Opinion Just issued the CA3 Trump case. Bibas with Smith and Chagares.
Affirmed. Trump loses. Resoundingly.
The opening paragraph:

"Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here."
Note that all 3 judges on the panel are conservatives who were nominated by Republican presidents. Bibas, the author, was nominated by Trump.
Here is a link to the full opinion. Note that Chief Judge Smith is the Third Circuit's current chief judge, and Judge Chagares will succeed him.

Put it all together and this is a very, very strong statement.

Understand this: I don't think you could script a more devastating way for Trump to lose in the Third Circuit than Brann affirmed by Bibas with Smith and Chagares.
Today in the Third Circuit, the rule of law won.
A link to the opinion is now up on the Third Circuit's website: www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/20337…
A point I haven't clarified but should. I've identified which presidents nominated the various judges, and whether particular judges are liberal or conservative or what-have-you. Some lawyers and many judges disagree strongly w that sort analysis, as reflected by CJ Roberts ...
... statement rejecting talk of Trump judges and Obama judges. The strongest version of this view is that nominating-president is both irrelevant and misleading, falsely suggesting that judges are partisan political actors.
I respect that view and respect the vision of judging it reflects. I also agree that nominating-party is an imperfect proxy for liberal/conservative and a flawed predictor of how judges vote in particular cases. As today's ruling exemplifies.
My view is that both nominating party and ideology are relevant considerations. Judges are humans not computers. I mean no disrespect or cynicism when I discuss these them.
I suspect most of you have seen other smart threads discussing today's opinion, but here are a few of the good threads I saw.

I love @bethwilensky's thread looking at the opinion's writing style.

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More from @MatthewStiegler

28 Nov
Our darkest time has been his finest hour.

The Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, D. Brooks Smith, is one of the heroes of this horrible year. That is both deeply ironic and squarely in character.

(A very, very long thread.) 1/
Circuit judges wield real power, but they do so almost entirely out of the public eye. They’re not on TV shouting over the host, or even on twitter hurling zingers. 2/
They speak to the public through dense written opinions deciding individual legal disputes, no different than judges a century ago. 3/
Read 52 tweets
27 Nov
6 good books for appellate lawyers:

- Winning Brief, Garner
- Supreme Court & Appellate Advocacy, Frederick
- Sense of Structure, Gopen
- Dreyer's English
- Storycraft, Hart
- Typography for Lawyers, Butterick

If you're in CA3, then PBI's Appellate Practice Manual, too.
For me, @BryanAGarner's Winning Brief was the gateway drug, the book that first made me realize how oh-so much I still had to learn about effective writing. And all these years later it's still my answer to "what 1 book should I get first?"
George Gopen's Sense of Structure is an elaboration of Joseph Williams's Style: Lessons in Clarity & Grace, which was the single book that improved my writing the most.
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov
We filed our amicus brief last night! Click through for a link to it if you're interested in reading it. It's a brief on behalf of 5 top legal scholars explaining why Trump's appeal should be dismissed due to the bananas remedy he's seeking.
Like @hannnahmmarie, I'm tremendously proud to have been part of this team effort. What a privilege to have my name on a brief for heroes of mine like @LeahLitman, @marinklevy, @RickSwedloff, Erwin Chemerinsky, and Portia Pedro.
And what a privilege to get to work with @LeahLitman, @CecereCarl, @ssamcham, @danieltdeacon, @hannnahmmarie, and @AreebaJibril in drafting it.
Read 9 tweets
24 Nov
I haven't been posting today about the big Trump campaign Third Circuit appeal, I've been busy working on an amicus brief a group of us are readying to file in the case. More on that once we file.
In the meantime, parties Trump's suing—the Pa. Secretary of State and a slew of county election boards—filed their briefs this afternoon. I expect other amicus briefs (friend of the court briefs, offered to help the court decide the appeal) to continue coming in.
I've seen several smart commentators already with reactions and highlights from today's briefs, including @RMFifthCircuit and @bradheath.
Read 9 tweets
22 Nov
If Trump ever does appeal yesterday's beatdown, that appeal goes to the Third Circuit. No guarantees, but I predict it's decided by the same panel that decided Bognet on 11/13: Chief Judge Smith, Judge Shwartz, and Judge Scirica.

If that's the CA3 panel, expect much confusion (again, as w Brann) about what it means. Smith was nominated by Bush II, Shwartz by Obama, Scirica by Reagan. But even though Smith & Scirica are moderate conservatives (& Shwartz is centrist) Bognet was a disaster for Trump's case.
But, to be clear, that's only my educated guess about what 3 Third Circuit judges would decide an appeal from yesterday's ruling by Judge Brann, not based on any inside info.
Read 8 tweets
22 Nov
This statement by @SenToomey may be his finest moment in public life. Clear and direct at a crucial moment in our nation's history. An act of real patriotism.
Many are responding to this to point out that his statement comes late. They're right of course. A big reason why we're in such danger now is that Republicans in Congress spent the past 2 weeks, and the past 4+ years, not speaking up like this.
I've been a harsh Toomey critic for years. If anyone bashed him longer or louder than I have for blocking Obama's nomination of the Third Circuit's first black woman, I'm not aware of it. One good statement doesn't erase any of that history.

Still: it's a damn good statement.
Read 4 tweets

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