Wednesday round-up
By: James Romoser
on August 26, 2020 at 11:00 am
Publication: SCOTUSblog

Wednesday round-up

The federal government is scheduled to proceed Wednesday with the execution of Lezmond Mitchell after the Supreme Court, on Tuesday night, denied two emergency requests from Mitchell to halt the execution. Amy Howe reports for SCOTUSblog (in a story first published at Howe on the Court) that the execution will make Mitchell “the fourth federal inmate executed this year after nearly two decades in which the federal government did not carry out the death penalty.”

Also on Tuesday, the court declined to intervene in a Montana dispute over whether Green Party candidates will be listed on the state’s November ballot, CNN’s Dan Berman and Caroline Kelly report. Montana’s secretary of state had filed an emergency request seeking the court’s intervention, but Justice Elena Kagan (who receives emergency appeals from that area of the country) denied the request without referring it to the full court.


  • Reuters released the second part in its data-driven investigation on qualified immunity, the controversial legal doctrine created by the Supreme Court that is invoked in many lawsuits against police officers and other government officials. The investigation — by Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jackie Botts and Jaimi Dowdell — finds “wide regional disparities” in how often courts grant qualified immunity to police officers accused of excessive force.
  • Just Security continues its series analyzing the court’s 2019-20 term with an article by Gerald Neuman on Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam. Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion, Neuman argues, “not only rewrote and marginalized prior precedent on habeas corpus, but reached out to decide an important procedural due process issue that his own analysis had rendered irrelevant.”
  • At the National Law Journal, Tony Mauro interviews a recent clerk for Justice Neil Gorsuch about how clerks adapted to the changed working environment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • At the National Law Review, Meghan Smith examines a pending cert petition in Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association v. Ross, which involves President Barack Obama’s designation of a section of the Atlantic Ocean as a marine national monument. The case “could have big implications for parties that have an interest in the development or protection of the seafloors surrounding the United States — environmentalists and industry actors alike,” Smith writes.

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