On October 26, MWM’s Chase Cobern argued at the Supreme Court of Texas on behalf of Stonewater Roofing, a group of commercial roofing professionals in Texas. Stonewater is represented by Michael McCabe and Chase on behalf of MWM. The case involves Stonewater’s challenge to provisions of the Texas Insurance Code under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The trial court dismissed Stonewater’s constitutional challenges, but MWM convinced the Texas court of appeals in 2022 to reverse and hold that the challenged provisions are subject to heightened First Amendment scrutiny. The Supreme Court is now deciding whether that ruling was correct.
At oral argument, both sides were asked numerous difficult questions on a range of topics and hypotheticals relating to the state’s power to regulate speech through occupational licensing schemes, including in areas of law, medicine, nutrition, and journalism. Chase was allotted 15 minutes to argue after giving 5 minutes of his time to Jeff Rowes, who argued on behalf one of Stonewater’s amicus supporters, Institute for Justice. Due to the number of questions, however, Chase ultimately argued for 20 minutes and Jeff argued for 10.
Stonewater and MWM were pleased with their performance before the Supreme Court, and expect a ruling within six months. Chase’s preparation to argue the case was greatly assisted by MWM’s Michael McCabe, Marina Bogorad, Shain Khoshbin, Mike Wilson, and Nicky Paige, who read the briefs and asked Chase questions in a moot court session. Chase conducted a second moot court session with lawyers representing Stonewater’s amicus supporters, including Jeff Rowes of IJ and Chris Knight of Haynes & Boone.