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Monday round-up

Michael Kirkland of UPI breaks down the challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which requires employers to provide their employees with access to health insurance that includes coverage for birth control.  Both the federal government and a Pennsylvania wood-working company have asked the Court to weigh in on the mandate, and Kirkland predicts that “[t]he odds are good the justices will rule on the challenge late in the new term.”

In The National Law Journal, Anthony Franze and Reeves Anderson survey the amicus briefs filed last Term and the extent to which the Court relied on those briefs; they conclude that “getting the Court’s attention likely will present greater challenges for amici in the coming terms. And it is possible that at some point the justices may conclude that you really can have too many friends.”

When the Justices hear oral argument next week in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a challenge to aggregate limits on campaign contributions, Erin Murphy of Bancroft PLLC will make her first appearance before the Court.  Tony Mauro reports for the Blog of Legal Times on the announcement that Murphy – rather than campaign finance veteran James Bopp or Michael Morley, McCutcheon’s counsel of record — will argue on behalf of plaintiffs Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee. 

At Greenwire, Jeremy Jacobs discusses a set of petitions for certiorari that “could become a marquee environmental case of the Supreme Court’s next term” – challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gases.  The Justices are scheduled to consider the petitions at their Conference today.

At The Chronicle of Higher Education, Richard Kahlenberg discusses a recent letter from the Obama administration to college and university presidents regarding Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which the Court vacated a decision by the Fifth Circuit upholding the university’s use of race in its undergraduate admissions process.  Kahlenberg contends that the letter will “give universities the green light to do what they’ve done all along—take the easy way out and use racial preferences to recruit predominantly middle- and upper-class students of color, rather than engaging in the hard work of recruiting, admitting, and paying for the education of economically disadvantaged students of all races.”

At Jost on Justice, Ken Jost reviews the recent oral arguments by Solicitor General Don Verrilli during the last Term, and he observes that Verrilli posted “a good win-loss record in the eight cases that he personally argued during the previous term.”

In anticipation of the oral argument in Town of Greece v. Galloway, in which the Court will consider the constitutionality of the town’s legislative prayer practice, C-SPAN Radio recently aired the latest installment in its series of historic oral arguments.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 30, 2013, 6:10 AM),