As Nabiha noted in yesterday's round-up, yesterday a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit heard back-to-back oral arguments in two Virginia challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Our own Lyle Denniston provides extensive coverage here. Writing for CBS News Political Hotsheet blog, Jan Crawford suggests that, given the panel's composition "“ two Obama appointees and one Clinton appointee "“ "it's highly likely [the] court will uphold the health care law, because the rulings in the lower courts have closely tracked the judges' judicial ideology."  But Dahlia Lithwick of Slate offers a more nuanced assessment, asserting that "the appeal doesn't all come down to judicial politics," but instead involves "a search for limiting principles on congressional power and an attempt to understand whether something can be unconstitutional simply because it is unprecedented."  For the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr provides a brief report on the argument, and in a later post he notes the judges' apparent confusion on the "activity/inactivity" argument advanced by the law's challengers.  CNN, The Hill, and the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog all indicate that the court of appeals appeared receptive to the government's defense of the law, as does Joan Biskupic of USA Today, who concludes that the judges' remarks during oral argument suggested that "Congress did have the power to regulate people's decisions to avoid buying health insurance."

As Nabiha also reported in yesterday's round-up, Arizona governor Jan Brewer will bypass en banc review by the Ninth Circuit and will instead proceed directly to the Supreme Court to ask it to lift a preliminary injunction impeding major portions of the state's controversial immigration law. In addition to the outlets linked in yesterday's round-up, Bloomberg (via the Philadelphia Inquirer) provides continuing coverage of the governor's decision, as do JURIST and the Huffington Post, which also reports that the bill's drafter, Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce, is on the verge of being recalled.


  • The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports on recent remarks by Justice Sonia Sotomayor at a naturalization ceremony.
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Erwin Chemerinsky argues that the Court's decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion is further proof that the conservative majority favors business over consumers.  And Politico discusses the extent to which the Court itself could become a "major political issue" during the 2012 campaign.



Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 11, 2011, 12:17 PM),