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Tuesday round-up

In USA Today, Richard Wolf looks at the rhetoric in some of the Court’s recent decisions and concludes that, although “[s]harply written opinions are nothing new inside the court’s marble palace . . . [w]hat the latest jibes and jawbones suggest is that the court is more sharply divided than it has been in decades.” And in The New York Times, Adam Liptak similarly suggests that, “[f]or the first time, the Supreme Court is closely divided along party lines.”

In an op-ed for The National Law Journal (registration required), Gregory M. Lipper criticizes the Court’s decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, upholding a New York town’s practice of beginning its town council meetings with a prayer.  Lipper warns that “[i]f and when today’s religious majority becomes tomorrow’s religious minority, they will demand greater respect for religious diversity than they are willing to offer now.”  Brett Harvey has a different view in his op-ed, arguing that the Court’s decision “not only protects the ability of the government to accommodate the faith of the people, but it adds further protection for people to publicly pray and express their own faith.”  For that reason, he continues, the opinion “will continue to be felt in constitutional jurisprudence for years to come.”

At The Incidental Economist, Nicholas Bagley discusses M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett, in which the Court will consider the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements involving retiree health-care benefits.  He concludes that, “[i]f [he] had to guess, this case won’t go well for retirees.”  And in his column for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik follows up on Bagley’s post and agrees that the Court’s decision “could be another blow for the average working stiff.”


  • Writing at Democracy 21, Fred Wertheimer predicts that the Court’s recent campaign finance decisions “will not stand the test of time.  One day, there will be a new majority on the Supreme Court that reflects the views about ‘corruption,’ contribution limits and corporate spending in elections, held by the Supreme Court for decades until 2010.”

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 13, 2014, 7:56 AM),