furgeson said the judiciary, already grappling with budget cuts from earlier this year, will find it “much more difficult” to cope if the shutdown continues.
Furgeson was part of a panel of lawyers speaking today before the House Judiciary Committee on the effects of the shutdown on the judiciary and access to justice. During the last shutdown, Furgeson, now the dean of UNT Dallas College of Law, said the courts felt the harm long after the impasse ended because of how much regular business was put on hold to plan for the shutdown.
The federal judiciary says it expects to be fully operational through October 15. As the shutdown continues with no end in sight, American Bar Association President James Silkenat told the House committee that "our concern for the judiciary grows every day."
The Supreme Court launched its new term on Monday, the first Monday in October, and Supreme Court Brief, NLJ's three-year-old subscription newsletter, covered it all. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. introduced the court's new clerk to the public, and the justices heard two oral arguments -- both of which seemed to leave the justices dissatisfied or at least uncertain about the outcome. We also have a feature story on Harvey Levin, the Illinois lawyer who is the named plaintiff in the age discrimination case Madigan v. Levin heard by the justices Monday.
The court also issued a 94-page list of orders, mostly listing the roughly 2,000 petitions in which it denied review. A story in the newsletter highlights key orders from the list. We also offer a need-to-read selection of links to court-related articles from other publications.
In Tuesday's edition, among other things, we'll report on arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, this term's campaign finance blockbuster case.
Captured: U.S. special forces on Saturday captured a man in Libya accused by the United States of involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, The Associated Pressreports. Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Abu Anas al-Libi, has been on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list since it was introduced shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Recalled: The U.S. Defense Department announced Saturday that it was bringing most of its civilian employees back to work, Reuters reports.
The Pentagon determined through a legal review of the Pay Our Military
Act, signed by President Barack Obama on Monday on the eve of the
shutdown, that the vast majority of its 350,000 civilian employees could
Committed: John Boehner, speaker of the U.S.
House of Representatives, said Sunday that he wouldn't support measures
to open the U.S. government or raise the debt ceiling without
concessions from Obama, The New York Times reports.