Tuesday round-up

By on Mar 17, 2015 at 5:42 am

Briefly:

  • At The Hill, Ralph Tyler predicts that in King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange operated by the federal government, “the federal government will prevail . . ., perhaps by a reasonably comfortable 6-3 margin.”In Florida Trend, Amy Martinez reports that a “2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling could lead to a first-of-its-kind floating home development in south Florida.”
  • The editorial board of The New York Times weighs in on last week’s grant in the capital case Hurst v. Florida – involving the jury’s role in sentencing – and a challenge to an Alabama law that allows judges to override a jury’s recommendation of life in prison and replace it with a death sentence.
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Richard Re discusses the Chief Justice’s past criticism of law reviews and counters thatit’s worth keeping in mind that the Chief Justice himself is in fact a consumer of law review articles and regularly cites them in his judicial opinions.”
  • At the Knowledge Center of the Council of State Governments, Lisa Soronen looks at last week’s decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association and concludes that the Court’s rulingwill make it more difficult for state and local government to influence federal agency policy expressed in interpretive rules—specifically when agencies want to change them.”

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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Petition of the day

By on Mar 16, 2015 at 10:15 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-593

Issue: Whether the state of North Carolina performs an unconstitutional search when it requires a citizen to wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet for the rest of his life based only on the citizen's status as a recidivist sex offender and where there is no finding that he is a threat to society.

Event announcement

By on Mar 16, 2015 at 12:42 pm

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Griswold v. Connecticut. On March 30 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., American University Washington College of Law will host two panel discussions on the case.  The first will focus on the history, context, and story of the case, and the second will focus on the current and future state of constitutional privacy. Registration is free but required. More information is here.

 
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Monday round-up

By on Mar 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange operated by the federal government, and the constitutional avoidance doctrine, continues to garner commentary.  At Dorf on Law, Eric Segall suggests a hypothetical that, in his view, proves that the government should prevail, while at JURIST Timothy Jost discusses the possible effect of the decision on Medicaid and CHIP, a program that provides health insurance to uninsured children.  And the Casper (Wyo.) Star Tribune reports on the ruling’s possible effects in Wyoming, where residents purchase their health insurance on a federal exchange. Continue reading »

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This week at the Court

By on Mar 15, 2015 at 12:01 am

The next Conference is scheduled for March 20.

 
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Petition of the day

By on Mar 13, 2015 at 10:24 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-775

Issue: (1) Whether there is a non-textual “integrality exception” to the mandatory requirement in the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) that a substitute arbitrator “shall” be appointed by the court whenever the parties' chosen arbitrator is unavailable for “any … reason;” and (2) whether a court may void an entire arbitration clause – and force the parties to litigate in court – despite the fact that the parties included a severance provision that, if applied, would render the arbitration clause enforceable.

Relist Watch

By on Mar 13, 2015 at 1:47 pm

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relisted cases.

For a nation beset with scandals and squabbles, Relist Watch is the rare bearer of glad tidings: Every one of last week’s decuplet of relists had good (or at least not bad) news on Monday. So take a hike, crosspatch. Schadenfreudeans need not apply. This week is all about the good news – not your typical fare for Friday the Thirteenth.

We begin with the world’s most famous GVR. In the unlikely event you are unfamiliar with that abbreviation, just hang on. In University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, 14-392, the university with the best football program in a state famous for basketball claimed a religious exemption from regulatory requirements under the Affordable Care Act regarding “abortion-inducing products, contraception, and sterilization.” Rather than asking for the Court for plenary review, the university simply asked the Court to grant its petition, vacate the judgment below, and remand to the Seventh Circuit for further consideration in light of last Term’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and its progeny. After being rescheduled once and relisted once, that is precisely what the Court did on Monday, without recorded dissent. So while the vita was all dulcedo and spes for Notre Dame this week, don’t forget the modest ask. As Father Duane would say, “Dude! Facilius humilitatem exspectationes.” Continue reading »

 
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First_colored_senator_and_repsOn March 11, the Supreme Court Historical Society presented the first installment of this year’s Leon Silverman Lecture Series. In acknowledgment of the 150th anniversary of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, the theme of the 2015 lecture series is “The Supreme Court and Reconstruction.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who appeared ready for spring in a lovely lavender tie, hosted the lecture in the Court’s chamber. He was joined by the Court’s portrait of Justice Samuel Freeman Miller – a Lincoln appointee and the author of the majority opinion in the Slaughter-House Cases – which was given a place of honor next to the speaker’s podium.

Wednesday’s lecturer was Michael A. Ross, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland.

Ross began his lecture at the chronologically obvious point for a talk about Reconstruction: General Lee’s surrender. By the time Lee surrendered, the war had cost over 620,000 lives and $6.6 billion. (To put this sum into perspective, Ross noted that it would have been sufficient to buy the freedom of all the slaves, and give them each forty acres, and still have $3.5 billion remaining.) To end the fighting was an enormously consequential action. But equally consequential was that the war ended without a peace treaty. Five days after Lee surrendered, President Lincoln was assassinated and his vision of Reconstruction, including dissolving the entire leadership of the Confederacy and extending suffrage to at least some black men, died. Continue reading »

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Friday round-up

By on Mar 13, 2015 at 7:06 am

Briefly:

  • In The Atlantic, Garrett Epps discusses King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange operated by the federal government, and the constitutional avoidance doctrine. He concludes that, “[i]n the end, the fate of the ACA may come down to th[e] question—“how doubtful is doubtful?”—as it plays out” for one Justice.
  • In The National Law Journal (subscription required), Marcia Coyle reports on an amicus brief filed by law student groups in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage; the student groups tell the Court that “same-sex marriage nonrecognition laws impose special harms on their members as they try to begin new careers in a highly mobile nation.”
  • At the Immigration Prof Blog, Timothy Dugdale looks at Monday’s decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, holding that amendments to interpretative rules do not require notice-and-comment rulemaking, and its implications for immigration law.
  • At Just Security, William Dodge discusses the Court’s denial of cert. in Samantar v. Yousef, “ending an attempt by the former Prime Minister of Somalia to claim that the torture and extrajudicial killing for which he admitted liability in US court were official acts entitled to immunity,” and the lessons of the case “for plaintiffs, for defendants, and for the US government.”

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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Petition of the day

By on Mar 12, 2015 at 10:24 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-997

Issue: (1) Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires Mississippi to exempt physicians at the State's only abortion clinic from complying with a medically legitimate health and safety regulation that applies to physicians at all other outpatient surgical facilities; and (2) whether Mississippi House Bill 1390, which requires that abortion physicians have admitting privileges at a local hospital to handle complications that require emergency hospitalization, imposes an undue burden under Planned Parenthood v. Casey regardless of the geographical availability of abortion services in adjoining states in light of the equal protection principle articulated in Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada.

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