on Nov 15, 2011 at 9:51 am
Yesterday’s big news at the Court was the announcement that the Justices will review three of the challenges to the Affordable Care Act this Term – most likely in March. Kali’s evening round-up yesterday linked to most of the early news coverage of the grants. Other coverage and analysis come from Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post, who responds to some of the frequently asked questions regarding the litigation, while Politico identifies several questions that the Court will not resolve. McClatchy, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times also have coverage and analysis of the grants.
With the grants, commentators continued to make predictions regarding the outcome and significance of the cases. At Slate, Simon Lazarus and Dahlia Lithwick argue that regardless of the outcome, the Court’s decision “will likely make new law on the boundaries of federal financial leverage over states . . . . The ripple effects could be as unforeseeable as they will be consequential.” And at the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin disputes the conventional wisdom that the question before the Court is “whether the requirement that individuals buy health insurance from private companies violates the Commerce Clause of Article I.” Instead, he explains, “this case, like any big case, will be about power.” Some commentators also attempted to read the tea leaves of the Court’s grant of five-and-a-half hours of argument time, with different interpretations. At the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr regards the award of so much oral argument time as “a hopeful sign for the challengers,” while Michael Dorf, writing at Dorf on Law, “offers his own possibly polyannish view . . . that the effect of 5.5 hours of combined oral argument will be to make it more likely that the Court upholds the Act.” And at Just Enrichment, Joshua Matz (also of this blog) describes himself as “similarly skeptical of the notion that we can read very much into the Court’s oral argument grant.”
The Court also granted certiorari in two other cases yesterday. In Armour v. Indianapolis, the Court will consider whether the Equal Protection Clause precludes local taxing authorities from refusing to refund payments made by those who have paid their assessments in full, while forgiving the obligations of identically situated taxpayers who chose to pay through a multi-year installment plan. In the second case, Astrue v. Capato, the Court will consider whether a child conceived after the death of a biological parent is eligible for Social Security benefits as a child survivor. Lyle Denniston of this blog reviews both of these grants. And Mark Walsh of the School Law blog reports on the denial of certiorari in cases involving mandated vaccines in public schools and a ban on religious flyers sent home with students.
Yesterday the Court also released the oral argument schedule for the January sitting. Lyle Denniston provides the day-by-day list here, characterizing Federal Communications Commission v. Fox, or the “fleeting expletives” case, as “the highest-profile case in the list.” Wired’s Threat Level blog and ars technica report on an amicus brief recently filed in the case by public interest and industry groups opposed to indecency regulations.
And finally, coverage of the GPS surveillance case, United States v. Jones, continues to prompt commentary. At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost highlights excerpts from the oral argument, while at Time, Adam Cohen advocates for “a strong pro-privacy ruling [that] would be an important step in pushing back against rising Big Brotherism.”