Appellate Advocacy Blog

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

Friday, August 23, 2019

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup August 23, 2019


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 Real a quick email or a message on Twitter (@Daniel_L_Real).  You can also send emails to Danny Leavitt at or a message on twitter @Danny_C_Leavitt

Supreme Court Opinions and News:

The Washington Post ran an article this week examining how differences between the presidential administrations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump are likely to be at the forefront of a number of high profile cases to appear on the Supreme Court's docket this fall.  Cases addressing issues like the current administration's efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and whether federal law prohibits discrimination against gay and transgender workers highlight the intersection of policy differences between the two administrations and the Court's view of the breadth of executive power.  More from the Washington Post HERE.


Federal Appellate Court Opinions and News:

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling this week could have significant impact on a very close presidential election.  In the case, the court ruled that presidential electors casting the actual Electoral College ballots for president and vice-president are not constrained to follow the results of the popular vote in their states and can, instead, cast their votes as they wish.  In the event of an apparent Electoral College tie, that would give a single elector the power to decide the outcome of the presidential election, without any regard to the popular vote wishes of his/her state.  The court ruled that because the Electoral College process is that voters casting votes in presidential races are actually casting votes for a slate of electors, once those electors are chosen and report they are actually performing a federal function and the state no longer has authority to mandate that the electors follow the popular vote.  More from NBC News HERE.

State Appellate Court Opinions and News:

Although it is not in the state appellate court yet, California's recent legislation requiring candidates for president to disclose income tax returns in order to appear on the state's presidential primary ballot will surely end up there sooner, rather than later.  The bill was signed into law by California's governor on Tuesday, and there has already been a lawsuit filed challenging its Constitutionality.  Noted Constitutional and Supreme Court experts like Erwin Chemerinsky and Ted Olson have expressed divergent opinions on the potential Constitutionality of the measure.  More from the LA Times HERE.

Appellate Practice Tips and Pointers:

On SCOTUSblog, the SCOTUStalk feature this week featured Amy Howe's continued series of interviews of Supreme Court advocates.  In this week's episode, she interviewed advocate William M. Jay about his career arguing 17 cases before the Court and his thoughts on effective oral advocacy.  The episode is HERE.

#AppellateTwitter was the focus of a social media article in early July in the ABA Journal.  The article noted how "#AppellateTwitter lawyers chat, help one another and even develop business" and noted that "[t]here's almost nothing that can't be discussed on #AppellateTwitter, it's open 24/7, and lawyers can visit in their bathrobe or gym shorts."  The article is HERE.

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