The Trump administration said it will ask the Supreme Court to reinstate a death sentence for one of the Boston Marathon bombers, and the administration also filed a cert petition in a case involving President Donald Trump’s practice of blocking people on Twitter. In the Boston bombing case, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department plans to ask the Supreme Court to review a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit that vacated the death penalty for Dzkokhar Tsarnaev, Michael Balsamo and Alanna Durkin Richer report. Tsarnaev and his brother were convicted of placing homemade bombs near the finish of the 2013 Boston Marathon. In the Twitter case, the Justice Department wants the court to review a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that said Trump violates the First Amendment when he blocks his critics from following him on the social media platform, the Wall Street Journal’s Jess Bravin reports. For other noteworthy recent petitions, see the Petitions of the Week column from SCOTUSblog’s Andrew Hamm.
- The National Law Journal’s Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro report on two new hires at the Office of the Solicitor General: Curtis Gannon as a career deputy and Hashim Mooppan as counselor to the solicitor general. “[T]he prevailing explanation is that the burgeoning caseload at the office (including so-called ‘shadow docket’ stay applications, emergency filings and the like) necessitated more on staff,” Coyle and Mauro write.
- In the ABA Journal, Mark Walsh adds to the chorus of commentary on the court’s shadow docket, which “has attracted growing scrutiny recently as President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly filed applications with the high court seeking emergency relief on a range of matters.” Walsh explains how the court is using the shadow docket to handle emergency requests on the coronavirus pandemic, election issues and Trump administration policies.
- The blog of Burnham & Borokhov, PLLC, analyzes the petitioner’s opening brief and the arguments of several amicus briefs in Van Buren v. United States, a case pending at the Supreme Court involving the interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Justice Department had already filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to review the Tsarnaev ruling. The department plans to file a petition but has not yet done so.
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