In Recess #4: "Stone Soup"

We’re just three weeks from the start of a blockbuster new Term at the Court, but don’t let that fool you: the Conference remains largely inert, essentially daring us to produce an episode with the scraps they’ve handed us. Challenge accepted. This week, we discuss (3:00) the release of the November calendar, as well as the common-law right to wear a costume on Halloween at oral argument. We also dive deep (8:45) on summer grants, what they are, and how they work, as well as (12:15) the Court’s summer grant in Murphy v. Smith, a case about attorney’s fees in prisoners' civil rights cases. We also talk about (15:00) the Ninth Circuit’s latest ruling in the travel-ban case, Hawaii v. Trump—or “Hawai’i,” as at least one of us says. From there, we argue a little bit (22:00) about Justice Gorsuch addressing a classically named D.C. junket, hosted at a hotel that really ruined one of our lunch hour, as well as (30:30) the amicus brief filed by Senators McCain and Whitehouse in Gill v. Whitford, the major partisan-gerrymandering case that’ll be argued in the October sitting.

Most importantly, we're joined this week (36:00) by Willy Jay, the co-chair of Goodwin’s Appellate Litigation Practice, who was in a previous life one of the few Assistants to the Solicitor General who could convincingly endure the existence of the Bristow Fellows. We talked with him (42:00) about the need for, and drawbacks of, specialization for a private lawyer building a Supreme Court practice; the internal structure of the Solicitor General’s office (45:00); the business case for appellate practices generally (53:00); and the nature of the Supreme Court’s IP docket, and how it has come to suit appellate generalists (56:45).

If you’re enjoying First Mondays, you can get every episode automatically by subscribing (for free!) in your favorite podcast client. And if you understandably can’t get enough, backers on Patreon get access to bonus episodes, as well as access to the Amici chatroom on Slack.