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The Cockle Bur Blog

Legal minds on legal matters and whatever else strikes our fancy.

21 Oct, 2019

The Supreme Court’s Role in Trump’s Impending Impeachment

2019-10-21T14:17:33+00:00October 21st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

A complaint from an intelligence community whistleblower last month led to reports that focused on interactions between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During their call, Trump is alleged to have repeatedly pressed the Ukrainian government to investigate political rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, who served as director of a Ukrainian energy [...]

10 Oct, 2019

Supreme Court Appears Divided Over LGBTQ Employment Law

2019-10-10T17:18:53+00:00October 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Supreme Court appeared to be closely divided after hearing two hours of oral argument this week in three LGBTQ federal law cases.  Two of those cases, No. 17-1618, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and No. 17-1623, Bostock v. Clayton County, ask whether a worker can be fired based on their sexual orientation. The third, No. 18-107, R.G. & [...]

9 Oct, 2019

Supreme Court Gives Lawyers Two Uninterrupted Minutes

2019-10-09T14:20:28+00:00October 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

  Starting Monday, attorneys who appear before the Court are allotted two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of oral argument.  It may not seem like much, but those familiar with recent trends recognize it as a significant departure from longstanding courtroom procedure. Today’s Supreme Court is known as a “hot bench,” wherein some [...]

6 Sep, 2019

Justice Kavanaugh’s First Year Impact

2019-09-06T17:00:20+00:00September 6th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Last September, 20 million people watched a combative Brett Kavanaugh defend himself and his judicial record during a contentious week of confirmation hearings.  The Senate ultimately confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a 50-48 vote, largely split down party lines. With Kavanaugh’s second term set to begin October 1, we take a look at [...]

5 Sep, 2019

Law Clerks Prepare “Long Conference” Denials

2019-09-05T14:42:41+00:00September 5th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

The Supreme Court will return October 1 to a backload of approximately 1,800 petitions that have piled up over the summer.  Almost every one of them will be denied.  Also known as the “Long Conference,” the Justices’ first meeting after summer recess is particularly brutal for cert. seekers who filed a petition in the preceding [...]

9 Aug, 2019

Supreme Court Sets Sights on Guns

2019-08-09T20:34:28+00:00August 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

After mass shootings in Texas and Ohio earlier this month, public pressure to reform gun laws has been largely focused on Congress and the President.  However, the Supreme Court appears poised to address two significant Second Amendment issues for the first time in a decade. Petition Stage: Sandy Hook Victims No. 19-168; Remington Arms v. [...]

10 Jul, 2019

Stat Pack Released with Term in Rearview

2019-07-10T21:14:37+00:00July 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

SCOTUSblog released its annual Stat Pack for the October Term 2018 last week—an invaluable resource for the Supreme Court community.  You can access the Stat Pack in full, here.  SCOTUSblog’s Adam Feldman provided such a well written summary that I want to quote entirely from his piece here.  Please read the original in full: Adam [...]

1 Jul, 2019

Amicus Curiae Dos and Don’ts

2019-10-18T18:32:49+00:00July 1st, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Amicus curiae briefs can play an important role in Supreme Court advocacy by bringing relevant facts and argument to the Court’s attention that the parties have not addressed.  Therefore, Amici have a unique opportunity to shape the outcome of a decision. The incidence of Amicus curiae participation in the Supreme Court has increased dramatically over [...]