Wednesday, January 17

Since the blog is almost exclusively for the benefit of my students, I take a break from keeping up with it when the Court is in session but GW classes are not and students are not around.  Which is why there’s been no post about the first set of January cases.  But the two cases on January 17 are worth noting:

Encino Motorcars v. Navarro is an issue of statutory construction, in the context of employee rights to overtime pay. The same case was before the Supreme Court in 2016, but the only issue was the deference given to the Department of Labor’s interpretation of the statute.  Judicial deference to administrative agencies is of particular importance and interest, especially since the new administration came to power.  But that part of the case is resolved, and now the Court deals only with how courts should interpret the statutory language.  Scotusblog has a useful overview, with an interesting discussion of the briefing itself.

For the next case, McCoy v. Louisiana, I will also rely on the good work from Scotusblog, this time going so far as to let the title of their article convey what the case is about:  When a defendant in a capital case says “not guilty,” can his attorney say “guilty”?

[After today, the Court next hears argument on February 20.  Previews of those cases to come in early February.]