Holtzman Vogel Supreme Court Review, October Term 2021
In the U.S. Supreme Court’s recently concluded term (October Term 2021), the Court decided a number of momentous cases that shifted the direction of American law in a variety of areas. Holtzman Vogel contributed twenty-one amicus curiae briefs to cases decided this term and pending decision next term. Most of the cases in which we contributed briefs ended in victory for the party supported by the firm.
Seven of Holtzman Vogel’s amicus briefs were submitted in emergency-docket cases that dealt with various aspects of redistricting. In the now-consolidated cases of Merrill v. Milligan and Merrill v. Caster, the Court granted a stay of a lower federal court opinion that prevented Alabama from implementing its enacted congressional-district map without first increasing the number of majority-minority districts. The Court granted a similar emergency stay of a Wisconsin Supreme Court order that mandated the drawing of additional majority-minority state legislative districts in Wisconsin Legislature v. Wisconsin Elections Commission. And in Moore v. Harper, the final redistricting case in which our firm submitted amicus briefs, the Court denied the petitioners’ requested emergency stay but nonetheless granted certiorari and will hear the case on the merits in October Term 2022.
Holtzman Vogel attorneys also contributed to cases outside the election law context. In Carson v. Makin, where the Court invalidated Maine’s requirement that only students attending “nonsectarian” schools qualified for public tuition assistance payments as inconsistent with the First Amendment, we submitted two amicus briefs on behalf of the Herzog Foundation and Independent Women’s Law Center. In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a case that protected a public-school football coach from government reprisal for his prayer after a football game, the Firm submitted a brief on behalf of the American Cornerstone Institute. Our attorneys also submitted amicus briefs on behalf of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and the American Cornerstone Institute in the landmark case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (in which the Court overturned Roe v. Wade).
One of Holtzman Vogel’s amicus briefs was even cited by the Court this term. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, Justice Thomas’s majority opinion cited our amicus brief submitted on behalf of the Independent Institute for the proposition that while firearms have historically been prohibited from certain “sensitive places” consistent with the Second Amendment, a state government may not expand the concept of “sensitive places” to encompass all public-gathering places without running afoul of the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Holtzman Vogel will continue to expand its Supreme Court amicus practice next term. Looking ahead, our firm has already submitted three amicus briefs in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis in support of a plaintiff who seeks to operate her small website design business free of government coercion, and briefs on behalf of former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese in a pair of cases concerning the constitutionality of race-based affirmative action in college admissions (Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College). The Supreme Court will remain at the center of American debates over constitutional rights and liberties, and Holtzman Vogel is proud of our work to represent our clients who wish to engage in that debate.