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Wednesday round-up

This blog’s symposium on McCutcheon v. FEC, in which the Court will consider a constitutional challenge to aggregate limits on contributions to federal candidates and political committees, continues with an essay from Robert Corn-Revere, who “urge[s] all the members of the Court not to approve any limits on political speech, or its material support, without strictly scrutinizing both the government’s rationale and its proof of the problem it seeks to combat.”  In an op-ed for Reuters, Richard White revisits politics in the Gilded Age and discusses what they might portend if the Court in McCutcheon were to lift the aggregate limits.


  • The Court’s “water docket” could have another case soon – this time, a battle between Florida and Georgia over water from a river basin on which the two states (along with Alabama) rely.  Florida, which claims that Georgia’s “unchecked consumption of water” has (among other things) harmed its oyster industry, has announced that it plans to file suit in the Supreme Court to resolve the dispute.  Toluse Olorunnipa and Michael C. Bender have the story for Bloomberg News.
  • More than six weeks after the Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, holding that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act – which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman for purposes of federal laws and programs – is unconstitutional, married same-sex couples who live in a state that does not recognize their marriages are waiting for more clarity from the federal government about which marriages the IRS will recognize, a question that in turn will affect their health insurance benefits.  Michelle Andrews reports for Kaiser Health News.
  • The story of Baby Veronica, the child at the center of last Term’s Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, continues to play out in Oklahoma, where the child’s biological father was arrested on Monday on charges that he interfered with her custody.  Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced yesterday that she would not immediately sign a warrant for the father’s extradition to South Carolina, where the charges originate; meanwhile, the child remains in Oklahoma.  Brendan O’Brien and Greg McCune of Reuters have the story.
  • This blog’s Lyle Denniston reports on recent developments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that may require the Court to clarify how lower courts should interpret decisions in which five Justices cannot agree on a rationale for the result that the Court reaches.
  • This blog’s multimedia series continues with the second installment of Fabrizio di Piazza’s interview with Assistant Federal Defender David Porter.

Disclosure:  Kevin Russell of the law firm of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys work for or contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of Ms. Windsor in United States v. Windsor.  However, the author of this post is not affiliated with the law firm.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 14, 2013, 9:42 AM),