Appellate Advocacy Blog

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

Friday, May 20, 2022

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup Friday, May 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 a quick note to either (1) Dan Real at or on Twitter @Daniel_L_Real or (2) Catharine Du Bois at or on Twitter @CLDLegalWriting.

Supreme Court News and Opinions:

On Monday, the Court issued its decision in Patel v. Garland, an immigration removal case in which Petitioner, who had been in the country for nearly 30 years, applied for an adjustment of status seeking lawful permanent residency.  Petitioner had misrepresented his citizenship status when checking a box on an application for a driver's license, and despite his assertions that he had mistakenly checked the box and had not intentionally misrepresented his status, immigration officials and the lower courts denied relief.  In its decision, the Court held that federal courts are without jurisdiction to review factual findings of the immigration court, regardless of how clearly erroneous the findings might be.  Justice Barrett wrote for the majority and was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kavanaugh, Alito, and Thomas.  Justice Gorsuch wrote a dissent, joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, in which he emphasized that the Court's decision removes a safeguard for noncitizens and adopts a rationale that not even the government was willing to advance, relying on arguments presented only by an amicus.

On Monday, the Court issued its opinion in FEC v. Cruz, striking down a federal campaign-finance law limiting when and how candidates can use post-election contributions to repay loans that they made to their own campaigns pre-election.  The Court upheld a lower court ruling that the law limiting candidates to only using up to $250,000 for such purposes was unconstitutional.

Federal Appellate Court News and Opinions:

On Monday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in a case concerning an Iowa law banning Iowa school districts from issuing mask mandates.  The court lifted an earlier court order blocking the state law, ruling that the order had become moot because of lower coronavirus transmission rates and wider availability of vaccines.  The opinion emphasized that the law banning mandates was not applicable if a school district needed to mandate masks to comply with another federal or state law.  The suit arose when a group of parents of students with disabilities filed suit as students returned to school at the beginning of the last school year amid rising coronavirus cases, challenging the law banning mandates that the parents asserted were needed as an accommodation for the students with disabilities under federal law.

State Appellate Court News and Opinions:


Appellate Advocacy Tips and Tricks:

The ABA published an article in February titled, "Top Tips for Top-Notch Oral Argument Answers."  The article was authored by Robert Montgomery, the Director of Upper Level Writing at the Campbell University School of Law.  HT to Daniel Schramm

Appellate Jobs:

The Supreme Court is taking applications for a Deputy Legal Counsel position, a full-time position in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Supreme Court of the United States, for an initial appointment period of two years.  Closing date for applications is Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

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