Morning Docket: 02.20.19

* Hail Mary pass interference? President Donald Trump reportedly asked then-acting AG Matthew Whitaker if U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman (S.D.N.Y.) — a “perceived loyalist” — could be put in charge of the Michael Cohen probe even though he’d already recused himself. [New York Times]

* Chief Justice John Roberts once again sided with the Supreme Court’s liberals in refusing to agree with a Texas court’s decision to execute a death row inmate with intellectual disabilities, writing that the lower court’s review of the case “did not pass muster under this court’s analysis last time,” and “[i]t still doesn’t.” Justice Samuel Alito dissented, and was obviously joined by the high court’s conservatives. [Washington Post]

Read moreMorning Docket: 02.20.19

Non Sequiturs: 02.17.19

* I share Allahpundit’s take on the retirement buzz around Justice Clarence Thomas (recently discussed by Jeffrey Toobin, but also in the air at last November’s Federalist Society conference): it’s certainly possible, and if it happens, Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Judge Amul Thapar are the two top picks. [Hot Air]

* And Judge Barrett is protecting her prospects for Supreme Court confirmation: she just joined the opinion of a fellow shortlister, Judge Diane Sykes, that dutifully applies Hill v. Colorado, the shaky but not-overruled Supreme Court precedent about free-speech rights outside abortion clinics. [Bench Memos / National Review]

* Speaking of SCOTUS, which amici boast the best track recorders in filing certiorari-stage amicus briefs in business cases? Adam Feldman crunches the numbers — and the dominance of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce should come as no surprise. [Empirical SCOTUS]

* And speaking of the Chamber, it also seems to be making progress on its goal of forcing more disclosure of litigation-funding arrangements, with the reintroduction of the Litigation Funding Transparency Act (LFTA). [Institute for Legal Reform]

Read moreNon Sequiturs: 02.17.19

Morning Docket: 02.14.19

* Paul Manafort is the Energizer Bunny of lying and he’d now botched his own plea deal. [Huffington Post] * Apple attorney in charge of insider trading compliance charged with… insider trading. [Law360] * John Roberts declared himself the First Amendment’s most passionate defender at the Supreme Court, which is absolutely true if you limit …

Read moreMorning Docket: 02.14.19

Non Sequiturs: 02.10.19

* Irina Manta, a recent addition to the roster of Volokh Conspirators, assesses some of the attacks leveled against D.C. Circuit nominee Neomi Rao. [Volokh Conspiracy / Reason] * In other nomination news, Thomas Jipping explains why conservatives should temper their excitement over those 44 judicial nominees who just got reported out of the Senate …

Read moreNon Sequiturs: 02.10.19

Morning Docket: 02.08.19

* Earlier this week, Justice Samuel Alito blocked a Louisiana abortion law, and now a divided Supreme Court has done the same, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining with the Court’s liberals to protect women’s right to choose without undue burdens. Justice Brett Kavanaugh penned the dissent — so much for “precedent on precedent.” [USA Today]

* After some back and forth over the threat of a subpoena, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has agreed to testify publicly on the Mueller probe before the House Judiciary Committee bright and early tomorrow morning. [Washington Post]

* “There’s no doubt that the talent wars in tax have definitely heated up.” As it turns out, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is really living up to its name in that it’s creating a lot of new jobs — for tax lawyers and accountants, that is. [Wall Street Journal]

Read moreMorning Docket: 02.08.19