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Thursday round-up

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in the news, with the release of excerpts from her interview with Katie Couric of Yahoo! News.  Among other things, the Justice indicated that she has no plans to retire.  Josh Gerstein reported on the interview for Politico.

In Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul Barrett reports on the possibility that a recent ruling by a federal district judge, striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on carrying handguns in public, may wind up at the Supreme Court, describing the case as “an irresistible opportunity to address the public-carry issue, despite any uncertainty that may exist about Justice Kennedy’s leanings.”  (Lyle Denniston reported on that ruling for this blog.) 

In the wake of the recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, Richard Socarides reports for The New Yorker on the “race” to bring the issue of same-sex marriage back to the Court.  (Lyle Denniston covered the Fourth Circuit ruling for this blog.)  And at The Volokh Conspiracy, Dale Carpenter responds to a recent article by Adam Liptak in The New York Times (which we covered in Tuesday’s round-up) about the role that animus (or the lack thereof) could play if same-sex marriage returns to the Court; Carpenter concludes that “the issue may have greater significance in the Supreme Court than it has had in the lower courts,” and he advises supporters of same-sex marriage “to consider at least the possibility that Justice Kennedy will want to know whether animus is the best explanation for why same-sex couples have been excluded by many states from making the basic to decision to marry.”

As Lyle reported for this blog earlier in the week, Abigail Fisher has asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reconsider her challenge to the undergraduate admissions policies used by the University of Texas at Austin.  In The Economist, Steven Mazie responds to a column by Linda Greenhouse (which we included in last week’s round-up) in which Greenhouse predicted that the Court will not weigh in on the case a second time.  Mazie agrees with Greenhouse that the Fifth Circuit panel “made the correct decision,” but he nonetheless predicts that the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas “will agree with Judge Emilio Garza, the dissenter on the Fifth Circuit panel, and opt to hear the case again.”


  • At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Marci Hamilton weighs in on the events that have followed the Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, holding that the application of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate to closely held corporations owned by families with strong religious beliefs violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • In The New York Review of Books, David Cole reviews three recent books on the Roberts Court – Uncertain Justice (by Laurence Tribe and former SCOTUSblog contributor Joshua Matz), In the Balance (by Mark Tushnet), and Scalia (by Bruce Murphy) – and concludes that “what most defines the Roberts Court may be its hostility to courts themselves.”

A friendly reminder:  We rely on our readers to send us links for the round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at]  Until the end of the summer, we will have twice-weekly round-ups (Tuesday and Thursday); daily round-ups will resume in the fall.  Thank you!

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 31, 2014, 9:05 AM),