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Friday round-up

Court coverage continues to focus on the recent health care filings, which Lyle covered in detail here and here.  In the New York Times, Adam Liptak analyzes the arguments in the briefs filed on Wednesday, while at the Huffington Post Mike Sacks notes the extent to which the government’s petition seeking review of the Eleventh Circuit’s decision striking down the individual mandate as unconstitutional “repeatedly invokes€ the concurring opinion filed in the Sixth Circuit by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, who clerked for Justice Scalia and was nominated by President George W. Bush.  US News and World Report, the Financial Times (registration required), and the BBC also have coverage.

In addition to the substance of the challenges, analysts and commentators also discuss the politics of the federal government’s decision to seek Supreme Court review this Term.  At ABC News, Devin Dwyer characterizes the decision as “a roll of the political dice with enormous implications for the president and the 2012 campaign.€  At the New York Times Caucus blog, Michael D. Shear describes several different scenarios to illustrate “how the two political parties would benefit or lose from a Supreme Court ruling,€ while Clive Crook of the Atlantic discusses the political challenges of having the Affordable Care Act back in the spotlight during the 2012 election season.  At the Christian Science Monitor, Linda Feldmann explains why, in her view, expedited review could actually benefit the President in the election.  Similarly, at Public Citizen’s Consumer Law & Policy Blog, Brian Wolfman concludes that, “on balance,€ “having the issue before the Supreme Court in 2012 is a political plus.€  However, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post cautions that although health care will have some role in the election, no one should “assume the Court’s expected ruling will fundamentally alter the political calculus on the issue. Many voters’ minds are already made up.€

With the Court set to resume oral arguments on Monday, previews of the Court’s upcoming Term continue to pour in.  In her preview for the USA Today, Joan Biskupic characterizes the October Term 2011 as “potentially epic,€ while Michael Doyle of the McClatchy Newspapers (via the Bellingham (Wash.) Herald) of Washington similarly describes the Court as poised “to start its most interesting term in years.€  Elizabeth Wydra previews the Term for the Constitutional Accountability Center; Linda Campbell has a preview for the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, scheduled for oral argument next Wednesday, is the subject of several previews.  In the Washington Post, Lauren Markoe describes the case, in which the Court will consider whether and to what extent religious institutions are subject to federal antidiscrimination statutes, as “one of [the] most important religion cases in decades,€ a characterization echoed by Hannah Smith of the Deseret News in her preview.  And at the Atlantic, Wendy Kaminer concludes that the case “deeply implicates individual rights of access to the courts and enforcement of workplace rights and regulations.€ 


  • Robert Barnes of the Washington Post previews Tuesday’s oral argument in Maples v. Thomas, in which the Court will consider whether a death row inmate whose lawyers missed a filing deadline in state court is therefore barred from arguing in federal court that his sentence is unconstitutional.
  • In a “FiveBooks€ interview with Eve Gerber for the Browser, Dahlia Lithwick discusses the Justices and the Court.
  • A group of House Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Judicial Conference asking for an investigation into allegations that Justice Thomas violated ethics rules when he failed to report income earned by his wife. Roll Call and the Hill have coverage.
  • On Thursday, Justice Scalia denied an application by the Texas Attorney General to stay a lower court order barring the enforcement of a stringent abortion sonogram law; the law is scheduled to go into effect on Saturday.  The Houston Chronicle has coverage.
  • At his Sentencing Law and Policy blog, Doug Berman discusses recent comments on the death penalty made by retired Justice John Paul Stevens.

Recommended Citation: Kiera Flynn, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 30, 2011, 12:19 PM),