Breaking News

Thursday round-up

The fast-approaching health care arguments continue to dominate Court coverage.  Several stories focus on the public’s views of the Court’s eventual ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  At Bloomberg, Julie Bykowicz and Greg Stohr report on the results of a recent Bloomberg poll indicating that three of four Americans feel that the Court’s decision will be influenced by politics, while Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog and Richard Wolf of USA Today’s The Oval blog report on a Kaiser Family Foundation poll showing that a slim majority of Americans expect the Court to find the law unconstitutional.

Also at Bloomberg, Alex Wayne reports on the stance of business groups like the Chamber of Commerce, which has not opposed the individual mandate itself but has urged the Court to strike down the entire law if it deems the mandate unconstitutional.  And an in an article co-written with Alex Nussbaum, he reports on comments by the CEO of Cigna Corporation, who indicated that the Court’s eventual ruling “won’t stop market forces transforming how Americans get their medical care.”

Looking ahead to the oral arguments, Donna Smith of Reuters reports on the dilemma faced by the Obama administration, which wanted to avoid labeling the fine for failing to purchase health insurance a “tax,” while James Vicini of Reuters provides both a chronology of the legal challenges to the Act and previews the arguments. The Opinion L.A. blog of Los Angeles Times reports on an ABA publication featuring predictions from several legal experts that the Court will uphold the constitutionality of the health care law. Finally, Ariane de Vogue of ABC News reports that many believe Justice Scalia and the Chief Justice will vote to uphold the constitutionality of the health care law.

Previews of upcoming arguments at the Court also continue to roll in. Lawrence Hurley of Greenwire looks ahead to Monday’s arguments in Southern Union Company v. United States, in which the Court will consider whether the Apprendi doctrine applies to the imposition of criminal fines.  And at SCOTUSblog, Kristine Knaplund previews Monday’s other argument in Astrue v. Capato, in which the Court will consider whether a child who was conceived after the death of a biological parent, but who cannot inherit personal property from that biological parent under applicable state intestacy law, is eligible for child survivor benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, Gail Garinger discusses Jackson v. Hobbs and Miller v. Alabama, scheduled for argument next Tuesday; she urges the Justices to hold that juveniles cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.


  • Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal reports that the Department of Justice is “prepared to correct its possibly misleading statements” made to the Court during proceedings in Nken v. Holder, a 2009 immigration case.
  • Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times reports on a mock moot court held in the health care case (audio download) held Tuesday at the California Endowment’s Los Angeles office.
  • At Alison Frankel’s On the Case blog for Thomson Reuters News & Insight, Erin Geiger Smith reports on stalled progress of efforts by legislators to roll back the Court’s ruling in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.
  • At this blog, Stephen L. Wasby highlights his recent article, which “explores the relationship between the Supreme Court and the federal courts of appeals through the story of the aftermath of the 1973 border search case of Almeida-Sanchez v. United States and its progeny.”
  • The editorial board of the New York Times urges the Court to grant a petition seeking review of a decision by a Missouri state court that summarily dismissed a negligence case against the Archdiocese of St. Louis by an alleged victim of sexual abuse.
  • The Associated Press (via the Sacramento Bee) reports that prosecutors have asked the Court to review a decision holding unconstitutional the Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla, California.
  • Writing in the Baltimore Sun, Irwin E. Weiss reviews the Court’s modern jurisprudence on religion in the public sphere.
  • UVA News and Events reports that Justice Thomas visited the University of Virginia School of Law “to meet with a number of law students and faculty members informally.” Kevin R. Johnson of the UC Davis School of Law Dean’s Blog reports that Justice Breyer visited that school several weeks ago.
  • Bonnie L. Cook of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that on a cert. petition filed by several African-American students seeking review of their discrimination case against a Pennsylvania school board.
  • JURIST guest columnist Jeffrey White argues that because qualified immunity “deprives Americans of the cause of action Congress created and their day in court to vindicate their fundamental rights,” the Court’s opinion and Filarsky v. Delia should be construed narrowly to avoid an expansion of the doctrine.
  • Jerry Seper of the Washington Times reports on testimony by a Justice Department in the Senate on the effects of the Court’s decision on FOIA procedures in Milner v. Department of the Navy.  (Conor linked to another story on this testimony yesterday.)
  • Rory Little summarizes the Court’s decision in Martel v. Clair for the American Bar Association.

Recommended Citation: Kiran Bhat, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 15, 2012, 10:47 AM),