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Meanwhile Manafort . . .

The indictment and early morning arrest of Roger Stone overshadowed Paul Manafort’s appearance in a DC courtroom yesterday. Manafort chose not to be there but judge Amy Berman Jackson insisted he attend the hearing over his lack of cooperation with the Special Counsel.

Leaning heavily on a cane as he walked into the courtroom, his hair a bit more gray, Manafort is looking old and tired.

The hearing will continue next week but under seal, behind closed doors so no sketches. However, on Tuesday Roger Stone will be at the DC courthouse for arraignment, and I wouldn’t want to miss that.

 

A Quiet January Sitting Wrap Up

January has been a bit of a snooze at the Supreme Court but I did get to learn about the Dormant Commerce Clause ( Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers v. Blair ).

There was plenty of other news from the Court today: cert denial in a school prayer case, cert granted in a Second Amendment case to be heard next term, stay grants in a pair of transgender cases, and action on the Mueller mystery grand jury subpoena. But from the bench just one 9-0 opinion from Justice Thomas in a patent case.

Below are some sketches from some of last week’s arguments and opinions. Fingers crossed that Justice Ginsburg will be back on the bench after the mid-winter break.

 

Missing Justice Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg was absent from the bench this week, recovering from recent surgery. She will continue to work from home next week, participating in the cases argued through transcripts and the briefs. Her odds of making a full recovery are good, and I’m looking forward to seeing her back on the bench for the February sitting.

No blockbusters this week. I sketched three of the arguments, one each day. Monday’s focused on whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies to law firms acting as “debt collector” in nonjudicial foreclosures; exciting stuff.

Of more interest, at least to this sketch artist, and something I could make into a SCOTUSblog banner was Tuesday’s Indian treaty argument.

Several members of the Crow Tribe were present in the courtroom to for the arguments in Herrera v. Wyoming.

Interesting that Samuel Enemy-Hunter, pictured here in the right background, was allowed to wear tribal head-dress in the courtroom while in November, when Carpenter v. Murphy was argued, court personnel made an official of the Muscogee Creek Nation remove his.

And finally, I had no idea that Wednesday’s argument, Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, was such a big deal but evidently for constitution nerds, whom I admire, this case is their meat and potatoes.