Elie Mystal on the Chief Justice

Here is “John Roberts, Silent During The Garland Process, Suddenly Worries About Partisanship.” An excerpt: When Mitch McConnell decided that black presidents only get to be president for seven years and refused to hold a hearing on Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, there was only one man in the country who could have …

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When “Legal Technicalities” Matter

“First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” This line from Shakespeare’s Henry VI reflects a popular sentiment toward lawyers who make the simple complex for their own interest. Only lawyers would take such a technically highfalutin’ issue such as this to the highest court in the land: Whether 20 U.S.C. 1415(l) requires petitioners …

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Takeaways from the Bryant Decision

As observers might have predicted from the oral argument in United States v. Bryant (opinion here), the government’s victory was not surprising. Of course, even a few years ago, this outcome was far from a foregone conclusion, as the 2005 Canby-Washburn-Sands debates in the Federal Sentencing Reporter suggested. A few takeaways: 1. Remarkable that the Court heaps …

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Judge Garland’s Indian Law Record

President Obama is expected to announce D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court. Judge Garland has a very limited record on Indian law issues. He was on the panel that decided Ramapough Mountain Indians v. Norton, an unsigned per curiam decision from 2001, that affirmed the Interior Department’s decision not to acknowledge the Ramapough …

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The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision

Benjamin I. Sachs, a law professor at Harvard University, notes that while federal law lets union members prevent the use of their dues for political purposes, shareholders do not have similar rights. “If we’re going to say that collectives have speech rights, then we should treat unions and corporations the same,” Sachs told me. Employees …

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