The Court heard oral arguments in one case yesterday and issued an opinion in another, but the big news out of the Court continues to be Tuesday’s oral argument in the challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.  At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur has additional coverage of the oral argument here and here.  Commentary on the case comes from Noah Feldman at Bloomberg View, who focuses on what he describes as “two important wrinkles in the oral argument that . . . might tell us a lot about both the court’s potential holding and the tenor of the possible dissent”; from Andrew Cohen at The Week, who concludes that “the decision will be more a reflection of the court’s current ideology than about the stability of first amendment precedent or the text of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act”; from Daniel Fisher of Forbes, who predicts that “courts will soon be a lot busier trying to figure out whether a company is trying to avoid a law or regulation out of sincere religious beliefs or to save a buck”; from Brandon Garrett at ACSblog, who argues that the Court on Tuesday “could have pushed harder on a constitutional question that comes first: whether the lawsuit even belongs in a federal court”; from Kent Greenfield at The Prospect, who contends that, if the Court were to rule for Hobby Lobby,  “[j]ust like before the Civil Rights Act, each individual business will be able to pick and choose whether to assert a religious right to discriminate or refuse to provide insurance or pay a minimum wage”;  and from Michael Dorf at Verdict, who observes that, in the past, “claims like the one made by the current plaintiffs were less ideologically charged. Indeed, to the extent that there was any discernible ideological pattern, it was the opposite.”

Yesterday the Court issued a decision in United States v. Castleman, holding that Castleman’s state conviction for misdemeanor domestic assault qualifies as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” and thereby prohibits him from having a gun.  Coverage of the Court’s decision comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, and Kent Scheidegger of Crime and Consequences.

After the decision in Castleman, the Court heard oral arguments in Wood v. Moss, in which the Court is considering claims by protesters opposed to the policies of then-President George W. Bush against the Secret Service agents who moved their protests away from the president.  Lyle Denniston covered the oral argument for this blog; other coverage comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, and Ruthann Robson at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog.


  • At, Damon Root discusses the cert. petition filed recently in Courtney v. Danner, a challenge to a Washington law that gives “de facto monopoly privileges to companies providing commercial ferry service.”
  • At Concurring Opinions, Ronald K.L. Collins (also of this blog) reports that Shaun McCutcheon, the plaintiff in the challenge to the federal limits on aggregate campaign contributions, plans to write a book, to be released shortly after the Court’s decision in his case.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 27, 2014, 7:51 AM),