Scotus Tag

That question arises in Lane v. Franks, No. 13-483, a Supreme Court case in which IMLA and the International Public Management Association have now filed a brief.Supreme Court The Eleventh Circuit ruled that the termination did not trigger First-Amendment scrutiny:
No one disputes that Lane was acting pursuant to his official duties as CITY'S Director when he investigated Schmitz's work activities, spoke with Schmitz and other CACC officials about Schmitz's employment, and ultimately terminated Schmitz's employment. That Lane testified about his official activities pursuant to a subpoena and in the litigation context, in and of itself, does not bring Lane's speech within the protection of the First Amendment.

That is the question presented in SCOTUSblog's Petition of the Day.Supreme Court3 The Fourth Circuit ruled in Santos v. Frederick County Bd. of Comm'rs, 725 F.3d 451 (4th Cir. 2013), that
absent express direction or authorization by federal statute or federal officials, state and local law enforcement officers may not detain or arrest an individual solely based on known or suspected civil violations of federal immigration law.
Frederick County's cert petition argues that this creates a circuit split that the Court should resolve:

Congress grants a railroad a right-of-way across public land. RailroadROW The federal government then grants the land to a private landowner, who takes the parcel subject to the railroad right-of-way. The railroad later abandons the right-of-way. Does the right-of-way interest revert to the federal government? Or does the parcel owner gain full and unburdened rights to the property? This morning,  in Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, No. 12-1173, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that the federal government does not retain an interest in the abandoned right-of-way.  As Chief Justice Roberts explained,

This morning, the Supreme Court called for the views of the United States Solicitor General ("CVSG") on whether the Court should grant cert in Comptroller of the Treasury of Md v. Wynne, No. 13-485. The case concerns how the dormant commerce clause limits local taxation. The Court uses the CVSG procedure with respect to only about 10 petitions a year. It indicates at least some degree of interest: the chances of a cert-grant increase significantly in such cases. IMLA and its partners filed the only amicus brief in the case, which...

Some fun items about the Supreme Court. (1) The Supreme Court’s Best Writer Legal-writing guru Ross Guberman recently guest blogged at the Volokh Conspiracy. He’s the author of Point Made, which dissects appellate briefs from leading attorneys. He turned his attention to the Supreme Court’s best writers. Here’s his case for Chief Justice Roberts. And here’s his case for Justice Kagan. They’re both great picks.