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Thursday round-up

Coverage of and commentary on the Court continue to focus on King v. Burwell, in which the Court will consider whether tax subsidies are available to individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange operated by the federal government.  At Think Progress, Ian Millhiser provides a layperson’s guide to the case, while in her column for The New York Times Linda Greenhouse criticizes the Court’s decision to review the case as “a naked power grab by conservative justices who two years ago just missed killing the Affordable Care Act in its cradle, before it fully took effect.”  At The Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler responds to Abbe Gluck’s post on the grant in King for this blog; he contends that, if the Court limits its inquiry to the text of the ACA, “it should conclude that the IRS tax credit rule is unlawful.”  And in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Rick Hasen suggests that the Chief Justice’s vote in Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court struck down the formula used to determine which state and local governments must comply with the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act, “suggests he might not step in to save the health law this time.”  At the Notice and Comment blog of the Yale Journal on Regulation, Andy Grewal discusses the role (or lack thereof) of the legislative grace canon in the debate over the case, while at Balls and Strikes Calvin TerBeek considers the possible impact of the Republican midterm victories on the Court’s decision to review the case and the future of the Affordable Care Act more generally.

Yesterday the Court heard oral argument in the Alabama redistricting cases, which Rick Hasen covered for this blog.  Other coverage comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR (whose preview of the case is here) and E. Tammy Kim of Al Jazeera America.  Commentary comes from Derek Muller at Excess of Democracy, who recaps the oral argument and concludes that the “case went in so many directions, it’s hard to identify how the Court might proceed.”  Writing for the Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports on yesterday’s other oral argument, in Comptroller v. Wynne; he observes that the Justices “appeared to have little sympathy . . . for a Maryland tax that has the effect of ‘double-taxing’ residents for income they make outside the state.”  And at ISCOTUSnow, Edward Lee predicts the winners in both of yesterday’s cases based on the number of questions at oral argument.

Other commentary on the Court looks at the Term more broadly.  At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie has an overview of three of the major cases (and potential cases) at the Court, while at Slate Doug Kendall argues that [i]t’s no exaggeration to say that the Supreme Court will be 2016’s most consequential issue, and that the party that makes the best case for what the court should be will be on its way to victory.”


  • In The Brooklyn Quarterly, Victoria Kwan discusses the oral arguments in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the Jerusalem passport case, and possible next steps for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination League if the law at issue – which requires the Secretary of State, if requested, to list “Israel” on the passport of a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem – is upheld.

 [Disclosure:  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.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 13, 2014, 9:08 AM),