The Supreme Court has no oral arguments scheduled this week. The only official activity on its calendar is its Conference scheduled for Friday, March 17. SCOTUSblog maintains a running list of petitions they are watching. Some of those petitions have been relisted, in some cases multiple times, meaning that they have been on the list for discussion at Conference repeatedly. Often, such a relist is a sign that the Court is seriously considering granting certiorari and/or that a justice is writing an opinion dissenting from the denial of certiorari. (Sometimes such an opinion never sees the light of day because the drafter is able to persuade enough justices to get the four votes needed for a cert grant.) Among the more interesting cases the Court is considering this week is Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In this case, the cake shop owner claims that being compelled by Colorado’s anti-discrimination law to make a cake for a same-sex wedding violates his religious belief and is unconstitutional compelled speech. The case has been relisted repeatedly, and at least one justice requested that the full record be sent to the Court. The New Yorker analyzed the case here.
One petition on the list for Friday has been getting some attention from the leftwing the blogosphere. It is a petition for a writ of mandamus seeks to nullify the results of the 2016 presidential election. Petitioners argue that purported Russian hacking into the presidential election constituted a foreign invasion sufficient to invoke Article IV, §4 of the Constitution which requires the federal government to protect states from foreign invasion. The chances of this petition being granted, however, are essentially nil, as this post explains.
Last week, Justice Ginsburg appeared at the Washington National Opera. As The Washington Post reported, it was “an iteration of what has become an established routine, now called ‘Justice at the Opera,’ that involves her giving some remarks, and making some jokes, while acting as a kind of emcee for opera arias and scenes relating, more or less, to legal matters. (On Thursday, the opening number, the scene from “Falstaff” in which two women get the same love letter from the same man, was offered as an example of mail fraud.)”
On Tuesday, the City Club of Cleveland will feature a panel titled “Advice and Dissent: Gorsuch and the Future of an Independent Supreme Court.” The event is open to the public and will discuss President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch following the Senate’s contentious decision to refuse hearings for President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.
On Wednesday, Justice Alito will be a featured speaker at an Advocati Cristi event at St. Paul Inside the Walls: The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard in Madison, New Jersey. The event is open to the public. SCOTUS Map lists this speaking event and others here.
Be sure to check in with http://blogs.kentlaw.iit.edu/iscotus/ in the middle of the week to see the latest news on Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.