Appellate Advocacy Blog

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

Friday, July 20, 2018

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup July 20, 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:

Most of the SCOTUS news this past week has centered around commentary on President Trump's pick to replace Justice Kennedy, Brett Kavanaugh.  A variety of articles have discussed his past commentary and opinions to gauge his likely leaning on a variety of important topics that will likely come before the Court and potentially turn on his vote.

The Washington Post had an article addressing the topic that has garnered the most coverage -- abortion rights -- as well as some other topics.  The article focused on Kavanaugh's judicial heroes tending to be more conservative than Justice Kennedy was, like late Chief Justice Rehnquist and late Justice Scalia.

Bloomberg had an article addressing the subject of how Kavanaugh might lean on the question of whether the Court would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.  Democrats have largely argued that Kavanaugh's past commentary clearly indicates that he would "protect" President Trump from the investigation.  The article, however, suggests that the uniqueness of the current investigation makes it difficult to judge how to apply Kavanaugh's previous statements about indictments of sitting presidents.

Federal Appellate Court Opinions and News:

This week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied rehearing en banc of a decision in which a panel of the court held that Title VII does no apply to protect gay and lesbian individuals from discrimination based on their sexual preference.  Judge Rosenbaum penned a strident dissent from the denial of en banc hearing, noting that other circuits have very recently granted en banc hearing on the issue and noting that the panel's decision on the merits was based on nearly 40-year-old precedent whose continuing validity is questionable.  

This week, a vote was scheduled on one of President Trump's nominees for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Ryan Bounds.  On Thursday, though, the nomination was withdrawn shortly before the scheduled vote, after Republican Senator Tim Scott indicated that he would not vote to support Bounds without gathering further information about racially charged language Bounds had used in op-eds he wrote as an undergraduate student.  Scott indicated that Senator Marco Rubio shared his concerns.  The nomination had garnered some controversy prior because the vacant seat was "unofficially" designated for judges from Oregon, and Bounds's nomination moved ahead over the objections from both of Oregon's Democratic senators.

Practice tips and pointers:

Practice tips and pointers this week come courtesy of "Practice Tuesday."  On Twitter, the weekly #PracticeTuesday thread this week was about using facts persuasively.  A wealth of great thoughts and tips are in that thread.  In addition, this week's post on the Practice Tuesday Blog was a guest post from Professor Danielle Tully of Suffolk University's Legal Practice Program titled, "What's the Story."  That post was all about effective use of storytelling.

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