Appellate Advocacy Blog

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

Friday, September 20, 2019

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup Friday, September 20


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 at[email protected] or a message on Twitter (@Daniel_L_Real). 

US Supreme Court Opinions and News:

The National Law Journal’s featured an article this week discussing Justice Neil Gorsuch’s new book, “A Republic, If You Can Keep It,” and his thoughts about judicial clerks for the Supreme Court.  In the book, Gorsuch recounts his time clerking for Justices Kennedy and White, as well as his advice for new clerks.  Gorsuch’s biggest piece of advice for new clerks:  “Rule No. 1:  Please, please don’t make stuff up.  And Rule No.2:  When all those people out there in the chattering classes beg you to make something up, . . . refer back to Rule No. 1 please.”  Gorsuch is currently on the road for a whistle stop book tour ahead of the Court’s new term next month.  More HERE.

New allegations concerning the prior conduct of Justice Kavanaugh have surfaced and been in the headlines this week.

There has been a good bit of recent discussion about the pros and cons of considering expanding (or “packing”) the Supreme Court to include more Justices.  This week, the New York Times weighed in with an opinion piece in favor of packing the Court.  More HERE.  

President Trump this week asked the Supreme Court to grant him more authority over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Under current structure, the director of the CFPB can be dismissed only for "inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office." The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to declare that an unconstitutional limitation on the president's power to remove the director as part of the executive branch. More HERE.


Federal Appellate Court Opinions and News:

In United States v. James, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week held that forced medication of mentally troubled criminal defendants to ensure competency to stand trial implicates protected liberty interests and that Due Process requires the State to satisfy the requisite legal test for compelling such medication by the standard of clear and convincing evidence, not just a preponderance. In so ruling, the Fifth Circuit joined nine other courts of appeals who have reached the same conclusion as to the appropriate standard of proof.  Opinion HERE.

Bloomberg Law had an article this week discussing a request made by Whole Foods Market Group Inc. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for “a strict jurisdictional rule to stop unnamed class members with no connection to the place where the lawsuit was filed from pursuing class claims for unpaid wages.”  The same issue is pending in cases before the Seventh and Fifth Circuits. If granted, this could cause a rollback of workers’ power to use class actions to accuse corporations of workplace law violations in cases currently pending before federal appeals courts.  More HERE.  

Appellate Practice Techniques and Tips:

#AppellateTwitter this week included a twitter thread discussing advice on generating more appellate practice business.  The thread is full of great thoughts and insights from members all across #AppellateTwitter.  The thread was started by twitter user Jimmy   Thread HERE.  

Blake Hawthorne, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Texas, has an online “Guide to Creating Electronic Appellate Briefs” that is full of tips and tools for using your word processor’s many features to create a more user-friendly and professional electronic brief.  Check out the guide HERE.

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