Friday, January 24, 2020
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 a quick note to either (1) Dan Real at DReal@Creighton.edu or on Twitter (@Daniel_L_Real) or (2) Catharine Du Bois at DuBoisLegalWriting@gmail.com or on Twitter @CLDLegalWriting.
US Supreme Court Opinions and News:
- This week, the Supreme Court issued an order denying motions to fast-track consideration of petitions filed by the US House of Representatives concerning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
- SCOTUSblog Coverage: https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/01/court-will-not-fast-track-aca-petitions/
- This week, the Court heard arguments in a case implicating the line separating church and state. At issue in the case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, is a Montana state constitutional amendment that bars direct and indirect taxpayer aid to religious institutions, including religious schools. Montana is one of 38 states with a similar “no-aid” provision, and conservative religious groups and advocates of school choice who are challenging the provision are hoping the Court’s eventual decision could have far-reaching consequences.
Federal Appellate Court Opinions and News:
- This week, an en banc panel of 16 judges in the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments in a case brought by Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, and individual plaintiffs, who allege the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional, the first time a state has brought suit against the federal government over the Act’s constitutionality.
- Native American Rights Fund page about the case: https://www.narf.org/cases/brackeen-v-bernhardt/
- Reflections on the oral argument: https://turtletalk.blog/2020/01/24/reflections-on-oral-argument-in-brackeen-v-bernhardt/
- Last week, in the Third Circuit, a prosecutor began oral argument in a case the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had appealed to challenge the trial court’s grant of habeas relief for ineffective assistance of trial counsel by telling the court that he no longer believed that the trial court had committed error and that he did not want to waste the court’s time making an argument that he no longer felt good about.
- Blog post about the argument with links to the district court opinion and order: http://ca3blog.com/cases/in-dramatic-third-circuit-argument-prosecutor-concedes-relief-in-death-penalty-case/
Appellate Practice Techniques and Tips:
- On #AppellateTwitter, Sara Warf (https://twitter.com/SaraBWarf), a Law Professor at North Carolina Law, started a discussion about best tips on preparation and delivery of oral arguments.
- Also on #AppellateTwitter, Anne Voigts (https://twitter.com/AnneVoigts), an appellate lawyer, started a discussion about common flaws in legal writing that new lawyers should seek to avoid.
AppellateTwitter Job Postings:
- The US Department of Treasury is seeking an appellate attorney in the Litigation Division of the Office of General Counsel. The successful applicant will serve as a senior attorney representing the Commission in a variety of matters in federal appellate courts.