This Week’s SCOTUS Sketches

Monday was patent day at the Supreme Court with arguments in two cases, Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group and SAS Institute Inc. v. Matal, related to a provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act aimed at keeping patent troll lawsuits out of court.

 

Wednesday’s argument, Carpenter v. United Stateswas a biggie on cellphone search warrants.

 

 

 

 

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Benghazi Trial Goes To The Jury

A DC jury is to begin deliberations Monday after seven weeks of hearing evidence and arguments in the trial of accused Benghazi master mind Ahmed Abu Khattala. He faces 18 charges including murder and conspiracy for the September 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in which Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and aide Sean Smith were killed.

I only attended the first day of trial where I sketched opening statements and the first witness, Ambassador Stevens’ bodyguard Scott Wickland (the caption on my sketch is misspelled). Too bad because from what I’ve read it was a fascinating trail. You can read about it here.

Another Lybian charged in the attack, Mustafa al-Imam, was recently captured by U.S. Special Ops and appeared before a judge in the same courthouse earlier this month.

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Another Manafort Monday

Well, only one of these sketches is from today’s bail review hearing, the other two are from last Thursday.

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Manafort Monday

Word got out over the weekend that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation had yielded at least one indictment, and that an arrest and court appearance were imminent, so Monday morning the media descended on the DC federal courthouse.

It wasn’t long before we learned that Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his business partner Rick Gates, were going to appear before magistrate judge Deborah Robinson later that afternoon.

Manafort and Gates appeared to be handcuffed as they entered the courtroom, both with their hands behind their backs, but in fact the cuffs had just been removed before they came in.

Manafort and Gates are due back in court tomorrow, Thursday.

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Two SCOTUS Arguments

Last Wednesday’s sketches of arguments in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense

 

and Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC.

 

 

 

 

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SCOTUS Is Back

With the first Monday in October the Supreme Court began a new term, now with a full bench.

I missed Monday’s sitting because I was instead sent to sketch opening statements in the trial of accused Benghazi mastermind Ahmed Abu Khatallah. But the first big argument, a gerrymandering case concerning Wisconsin’s electoral district map, came on Tuesday.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger even showed up for the gerrymandering argument !

 

Wednesday’s first argument, District of Columbia v. Wesby, was about whether police had probable cause to arrest partygoers using a vacant home. The house party in question, organized by someone named Peaches, was described as “raucous” and included “stripping, drinking, and marijuana smoking.”

 

The facts behind the case made for an entertaining argument. We even learned a little bit about Justice Kagan’s younger days.

Justice Kagan: . . .there are these parties that, once long ago, I used to be invited to -­ where you didn’t -­ don’t know the host, but you know Joe is having a party. And can I say that long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties?

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Senator Menendez Trial Begins

In Newark yesterday for opening statements in the bribery trial of senator Bob Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen.

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Conclusion Of Penn State Frat Death Hearing

Magistrate District Judge Allen Sinclair yesterday dismissed most of the more serious charges against eighteen members of the Penn State Beta Theta Pi fraternity related to the hazing death of pledge Timothy Piazza. Fourteen still face trial on the remaining charges. District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said she would refile manslaughter and assault charges.

 

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Continuing Beta Theta Pi Preliminary Hearing

Back in Bellefonte last week for two more days of preliminary hearing into the death of Penn State frat house pledge Timothy Piazza. Not an easy assignment. Not because of the challenge of drawing the ornate courtroom crowded with multiple defendants – eighteen charged, I think, though not all were present – and their lawyers, rather because of the anguish, and anger, and grief that were not just present but displayed and expressed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June End Of Term Sketches

June is when the Supreme Court releases the last of its opinions in cases argued earlier during the term, especially the harder to decide cases. This term big news on the last day was about a case yet to be argued, when the Court agreed to hear Trump’s travel ban in the next term.

In other Supreme Court news, after announcing the disposition of the remaining cases, and other housekeeping matters, the Chief Justice noted the retirement of Lyle Denniston, a veteran of nearly 60 years covering the Court and known as the dean of the Supreme Court press.

Here are some sketches from the Court’s June opinions. More June sketches are on my online archives.

Chief Justice Roberts announcing disposition of the term’s remaining cases, as well as the travel ban.

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