Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic—Significant Achievements for 2017-18

During the 2017 Supreme Court Term, the Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic represented parties in two U.S. Supreme Court cases and represented amici curiae in three U.S. Supreme Court cases:

  • Artis v. District of Columbia, co-counsel for Petitioner Stephanie C. Artis.  At issue was how to calculate the statute of limitations when state-law claims initially are filed in federal court, but then are dismissed by the federal court because it declines to exercise jurisdiction.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ms. Artis, holding that the applicable federal statute “stops the clock” on the limitations period for the state-law claims while they are pending in federal court.
  • Marinello v. United States, co-counsel for Petitioner Carlo J. Marinello II.  At issue was the scope of 26 U.S.C. §7212(a), which makes it a felony to “corruptly or by force or threats of force . . . obstruct or impede, or endeavor to obstruct or impede, the due administration” of the Internal Revenue Code.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Marinello, holding that this provision requires the federal government to prove the defendant was aware of a pending tax-related proceeding, such as a particular investigation or audit, or could reasonably foresee that such a proceeding would commence.
  • Ayestas v. Davis, amicus curiae brief in support of the petitioner.  The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the position taken by the clinic in the case, holding that the lower court applied the wrong standard in denying the capital habeas petitioner’s request for funding for investigative and expert resources during his federal post-conviction proceedings.  The clinic’s brief explained that access to such investigative and expert resources during federal post-conviction proceedings is often essential to vindicating a meritorious claim and avoiding the imposition of an unconstitutional death sentence.
  • Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, amicus curiae brief in support of the respondents.  At issue was whether the Supreme Court should overrule its prior precedent and hold that Illinois’ public-sector “agency shop” arrangement violated the First Amendment.  The clinic’s brief argued that doing so would undermine one of the most important vehicles for providing economic and professional opportunities for workers in the United States—and, in particular, for workers who are women and people of color.  In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court overruled its prior precedent and held that Illinois’ “agency shop” arrangement violated the First Amendment.
  • Trump v. Hawaii, amicus curiae brief in support of the respondents.  At issue was Presidential Proclamation 9645, sometimes referred to as the “travel ban.”  The clinic’s brief responded to the government’s argument that the respondents’ challenge was unreviewable by the courts.  As the clinic’s brief explained, the history of the doctrine of consular non-reviewability and the Supreme Court’s cases demonstrate that the courts have consistently been open for these sorts of claims—and holding them unreviewable therefore would represent a marked and unwarranted change in the law.  In its 5-4 ruling in the case, the Supreme Court declined to rule on this issue, assuming without deciding for purposes of the opinion that the respondents’ claims were reviewable.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, the clinic also represented two petitioners-appellees in habeas corpus appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  The Seventh Circuit has not yet decided those appeals.