OT2017 #11: "Numbing Effect"

This week, we start with some bad news and some good news. The bad news? The Supreme Court has a mouse problem. The good news? Serial Supreme Court litigant Fane Lozman is on Twitter, and he’s a Friend of the Show. We also have some follow-up about Hargan v. Garza, the case about undocumented minors who want abortions. It turns out this situation is a lot more common than we appreciated, and we talk about why. 

The Court handed down Tharpe v. Sellers last week, a death penalty habeas case with a fairly shocking juror affidavit (to give you a sense: it both uses the n-word and invokes O.J. Simpson). So we’re joined by official First Mondays Habeas Wizard (and part-time host) Leah Litman to break it down and try to answer this question: How does a guy on death row get 72 hours from being executed when he’s got an affidavit from a juror admitting that race played a role in him getting the death penalty? Later, we’ll discuss McCoy v. Louisiana, another death-penalty case, presenting a different unsettling question: Can a lawyer for the defendant admit that he committed the murder, even over the defendant’s express objection? 

In terms of recaps, we talk about Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. Husted is an interesting case about the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which both requires states to make reasonable efforts to take people off the voting rolls when they’ve moved, and also forbids taking them off because they haven’t voted. Ohio uses non-voting to send people letters asking them to confirm that they haven’t moved; if they don’t reply, and keep not voting, they’re taken off the lists. Legit? Listen and learn. 

But that’s not all! We discuss the Solicitor General’s cert. petition in Trump v. Hawai’i, a.k.a. The Travel Ban case; the unusual pro per amicus argument coming up next week in Dalmazzi v. United States; and more. 

If you’re enjoying the show, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. We’re @isamuel@danepps, and @LeahLitman—and our beloved producer is @MelodyRowell. You can also check us out on Patreon for exclusive content like bonus episodes, livestreams, and access to the Amici Slack.