Could the third time be the charm? Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari filed in May 2014 by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (Texas DHCA) in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.
The case gives the Supreme Court its third opportunity since 2012 to rule on the issue of whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act. The prior two cases, Twp. Of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc. and Magner v. Gallagher, were both settled after the completion of briefing but before the Court could hear oral argument and answer the question presented. This time around the Court granted the certiorari petition without first soliciting the views of the Solicitor General.
Come for the oral argument coverage, stay for the point where Justice Alito tries to hump Justice Kagan….
Besides their good looks and fame, they’re also increasing their focus on data security. In the wake of “Celebgate,” the Sony Pictures hack, and nearly daily data breaches targeting massive corporations to individuals, law firms are finally recognizing the importance of bringing their cybersecurity policies up to speed.
* The Supreme Court is allowing Texas to enforce its strict voter identification law during the upcoming election, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, hero to the masses, wrote a rather scathing dissent in opposition. [New York Times]
* Michael Millikin, GM’s beleaguered GC, will be stepping down from his position while the Justice Department continues its probe into the company’s fatal ignition switch failures. A replacement has not yet been named. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Baltimore Law and Maryland’s HBCUs hooked up to assist underrepresented minorities get into law school. Full scholarships come with GPAs of at least 3.5 and LSAT scores of at least 152. [USA Today]
* Kent Easter, the lawyer who was convicted for planting drugs in a school volunteer’s car, was sentenced to serve six months in jail. His law license will likely be suspended (just like his wife’s was). [OC Weekly]
* Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev isn’t doing well in court, and his trial hasn’t even started yet. Motions to dismiss his case and to suppress evidence were denied. [National Law Journal]
Which distinguished lower-court judge came extremely close to landing a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?
Ed. note: In honor of Columbus Day (and Canadian Thanksgiving), Above the Law will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will be back in full force tomorrow.
* The Supreme Court’s new Term is off to a great start: Thanks to a copy machine’s error, we almost missed the surprise cert denials in the gay marriage cases. What kind of screw-ups will this week bring us? [National Law Journal]
* On the other hand, in what’s considered an unsurprising move following its cert denials en masse, the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriage to begin in Idaho. Congrats to the Gem State. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Jenner & Block’s data privacy practice is making waves in an “uncharted but lucrative field,” and its leader thinks that the “Internet of Things” will help heat up her work soon. [Capital Business / Washington Post]
* A future Law & Order: SVU episode? Sanford Rubenstein, a personal injury and civil rights lawyer who’s been described as “[f]lashy, brash and always camera-ready,” is now being accused of rape. [ABC News]
* Yale Law’s most interesting student goes to all of his classes, but never has to study or take any of his finals. It’s not because he’s lucky — it’s because he’s a 93-year-old course auditor. [New Haven Register]
* This just in: Now that the Fifth Circuit has refused to hear the Texas abortion case en banc, it looks like we may see a viable case about a major social issue being brought to Term before SCOTUS after all. [National Law Journal]
* Skadden came out on top of the Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and Mergermarket league tables for the highest transactional value of its mergers and acquisitions deals in 2014. Congrats on kicking the competition’s ass. [Am Law Daily]
* Per HBR Consulting, clients are winning the war when it comes to getting legal services on the cheap. Consider this a “call to action for law firms to reconsider the way they do business.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* The Elon University School of Law is completely revamping its academic offerings in order to offer a law degree that can be earned in 2.5 years, and for about $14,000 less. Nice work! [Triad Business Journal]
* Lindsay Lohan’s attorneys filed an amended complaint in her case against Grand Theft Auto’s publisher, this time going to far as to spell their client’s name correctly. [Hollywood, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]
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* Since SCOTUS punted on same-sex marriage, people in states where gay marriage bans still exist are wondering when it will be their turn. It’s just a waiting game from here on out. [USA Today]
* Babies wait for no one: a pregnant lesbian couple fighting the Texas ban on gay marriage filed an usual request asking that the Fifth Circuit hurry up and schedule arguments. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The “puff, puff, pass” defense? Robel Phillipos, friend of accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, claims he was so high during the aftermath he can’t remember a thing. [Bloomberg]
* When should you apply to law school? When you can get into a top school, have clear career objectives, and won’t have to take out loans. You’re preaching to the choir. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* A Burger King customer is suing because he claims the restaurant’s manager attacked him with a knife and a Taser. This all allegedly happened over some cold onion rings, of course. [New York Daily News]
* New Supreme Court term kicks off with some bizarre argumentation. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* Professor Tribe doesn’t think Obama’s getting another justice confirmed. Vegas is setting the over/under off his remarks. [Coverage Opinions]
* More on The Law Hawk (insert screeching eagle sound effect). [Legal Cheek]
* Picking the right legal recruiter is important. It’s like having an agent, which is awesome because it makes you feel like Peyton Manning for a bit. [Major, Lindsay & Africa]
* What. The. Hell? You can survive being sucked into a jet engine? Without wearing Iron Man Mark V armor. [Lowering the Bar]
* You know what’s lame? Civil forfeiture. John Oliver rants after the jump… [Last Week Tonight]
Gay wedding season will be in full force.
* The Supreme Court’s new term kicks off today, and lawyers are pumped — especially since “the Roberts court [may] be to the rights of gays and lesbians what the Warren court was to the rights of African Americans.” [New York Times]
* But come on, the Supreme Court hasn’t even decided to take up a same-sex marriage case for October Term 2014, you say. Not to worry, because “[h]owever slow the term is starting, it could obviously explode.” [USA Today]
* This year’s law firm merger pace is slightly more robust than last year’s record-breaking rate. Lawyers should probably get ready for some real merger mania before the new year comes. [Am Law Daily]
* The legal services sector just lost the largest number of jobs in a one-month period in almost five years. Our condolences to recent law school graduates who are still searching for employment. [WSJ Law Blog]
* On the other side of the spectrum, this recent law school graduate has it made. This former bank robber turned D.C. Circuit clerk just found out he’ll be allowed to take the bar exam. Yay! [National Law Journal]
* Apparently, heckling Carmelo Anthony can cost you your job. [Dealbreaker]
* There’s nothing the Supreme Court can do to stop cops who want to take a long time to release you from a stop, even if the Court wants to. [Simple Justice]
* I think we should just ask John Roberts to tell every state precisely how they are allowed to discriminate against black voters and be done with it. Just tell us the rules so we can start the GOTV campaigns. [Election Law Blog]
* Former Manhattan Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa gets a year in jail for purchasing a sham marriage to gain citizenship. The “for citizenship” part is what got her, because lots of politicians are in sham marriages. [Journal News]
* Judge Frank Easterbrook thinks that the new proposed length limit for appellate briefs is too short. Verbose litigators everywhere, rejoice. [How Appealing]
* I thought “spoofing” was bad for the market, but Matt Levine says cracking down on spoofing “helps” high-frequency traders, who I also think are bad for the market. You know why I’m not an SEC lawyer? Prosecuting people based on them being “bad” becomes untenable when everybody involved is rich. [Bloomberg View]
As the Supreme Court begins its 2014-15 term this month, it will be considering a number of securities cases, including the Omnicare case, which is scheduled for oral argument on November 3rd, and three other cases in which petitions for certiorari are currently pending before the Court. As discussed below, these cases raise significant questions concerning the standards for claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, prosecution of insider trading, and the scope of disgorgement penalties in an SEC enforcement action. We also discuss IndyMac, another securities case that had been scheduled to be heard as the first case of the new term on October 6th, but was abruptly dismissed by the Court earlier this week.
* SCOTUS justices added 11 cases to this term’s docket yesterday following their megaconference earlier this week. Alas, no same-sex marriage cases have been added yet. [New York Times]
* The Fifth Circuit allowed Texas to enforce its new abortion clinic restrictions. The only thing that will stop its “devastating impact on abortion access” is SCOTUS intervention. [MSNBC]
* Two more women just joined the ranks of the highest tier of Biglaw firm leadership. Congrats to Jami Wintz McKeon of Morgan Lewis and Therese Pritchard of Bryan Cave. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Gibson Dunn poached a prominent partner from U.K. firm Ashurst following his fall from grace as its leader last year. He’s thrilled to work for “one of the strongest U.S. firms around.” [Am Law Daily]
* The Thomas Jefferson School of Law may be “California’s worst-performing law school,” but it certainly performs well in terms of providing entertainment for those who are big fans of schadenfreude. [City Journal]
* Many schools pay their grads to count them as employed — but not UNC Law. Its career services office is aware that “jobs don’t grow on trees,” but hey, at least they’re trying to be transparent. [Daily Tar Heel]