Last August Justice Alito appointed BYU Law Professor Aaron Nielson, a former Alito clerk and of counsel at Kirkland & Ellis, an amicus curiae in Collins v. Mnuchin to argue that the structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is constitutional. The Justices occasionally appoint a lawyer unaffiliated with the case to argue an important position which has been abandoned by the parties in the case. An article about the appointment can be found on the SCOTUSblog.
A silver lining of the pandemic has been the opportunity to listen live to Supreme Court oral arguments. Don’t miss your chance to hear Professor Nielson make his case live to the Justices during oral arguments beginning at 8 a.m. Mountain Time (10 a.m. Eastern) Wednesday, December 9th. Various media outlets will carry the live broadcast, including CSPAN. If you miss the live broadcast, recordings can be found on CSPAN and other outlets, and the Court posts recordings to its official website, supreme court.gov, on the following Friday. Written transcripts are posted here within hours of oral argument.
I highly recommend you read Professor Nielson’s brief first, available here. It is a quick read, a great example of brief writing, and it marshals a wide variety of legal and historical sources. Some of our own BYU Law students contributed to it!
The full docket for Collins v. Mnuchin can be viewed here.