Here are some legal trends and trivia from this week:
• 💉Justice Neil Gorsuch called COVID emergency orders among “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country.” Justice Gorsuch suggests two lessons: “One lesson might be this: Fear and the desire for safety are powerful forces….[And secondly, the] concentration of power in the hands of so few may be efficient and sometimes popular. But it does not tend toward sound government….Decisions produced by those who indulge no criticism are rarely as good as those produced after robust and uncensored debate.” Gorsuch concludes: “Make no mistake—decisive executive action is sometimes necessary and appropriate. But if emergency decrees promise to solve some problems, they threaten to generate others. And rule by indefinite emergency edict risks leaving all of us with a shell of a democracy and civil liberties just as hollow.”
• 👉You don’t have to make a posttrial motion to preserve issues you lost in an MSJ, says unanimous SCOTUS decision in Dupree v. Younger
• 💡Justice Bedsworth on citing unpublished cases: “unpublished federal authority is citable. Whether it will do you a lot of good is another matter.”
• 🤚Ninth Circuit Reinstates Challenge to State’s Loyalty Oath.
• ⏲️Eighty percent of Supreme Court arguments went over their allotted time this term, for an average of nearly 30 additional minutes.
• 🎉May judges attend law firm parties? California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions has a draft formal opinion addressing whether a judicial officer may attend a celebration hosted by a law firm. Comment: Some people won’t be happy until we make judges live in a soundproof booth.