Saturday, October 9, 2021
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
The 2021-22 term began this week, and the Supreme Court held in-person oral argument for the first time since the pandemic closure in May 2020, over 19 months ago. The Court will hear a few interesting and anticipated issues this term. Sources reporting on reopening, the resumption of in-person oral argument, and this term’s agenda include AP News, Reuters, NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the NYT’s The Daily.
The Court’s shadow docket remains in the news and Professor Steve Vladeck has been the primary source. He spoke with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, appeared before the senate to offer testimony on the issue, including how it relates to the Texas abortion ban, and spoke at an event hosted by Notre Dame Law School, titled “Clearing Up Some Misconceptions About the Supreme Court’s Shadow Docket — and Its Critics.”
Appellate Court Opinions and News
The controversial Texas abortion ban was blocked and then reinstated this week. The Texas law bans most abortions after about 6-weeks, making abortion virtually impossible in Texas. Judge Pitman of the District Court for the Western District of Texas blocked the ban, recognizing the deprivation of a constitutionally protected right. Judge Pitman wrote: “[T]here can be no question that [the law] operates as a ban on pre-viability abortions in contravention of Roe v. Wade, and ‘equates to a near categorical ban on abortions beginning six weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period, before many women realize they are pregnant, and months before fetal viability.’” He ends the opinion by finding that “[f]rom the moment [the Texas law] went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution. That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is theirs to decide; this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.” See Judge Pitman’s decision and reports on the decision from NPR, Reuters, The New York Times, APNews, the Austin American Statesman, and The Washington Post.
Late Friday, the Fifth Circuit stayed Judge Pitman’s order.
The Advocate’s Society, Appellate Advocacy Practice Group: Networking Launch, is offering an online program titled “Dirty Tricks of Appellate Advocacy?” on October 26.