Friday round-up

By on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:12 am

The Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that states must license marriages between same-sex couples, continues to spawn coverage and commentary. Elliot Spagat of the Associated Press (via Yahoo! News) reports on comments by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the Court’s opinion, who “likened controversy over the court’s decision to allow gay marriage to public reaction over the 1989 ruling that said burning an American flag was protected free speech.” And at the LGBTQ Policy Journal, Sophia Carrillo looks at the influence of the Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas (and the dissent from that decision) on the same-sex marriage cases. Continue reading »

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Thursday round-up

By on Jul 16, 2015 at 7:43 am

Briefly:

  • In The Huffington Post, Alan Morrison weighs in on Evenwel v. Abbott, the “one person, one vote” case; he argues that, to “assure that states doing reapportionment follow the law . . . there must be one right answer to the question of what the baseline should be for drawing districts. The answer that has consistently been used is population.”
  • In The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza looks at the 2016 presidential election and its potential impact on the Court, describing the stakes as “remarkably high”: “Who wins the White House will shape not only the country over the following four years but could well leave an impact on the court that stretches decades beyond that.”

A friendly reminder:  We rely on our readers to send us links for the round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com.

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Wednesday round-up

By on Jul 15, 2015 at 8:38 am

Briefly:

  • In a story for The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports on some of the highlights of Ted Cruz’s comments about the Court and its members in his new autobiography.
  • In another story for The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Mauro reports that last night the Court “turned away a full-scale challenge to capital punishment in the case of a convicted murderer in Missouri set for execution at 6 p.m.”
  • In his column for The Atlantic, Garrett Epps looks at Justice Clarence Thomas, who will soon begin his twenty-fifth year on the Court, and suggests that Thomas has “always marched to the beat of his own conservative drum, and lately the rhythms of that drum have become more distinct.”
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Erwin Chemerinsky argues that the “tone” in Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent opinions “is setting a terrible example for young lawyers.”
  • In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that, with its victory in Obergefell v. Hodges, the “next act” for the advocacy group Freedom to Marry will be “going out of business.”
  • The American Bar Association recently hosted a teleforum on the Court’s decision in King v. Burwell and the Chevron
  • At casetext, Michael Foreman describes the Court’s recent decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project as “a significant victory for those who seek to prevent housing discrimination in all its forms,” but he cautions that it also “provides an avenue to try to escape liability by allowing arguments for a very low burden to justify the use of discriminatory policies.”
  • At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro urges the Court to grant review in a Wisconsin case involving an aide to Governor Scott Walker so that it can “articulate meaningful requirements for specificity and reasonableness for electronic search warrants.”
  • At the American College of Environmental Lawyers, Renee Cipriano characterizes the Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. EPA as one that “raises more questions than it answers,” while in a separate post Leslie Carothers observes that, despite the decision, “commentators on both sides of the issues agree that major benefits of the regulation will not be lost.”

A friendly reminder:  We rely on our readers to send us links for the round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com.

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Commentary

Amid widening claims that religious liberty in America is under siege, the Supreme Court over the past year and and a half has reacted eight times to one of the most intense and emotionally charged conflicts within that broader controversy.  Only once has the Justices’ reaction to that particular conflict led to a full-scale decision, and yet all of its actions, taken together, do stand for something.

This is the controversy over the contraceptive, or birth-control, mandate in the Affordable Care Act – a high-stakes legal feud that has been unfolding in scores of lawsuits across the country.  It has been running for five years, and so is further along than the just-beginning conflict over the impact on religious belief of the Court’s same-sex marriage ruling last month.

The opposite sides in the birth-control dispute for years have been talking past each other about what the Supreme Court has done about that so far, and what it means, and both sides continue to try to persuade the Court to see the controversy their way.

There is a lot involved, but let’s try to make it simple.

Continue reading »

Event announcements

By on Jul 14, 2015 at 4:14 pm

On July 16, the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice will host a teleconference discussion of the impact of Michigan v. EPA on cost-benefit requirements. More information is available on the ABA’s website.

Also on July 16, the New York City Bar Association will host its annual Supreme Court in review program. For a full agenda, and to register, visit the New York City Bar’s website.

 
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Tuesday round-up

By on Jul 14, 2015 at 8:27 am

Scalia/Ginsburg, an opera inspired by the differences between the two Justices and friends, made its debut last weekend at the Castleton Festival in Virginia.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg reports on the opera, while Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal covers Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s reaction.

The execution of Missouri death row inmate David Zink – the first execution since the Court’s decision in Glossip v. Gross, upholding Oklahoma’s use of midazolam as the first drug in its lethal injection protocol – is scheduled for this evening.  In one post at casetext, Josh Lee argues that the scheduled execution “places us at a crossroads—what the Supreme Court does now, in light of the signals it sent in Glossip, will portend something important for us as a society.”  And in another post, Vicki Werneke discusses what the Court’s decision on same-sex marriage might mean for the death penalty.  Continue reading »

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Issuing a new round of rules to carry out two Supreme Court rulings on women’s access to free birth control, the Obama administration cleared the way on Tuesday for some for-profit businesses to receive an exemption if their owners object to contraceptives because of religious beliefs, but it also set the stage for government action to provide access to such services for those companies’ female employees.  The rules also reinforced the same kind of arrangements for non-profit hospitals, colleges, and charities for their staffs and students.

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed five years ago, with a birth-control mandate included, the federal government has been trying repeatedly to work out formulas to accommodate religious beliefs without denying women access to a full range of contraceptives at no cost to them or to their religious employers.  Now, guided by two rulings by the Justices last year, three government agencies are putting into effect the latest rules that were disclosed late last week.   The aim is to satisfy all for-profit and non-profit institutions that have sued the government, in more than a hundred lawsuits, to avoid involvement in the process.

However, the final rules seem sure to encounter some of the same legal complaints that have kept the courts, including the Supreme Court, busy with this controversy.   With four new appeals already awaiting the Court’s return from summer recess, the end of the dispute is not in sight.

Continue reading »

Monday round-up

By on Jul 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

Coverage and commentary once again focus on the Term as a whole.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg interviews Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who discusses the efforts by the Court’s four more liberal Justices to “speak with one voice in one opinion.”  At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost posits that, although this Term may have been one of the worst in recent memory for the Court’s more conservative Justices, “they appeared to be the moving force . . . in a bit of aggressive agenda-setting for the coming term.”  And the University of Pennsylvania’s RegBlog looks back at the Term from a regulatory perspective, in a series of essays. Continue reading »

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Event announcement

By on Jul 13, 2015 at 9:50 am

On July 15 at 1 p.m., the State & Local Legal Center will host a webinar on the employment cases this past Term. Shay Dvoretzky, who argued EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, will discuss the impact of this Term’s employment cases on state and local government employers.

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Event announcement

By on Jul 13, 2015 at 8:00 am

This afternoon the University of California, Irvine School of Law is hosting a Term review. Panelists Erwin Chemerinsky, Linda Greenhouse, Song Richardson, Kannon Shanmugam, and Judge Jeffrey Sutton will join moderator Rick Hasen.

A live webcast will be available here beginning at 3:00.

 
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