Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Friday, February 9, 2018

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup February 9, 2018


Each week, the Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup presents a few tidbits of news and Twitter posts from the past week concerning appellate advocacy. As always, if you see something during the week that you think we should be sure to include, feel free to send Dan a quick email or a message on Twitter (@Daniel_L_Real).

Supreme Court Opinions and News:

The topic of gerrymandering considers to be on the radar of the Supreme Court.  As the Washington Post reports, opponents of gerrymandering keep winning in the lower courts, but aren't seeing any immediate impact.  While challenges to gerrymandering have been successful in federal courts in Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, and while those lower courts have ordered new voting districts be drawn and in place for the 2018 elections, the Supreme Court has "stopped them all."  The Supreme Court has taken gerrymandering cases on its docket, and has stayed several lower court orders, and it is likely that districts won't be redrawn before the 2018 elections.  For more, see this Wall Street Journal article about the challenge to Pennsylvania's districts.

In United States v. Microsoft Corp., the Supreme Court will address whether a United States provider of email services must comply with a probable-cause-based warrant issued under 18 U.S.C. 2703 by making disclosure in the United States of electronic communications within that provider's control, even if those materials are stored abroad.  The case presents an interesting intersection of "[o]ld laws, new technology, and national borders."  At SCOTUSBlog, Amy Howe wrote about the case this week and how the Stored Communications Act, passed in 1986, was likely passed without Congress ever considering the core issue of the case.  As technology continues to evolve, application of older communications laws becomes increasingly challenging.

Federal Appellate Court Opinions and News:

Late last year, allegations of inappropriate sexual comments or behavior were raised against former 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski.  Kozinski retired soon thereafter, but the chief judge of the 9th Circuit initiated a complaint against Kozinski under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act and asked the Judicial Council to investigate. This week, it was reported that the Judicial Council has determined that it lacks authority to conduct such an investigation because of Kozinski's retirement.  The Council indicated that it was requesting that it was "requesting that its order be forwarded 'to any relevant congressional committee for their information' and to all other judicial councils."

Practice Tips and Pointers:

Bryan Garner recently published an article in the ABAJournal titled, "Writing vs. Good Writing: Make the languorous doldrums of reading disappear." In the article, he explores the importance of making a conscious effort to write so that the product does not bore the reader.


Appellate Job Postings:

In case you missed it, #AppellateTwitter's Chief Judge Stephen Dillard of the Court of Appeals of Georgia noted on Twitter earlier this week that "there is still time to apply for a summer internship in [his] chambers."

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