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This Week’s SCOTUS Sketches

The Supreme Court heard arguments in four cases this week ( Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ), three of which I sketched.

Tuesday’s argument in Dalmazzi v. United States was a fairly esoteric, at least to me, discussion on military judges serving simultaneously on two courts. The question of whether the Supreme Court even has jurisdiction over executive branch military courts was also raised.

First up on Wednesday was Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, about overtime pay for service advisors at car dealerships. Exciting, I know. But one thing did make it a bit more interesting to draw, a pair of sign-language interpreters were present for the swearing in of members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association. Members of that bar were also able to follow the arguments on handheld devices.

More lively and interesting was Wednesday’s second case, and the last argument of the January sitting, McCoy v. Louisiana, in which death row inmate Robert McCoy argues that he should get a new trial because his own lawyer told jurors he was guilty.

First Opinion And Two Arguments

On Tuesday Justice Ginsburg announced the first opinion of the Court in a double-jeopardy case, Bravo-Fernandez v. U.S., argued on the first day of the term. Ginsburg spoke at length despite a severe hoarseness that made it hard to understand, and naturally that led to some speculation about her health. Once the argument got under way, though, she participated as vigorously as usual.

The Court heard three arguments this week, only two of which I sketched. Tuesday’s case, Moore v. Texaswas about the standard used to determine if a Texas death row inmate is too intellectually disabled to be executed.

Wednesday’s immigrant detention argument in Jennings v. Rodriguez pitted the plenary powers doctrine (I had to look that up) versus judicial review.

. . . and outside the it was a very soggy couple of days . . .