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Tuesday round-up

And what a day it was.  Yesterday the Court released additional orders from its September 29 Conference.  The long list of cases in which the Court denied review included – to the surprise of many – all seven of the petitions arising from challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.  Lyle Denniston covered the denials for this blog, while I covered them in Plain English.  Also at this blog, Suzanne Goldberg and Neil Siegel weighed in on the denials.  

Andrew Hamm rounded up early coverage of and commentary on the denials and the problems in the press room that surrounded the release of yesterday’s order list.  Other coverage comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR, Brent Kendall and Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, Alison Sacriponte of JURIST, Joan Biskupic of Reuters, and Ben Winslow of Fox13 (who focuses on events in Utah).  And in The National Law Journal (registration or subscription required), Tony Mauro notes that yesterday’s orders will intensify the spotlight on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where several challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage are pending.  Commentary on yesterday’s developments comes from Lisa McElroy at Slate, Richard Socarides in The New Yorker, in The New York Review of Books from David Cole, from Dahlia Lithwick of Slate, and from Cass Sunstein at Bloomberg View,

And although it may have seemed like all of the action took place outside the courtroom yesterday, the Justices were in fact busy hearing oral arguments in Heien v. North Carolina, in which they are considering whether a police officer’s mistake about the law provides the individualized suspicion needed to justify a traffic stop.  Orin Kerr reported on the oral argument for The Volokh Conspiracy, with other coverage and commentary coming from Edward Lee at the IIT Chicago-Kent Faculty Blog and Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences.

Today the Court will hear oral arguments in two cases.  First up is Holt v. Hobbs, in which the Court will consider whether an Arkansas prison policy that prohibits Muslim prisoners from growing a half-inch beard violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.  I previewed the case for this blog, while Nina Totenberg did the same for NPR.  Ronald Mann previewed the second case slated for argument today, Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, for this blog.


  • At NPR, Nina Totenberg previews the upcoming Term, observing that the “issues on the docket . . . range from race and religion cases, to pregnancy discrimination, and even to threats on Facebook.”
  • Elsewhere at NPR, Totenberg reviews Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice, a new book by Joan Biskupic.
  • On Sunday, six of the nine Justices attended the Red Mass in Washington, a Catholic service held each year before the start of the new Term. Tony Mauro reports on the event for The National Law Journal (registration or subscription required).
  • In conjunction with the start of the Term, the Court launched a new version of its website yesterday. Mauro covers the changes for another post at The National Law Journal (registration or subscription required).
  • In Education Week’s School Law Blog, Mark Walsh covers yesterday’s order inviting the United States to weigh in on Ridley School District v. M.R. (registration or subscription required), a case involving the “stay put” provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Greenwire’s Jeremy P. Jacobs reports on a new cert. petition filed by children and children’s groups, who are seeking “to force the government to take more action to combat climate change to the Supreme Court.”
  • At the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, Tom Donnelly looks at the role of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the new Term.
  • At CitiesSpeak, Lisa Soronen surveys some of the new cases on the Court’s docket that may affect local governments.
  • In the Times Insider section of The New York Times (subscription required), Susan Lehman interviews Adam Liptak about his work covering the Court and the Supreme Court press corps.
  • At the Ogletree Deakins blog, Diane Saunders lists “seven key cases on the Court’s docket for the current term that could affect retailers.”
  • Also at Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger looks ahead at Elonis v. United States, in which the Court will consider what protection (if any) is available for threats made on Facebook.
  • At his Election Law Blog (here), Rick Hasen covers the ongoing efforts to get the Court to step into a voting dispute in North Carolina with a post that analyzes the challengers’ response to the state.

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]

[Disclosure: John Elwood, a frequent contributor to this blog, is among the counsel to the petitioner in Elonis.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 7, 2014, 6:43 AM),