You go on vacation for a little more than a week and ... wait for it ... nothing happens.
Yep. You'd think, with the end of the October Term, that there'd be some titillating opinions, such as Noel Canning, McCutcheon, or Town of Greece, but um, there was a railroad right-of-way case and some notable denials.
Sorry about that. We'll tell RBG to speed things up a bit next time we're in D.C. (And no, Erwin Chemerinsky, she's still not retiring. Ever.) Until then, here are a few snippets of SCOTUS goodness to tide you over:
N.J.: Guns and Gambling
New Jersey's attorneys have been busy lately, with two hot-button issues headed for certiorari consideration. There's the concealed carry of firearms case, which has a pretty significant circuit split with the Ninth Circuit. New Jersey, which is a "may issue" state (in order to get a permit, one must demonstrate need), is asking the Court not to take the case, reports the Star-Ledger.
We wouldn't be surprised if they get their wish. Not only has the Court repeatedly punted on gun cases since Heller and McDonald, but the Ninth Circuit is almost certain to come calling soon. It's also possible that the Court could hold the New Jersey case in order to hear both at once.
And while New Jersey is hoping that the Supreme Court holds off on guns, it really wants the Court to grant cert. in its sports betting case, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Local officials used March Madness to highlight the amount of revenue Atlantic City and other venues would rake in, should the Court rule in the state's favor.
Hurles Is Still On Hold
Speaking of holding cases, The Associated Press notes that the Richard Hurles case has been on the agenda for all 15 conferences since late September, with no resolution or reason given for the delay. The Court usually isn't this shy about denying a death penalty appeal.
The issue in Hurles' case is the alleged bias of now-retired Judge Ruth Hilliard, who denied him a second attorney during his initial trial for the brutal murder and attempted rape of a librarian in 1992. Hurles' attorneys also argued that Judge Hilliard had inappropriate contact with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The Ninth Circuit ordered a lower court to take a closer look at the case and whether Hilliard's pre-trial actions showed bias.
Anita Hill Documentary
Last on our list is the soon-to-be-released documentary "Anita," which chronicles Anita Hill's role in Justice Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearings, as well as her efforts since to help women "find their voices."
According to The New York Times, the documentary explores the controversial hearings, the sexual harassment reform efforts that followed, as well as the support for and attacks on Anita Hill herself. The film opens in select theaters Friday.
- James Holmes Takes Reporter Shield Battle to Supreme Court (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Gun Owners File Emergency Application for Injunction Pending Appeal (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- SCOTUS Snippets: Stats, Forecasts, Scalia Speaks, a Belated Birthday Wish (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)