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Thursday round-up

The Court heard argument yesterday in Chafin v. Chafin, in which it will consider whether an appeal of a district court’s ruling in a case under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction becomes moot after the child returns to her country of habitual residence.  Coverage of the argument comes from Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Bill Mears of CNN, Jon Swaine and Ref Sanchez of The Telegraph, Terry Baynes of Reuters, Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press, and Fox News.  Kali posted the transcript of the oral argument yesterday. 

Coverage continues to focus on the ten pending cert. petitions in cases involving same-sex marriage, which the Justices will consider again in their conference tomorrow.  As Lyle reported for this blog, supporters of Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban have filed a new petition, which directly raises the question of whether states must allow same-sex couples to marry. Ken Ritter of the Associated Press (via the San Jose Mercury News) also has coverage of that filing.  In his Verdict column for Justia, Michael Dorf considers possible causes for the delay in ruling on the same-sex marriage petitions, and in a follow-up post at Dorf on Law, he discusses the Court’s appellate jurisdiction more generally. In a post for this blog, Tom Goldstein argues that the marriage cases are among the few liberal test cases at the Court in recent years; on most issues, he contends, “the left does not even try.  Progressive groups spend all their energy keeping cases away from this Court.”   And in advance of the Court’s Conference tomorrow, Kali has collected this blog‘s recent coverage of the same-sex marriage cases.

Other coverage focuses on the Court’s consideration of race-based affirmative action in higher education.  In a post for this blog, Lyle reports that Michigan is seeking to have the Court review a decision by the Sixth Circuit striking down the state’s ban on affirmative action in the current Term.


  • In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey argue that if the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision is a tax, it runs afoul of the constitutional requirement that indirect taxes “be uniform throughout the United States.”
  • C-SPAN’s Book TV has posted video of a panel discussion on the Court, featuring Clare Cushman, Anthony Franze, Todd Peppers, Jeffrey Toobin, and Artemus Ward, moderated by Tony Mauro of the National Law Journal. (h/t Howard Bashman)
  • Michael Ramsey of The Originalism Blog comments on Tuesday’s decision in Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States, in which the Court held that temporary flooding caused by the government is not automatically exempt from liability under the Takings Clause, arguing that “[t]he Court’s basic point seems right on originalist grounds.”
  • Michelle Olsen of Appellate Daily highlights a circuit split over press access to polling places, but she suggests that “the Supreme Court may want to let the press-access issue develop further in the lower courts before granting certiorari.”


Recommended Citation: Cormac Early, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 6, 2012, 10:01 AM),