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Tuesday round-up

Recent comments by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continue to make news.  Ginsburg told Katie Couric of Yahoo! News that the five male Justices who voted in favor of the challengers in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby have a “blind spot” on issues involving women.  Writing for The National Law Journal, Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle note that Ginsburg’s “pointed critique of the ‘blind spot’ her male colleagues suffer when it comes to women’s issues highlights a simmering gender divide on the nation’s highest court.  What her comments will mean for the justices’ relationships with each other,” they conclude, “is harder to discern.”

Other coverage focuses on the prospect that two high-profile issues – same-sex marriage and the challenges to government tax subsidies for health insurance purchased on exchanges facilitated by the federal government – could be at the Court in the upcoming Term.  As Lyle Denniston reported on Friday for this blog, a county clerk in Virginia has indicated that she will ask the Court to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision striking down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage, while Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News observes that lower court decisions “have created a sense of legal momentum with few if any precedents in the nation’s history.” 

Also last week, the challengers filed a petition seeking Supreme Court review of the Fourth Circuit’s ruling that government tax subsidies are available for all lower-income consumers who buy health insurance from the exchanges created pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, rather than only consumers who buy from exchanges facilitated by the states.  Lyle Denniston covered that filing for this blog; other coverage comes from Kimberly Atkins of the Boston Herald.

Still other coverage of the Court centers on the Court’s denial of review in challenges by death row inmates seeking additional information about the lethal injection protocols that states intended to use to execute them.  At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost contends that the Court “appears largely unmoved either by political trends or the disturbing execution scenes of the past year,” while Mark Sherman of the Associated Press (via Yahoo! News) reports that, “[e]ven as the number of executions annually has dropped by more than half over the past 15 years and the court has barred states from killing juveniles and the mentally disabled, no justice has emerged as a principled opponent of the death penalty.”


  • At The Legal Pulse, Glenn Lammi highlights a recent dissent by Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, with a focus on “how it relates to a dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia in a 2013 opinion (which borrowed a concept from 18th Century philosopher, jurist, and utilitarianism proponent Jeremy Bentham).”
  • Kristina Davis of U-T San Diego reports on the effect that the Court’s recent decision in Riley v. California – holding that police must generally obtain a warrant to search an arrestee’s cellphone – will have (or not have) on similar pending cases.
  • In The National Law Journal, Todd Ruger covers recent efforts by Congress (and primarily by Democrats) to override Supreme Court decisions, as well as the likelihood that most of those efforts will not succeed.
  • At Education Week, Mark Walsh has the story on a PBS documentary on a Florida man who is seeking a new sentence in light of the Court’s 2010 decision in Graham v. Florida, holding that the Constitution prohibits a sentence of life without parole for a juvenile who has not been convicted of murder.

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, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 5, 2014, 8:07 AM),