Much of yesterday’s coverage of the Court focused on the upcoming decision in the cases challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the announcement that three of the top five U.S. health insurers have pledged to abide by some of the changes wrought by the ACA – including the provision allowing young adults stay on their parents’ plans – regardless of the Court’s decision.  Coverage of this development comes from Alex Wayne of Bloomberg Businessweek, Mickey Meece of Forbes, and the Associated Press (via CBS News).  At the Washington Post blog “She the People,” Diana Reese is skeptical of the announcement, countering that the move “hardly turns the insurance giant[s] into Santa Claus.”  

At the Christian Science Monitor, Steven R. Hurst discusses the implications of the pending decision for the upcoming presidential elections, while the Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports on recent comments by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who indicated that he hopes the Court will do “the right thing” and strike down the health care overhaul.  At CNN, David Gergen and Michael Zuckerman opine that, with respect to the ACA challenges, the Court “is in a position of damned if you do, damned if you don’t” and suggest that the “justices have to ignore all considerations of public opinion and decide the case strictly on the merits.”  Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board laments that in light of the Court’s recent low approval rating, “many Americans are going to suspect that politics” played a part in the Court’s ruling regardless of whether the ACA “passes constitutional muster.”  And at ABC News, Michael Ono writes that if the Court upholds the ACA, “it will put some Republican governors in the uncomfortable position of working with the federal government to implement a law they dislike.”

Coverage of Monday’s orders and opinions also continued.  At this blog, Professor Steve Vladeck analyzes Elgin v. Department of the Treasury, a six-to-three decision in which the Court held that the Civil Service Reform Act, which established a “comprehensive system for reviewing personnel action taken against federal employees,” provides the exclusive avenue to judicial review when a qualifying employee challenges an adverse employment action by arguing that a federal statute is unconstitutional.  The Court’s denial of cert. in several Guantanamo detainee cases provoked a response from the Los Angeles Times editorial board, which complained that “the [J]ustices have abdicated their authority and devalued their own achievement.”  And William Kaempffer of the New Haven Register covers the Court’s refusal to “get involved in another race-based promotional lawsuit involving the New Haven Fire Department.”

Finally, last week’s news of the Court’s low approval rating continues to generate commentary.  At Jost on Justice, Ken Jost posits that the dismal poll numbers may be “[t]he fruits of more than 40 years of politicization of the courts by the Republican Party” – a sentiment echoed by Robert Reich who argues at the blog Market Playground that the poll likely “reflect[s] a sense that the Court is more political.”  And in commentary for the Baltimore Sun, Jules Witcover contends that “[t]he one-time reverential public attitude toward the nation’s nine top jurists . . . has been undergoing deterioration ever since its 2000 split decision in the Florida presidential recount controversy.”  Finally, at Slate, Matt Taylor suggests that although Justice Kennedy is likely to hear “about the public opinion of the High Court dipping . . . he won’t care.”


  • At the New Republic, Jeffrey Rosen discusses “New Textualism” – “a growing movement on the legal left [which] has sought to fashion its own version of originalism.”
  • At the online journal Defining Ideas, Richard Epstein argues that the Court’s recent decision in Armour v. Indianapolis “encapsulates what goes wrong when the Supreme Court abandons its constitutional obligation to prevent the nonstop shenanigans of local governments.”
  • Ruthann Robson at Constitutional Law Prof Blog details “three other not-yet-decided opinions,” apart from the health care reform cases, “that are much anticipated and involve controversial constitutional issues.”

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 13, 2012, 12:01 PM),