Weekly Roundup—October 7, 2016

Did you miss your Supreme Court news this week? Let our Weekly Roundup help. (To stay on top of the latest Supreme Court happenings, follow @ISCOTUS on Twitter.)

Starting off this week, the Supreme Court denied a request from the Obama Administration to rehear United States v. Texas. This case involves challenge to President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (DAPA). The program was designed to assure certain categories of undocumented immigrants that they would not be deported in the near term. The Court heard the case last term, but the justices ended up divided 4-4, thereby keeping in place a federal district court’s nationwide injunction putting DAPA on hold (an injunction that a federal appeals court upheld). Adam Liptak of the New York Times notes that this is just one of over 1,000 cases the Court has turned down over this past summer. As is its custom, the Court offered no reasons for these decisions.

Tuesday was the first day of oral argument in the new Term. The first case heard, Bravo-Fernandez v. United States, involves the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Bloomberg reports the defendants faced a “hot bench” from the eight-justice Court during oral argument. The Court also heard arguments in Shaw v. United States, a case involving bank fraud. Justice Breyer made headlines when he analogized the case to the recent high-profile robbing of Kim Kardashian. He stated that the logic of Shaw’s argument is akin to saying that robbery of insured items is not actually theft. According to CNN, Breyer “used the reality TV star’s robbery as a teachable moment for” the petitioner’s counsel.

ISCOTUS Co-Director and Chicago-Kent Professor Carolyn Shapiro was featured in ACS Blog this week. She discussed the impact of Justice Scalia’s death on how the court will view class-action lawsuits. In recent years the court has been hostile against class action plaintiffs, with many cases decided with a 5-4 majority opinion written by Scalia.  The court is going to hear an upcoming suit, Microsoft Corp. v. Baker. The decision on this case will give us a clue as to whether a post-Scalia Court will chart a new course when it comes to class action suits.  

And finally, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in the news this week promoting her new book, “My Own Words,” and discussing everything from retirement to Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. In the Washington Post, Robert Barnes reports on an event at Georgetown where Ginsburg insisted that a lawsuit trying to force the Senate to act on Garland’s nomination would do no good, but senators should “recognize that a president is elected for four years not three.” As many discussions surround vacancies on the Court, some are asking if 83-year-old Ginsburg is next to consider retirement. NPR reports that “she didn’t sound like a woman eager to retire.” In a review of her new book, USA Today Supreme Court reporter Richard Wolf writes: “What emerges is not a portrait of a take-no-prisoners advocate but a strategic legal plotter who understands how to bring her audience around to her point of view.”

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