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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday Chief Justice John Roberts spoke at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in Boston, where he urged both courts and lawyers to “rise above” partisanship.  Coverage of the speech comes from Scott Malone of Reuters and Zachary Sampson of the Boston Globe.

In The Economist, Steven Mazie discusses recent comments by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who in an interview with Katie Couric of Yahoo! News suggested that some of her colleagues have a “blind spot” on women’s issues, and he considers possible causes for what he characterizes as “gender insensitivity.”  At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick discusses the Justice whom she describes as the Court’s “fourth feminist” – Justice Stephen Breyer — lamenting that although Breyer “has consistently voted alongside the court’s three women on virtually all gender issues . . . nobody has yet made a Tumblr for him.”  In USA Today, Richard Wolf marks Breyer’s twentieth anniversary on the Court, observing that, “[p]erhaps more than anyone else in Washington . . . Breyer is a believer in the democratic system.” 

The Court also issued orders yesterday morning, including one that sent the case of Michael Ballard, a Pennsylvania death row inmate who told the Court that he had not authorized his attorney to seek Supreme Court review, to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for investigation or other action.  Lyle Denniston covered the order for this blog, while Kent Scheidegger discusses the case at Crime and Consequences.


  • At Re’s Judicata, Richard Re urges the Court to provide the public with free electronic access to documents filed there.
  • In his Sidebar column for The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports on a new study on the Court by Cass Sunstein, who “concluded that all of the usual reasons for seeking common ground” in the Court’s opinions “were open to question.”
  • In the ABA Journal, Erwin Chemerinsky looks back at the Term that ended in late June and argues that “many of the cases that seemed narrow in their holding are likely to have broad implications in leading to future litigation and in their social impact.”
  • At New Civil Rights Movement, Jean Ann Esselink reports that a “New York based group known as The Satanic Temple has used” the Court’s June decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, holding that closely held corporations with religious objections cannot be required to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate, “to request an exemption from laws that require pre-abortion counseling.”
  • At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur chronicles efforts by opponents of the Affordable Care Act to steer their challenges to subsidies for health insurance purchased through exchanges created by the federal government to the Supreme Court.

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. 12, 2014, 7:47 AM),