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Tuesday round-up

In a three-part series at Balkinization, Marty Lederman takes a close look at Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, the challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.  Lederman frames the issues in his first post and discusses the scope of the mandate in his second.  In his third post, he then argues that “every single court that has considered a challenge to the HHS Rule has . . . assumed, incorrectly, that the plaintiff employers are under a legal obligation, enforced by ‘fines’ or ‘penalties,’ to offer their employees access to a health insurance plan.”  Instead, he contends, “the plaintiffs’ argument about an irresolvable clash between civic and religious obligations runs into a serious obstacle at the outset—namely, that federal law does not impose such a legal duty:  the so-called ‘contraception mandate’ is a misnomer.”


  • At Education Week, Mark Walsh discusses yesterday’s denial of certiorari in Morrow v. Balaski, in which the family of a Pennsylvania girl who was bullied at school had asked the Court to review the Third Circuit’s decision that the school district could not be held responsible for failing to protect the girl from the bullying.
  • In USA Today, Richard Wolf reports on the disappearance of several potentially controversial cases from the Court’s docket this Term.
  • At the IIT Chicago-Kent Faculty Blog, César F. Rosado Marzán discusses last week’s dismissal of the union organizing case UNITE Here Local 355 v. Mulhall as improvidently granted.  (William Gould reported on the dismissal for this blog.)
  • At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro summarizes the amicus brief that Cato filed in Elane Photography v. Willock, in which a New Mexico wedding photographer has asked the Court to review a state court’s decision that the company violated a state anti-discrimination law when it rejected a request to take photos of a same-sex commitment ceremony. .  The amicus brief, Shapiro explains, argues that “photography, unlike many other wedding-related businesses (e.g., caterers, hotels, limousine drivers), is an art form protected by the First Amendment—even if it’s not political and even if the photos are taken for commercial purposes. “
  • At Appellate Daily, Michelle Olsen reports on “the day the laughter died” at the Court.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 17, 2013, 12:35 PM),