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Friday round-up

Coverage of the Court looks ahead to cases already on the Court’s docket for the October Term 2014.  At the Council of State Governments, Lisa Soronen looks at the big picture, with brief previews of the issues that could affect states, while Adam Liptak of The New York Times previews Holt v. Hobbs, in which the Justices will consider whether Arkansas prison officials can prohibit a Muslim inmate from growing a half-inch beard.  With the Court expected to hear oral arguments this fall in a pair of challenges to Alabama’s redistricting plan for its state legislature, C-SPAN Radio will air the 1993 oral arguments in another important redistricting case, Shaw v. Reno, tomorrow at 6 p.m.


  • In the wake of recent comments by President Barack Obama suggesting that there might be retirements from the Court in the not-too-distant future, Tony Mauro of The National Law Journal looks at some of the possible nominees to fill such openings.
  • In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse looks back at the Court’s decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning.  She “credit[s] Stephen Breyer with an important victory,” suggesting that “[i]’s hard to imagine a more perfectly designed contest between two justices, Breyer and Scalia, and between the contrasting approaches to constitutional interpretation that they have come to stand for.”
  • In the California Lawyer, Douglas Kmiec looks back at the October Term 2013, concluding that “[t]his was in some ways a more important term for the practical application and explanation of precedent as informed by historical practice.”
  • At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick looks back at the case of two North Carolina brothers who were recently exonerated after three decades in prison.  Because Justice Antonin Scalia had once cited one of the brothers as “the reason to continue to impose the death penalty,” she queries whether, “[h]aving shown that he never committed that crime, it seems high time to ask whether, in the view of some Supreme Court justices, that would have even made a difference had we executed him.”
  • At the National Review Online’s Bench Memos, Carrie Severino discusses the recent extension of time given to the federal government to respond to the petition for certiorari in King v. Burwell, one of the challenges to the availability of tax subsidies for people who buy health insurance on exchanges created by the federal government.  (Lyle Denniston also reported on the extension for this blog.)
  • At RH Reality Check, Jessica Mason Pieklo weighs in on Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, in which the Justices have been asked to consider whether a Florida rule which prohibits judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign funds violates the First Amendment.  She acknowledges that, “[b]y objective standards, this is a case the Supreme Court should hear,” but she also contends that “this case is the perfect candidate (pardon the pun) for the Roberts Court to do for judicial elections what it did for elections generally: further open the pipeline of money.”
  • The New Yorker has released a “collection of six classic articles on the Supreme Court” – many of which, it explains, “highlight the ways in which the Justices have transformed both the Court and the nation in recent decades.”
  • In an op-ed for the IndyStar, Judith Schaeffer recounts her visit to the Indiana Supreme Court, which streams all of its oral arguments live on the Internet, and urges Chief Justice John Roberts – who grew up in Indiana – to do the same for the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The Associated Press reports that “[t]hirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to settle the issue once and for all.”

[Disclosures: John Elwood, a frequent contributor to this blog, is among the counsel to the petitioner in Holt v. Hobbs, while Kevin Russell of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to one set of petitioners in the Alabama redistricting cases.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 5, 2014, 11:13 AM),