Could Change of Assignments for Supremes Impact Swing State Outcomes

Nov 22, 2020 by

Amy Coney Barrett

“Could Change of Assignments for Supremes Impact Swing State Outcomes?

By Donna Garner

11.22.20

11.20.20 –  “Supreme Court Issues New Circuit Assignments” — By Amy Howe — https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/court-issues-new-circuit-assignments-2/amp/

Excerpts from this article with additions by Donna Garner:

A little less than a month after the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court on Friday [11.20.20] issued a new set of circuit justice assignments, which take effect immediately. [Please see the list as posted further on down the page.]

Barrett was assigned to the 7th Circuit, where she served as a judge for three years before becoming a justice.

Two other justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch, were also assigned for the first time to the circuits where they had previously served as judges – Sotomayor to the 2nd Circuit and Gorsuch to the 10th Circuit.

A circuit justice is primarily responsible for emergency requests (for example, an application to block an execution or to allow it to go forward) from the geographic area covered by his or her circuit, as well as more mundane matters, such as requests to extend filing deadlines.

However, justices can and often do refer significant emergency requests to the full court – a role that has taken on increased importance in recent years with the sharp uptick in activity on the court’s shadow docket.”

[Please go to this link to read about the “shadow docket.” – 10.22.20 — https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/10/symposium-shining-a-light-on-the-shadow-docket/ ]

[This is the newly released Circuit Court Map — https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/u.s._federal_courts_circuit_map_1.pdf ]

Sotomayor had previously been responsible for the 10th Circuit, which is now assigned to Gorsuch, as well as the 6th Circuit, which is now assigned to Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh, who had previously been assigned to the 7th Circuit, also took on the 8th Circuit, ceding the 7th Circuit to Barrett.

The new circuit assignment list signaled a reprieve for Justice Stephen Breyer, who normally serves as the circuit justice for the relatively small 1st Circuit. Since Ginsburg’s death in September, Breyer has also been pinch-hitting under the Supreme Court’s rules as the circuit justice for the larger and busier 2nd Circuit. Emergency requests and applications for extensions from the 2nd Circuit will now go initially to Sotomayor instead.

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HERE IS THE LIST OF SWING STATES – 2020 ELECTIONS (STATES WITH MIXED POPULATIONS SUCH AS RURAL, SUBURBAN, URBAN & TEND TO FLIP BETWEEN RED AND BLUE EACH ELECTION CYCLE)

Arizona

Colorado

Florida

Georgia

Iowa

Maine

Michigan

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Texas

Wisconsin

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LIST OF THE NEW CIRCUIT JUSTICE ASSIGNMENTS

(ORDER LIST: 592 U.S.) FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2020 ORDER — https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/112020zr_8o6a.pdf

It is ordered that the following allotment be made of The Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of this Court among the circuits, pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 42, and that such allotment be entered of record, effective November 20, 2020.

[Donna Garner has indicated the swing states beside the names of the various Justices.]

For the District of Columbia Circuit, John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice

For the First Circuit, Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice — Maine

For the Second Circuit, Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice

For the Third Circuit, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice — Pennsylvania

For the Fourth Circuit, John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice – North Carolina

For the Fifth Circuit, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice — Texas

For the Sixth Circuit, Brett M. Kavanaugh, Associate Justice – Michigan, Ohio

For the Seventh Circuit, Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice — Wisconsin

For the Eighth Circuit, Brett M. Kavanaugh, Associate Justice — Iowa

For the Ninth Circuit, Elena Kagan, Associate Justice — Arizona

For the Tenth Circuit, Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice — Colorado

For the Eleventh Circuit, Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice – Florida, Georgia

For the Federal Circuit, John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice.

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