Breaking News

Monday round-up

This morning the Court will hear oral arguments in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which it will consider whether a town’s assertion that its sign regulations lack a discriminatory motive can justify its treatment of a church’s religious signs.  Lyle Denniston previewed the case for this blog; other coverage comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR and Lawrence Hurley of Reuters (via Yahoo! News).  Commentary comes from Garrett Epps, who in his column for The Atlantic concludes that “[t]he church should, and almost certainly will, win.”

Before oral arguments, the Court is expected to release orders from last Friday’s Conference.  Among the petitions on that Conference were several challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.  At the Huffington Post, Alan Morrison criticizes the reasoning underlying the opinion, by Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the Sixth Circuit, upholding those bans.  And in the Los Angeles Times, David Savage relates how “the road to gay rights at the U.S. Supreme Court began not in San Francisco or New York, but in a small downtown Los Angeles office, where volunteer writers and editors in 1953 launched a new ‘magazine for homosexuals.’”

King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who purchase their health insurance on exchanges established by the federal government, won’t be argued until early March, but it has spawned coverage and commentary during the last few days.  In The New York Times, Abby Goodnough covers the amicus briefs filed in the case, reporting that, although “[n]early two dozen briefs were filed on behalf of the plaintiffs in the . . . case . . . relatively few Republican state officials signed on.”  At the Huffington Post, Jeffrey Young discusses the possible implications of the Court’s decision, while at Think Progress Ian Millhiser discusses the significance of recent comments by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker that, Millhiser contends, conflict with the claims made by the challengers; Millhiser compares these comments with those of Jonathan Gruber, who has been described as one of the “architects” of the ACA.


  • In a guest post at ACSblog, Sejal Zota weighs in on the immigration case Mellouli v. Holder, scheduled for oral argument on Wednesday. (Kevin Johnson previewed the case for this blog earlier this month.)
  • At the ACLU’s Blog of Rights, Susan Mizner discusses City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan, in which the Court will consider (among other things) whether the Americans with Disabilities Act requires police officers to provide accommodations to a mentally ill suspect whom they are bringing into custody.
  • In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Amanda Hollis-Brusky argues that, although the Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission “turns 5 this month, . . . the damage from the Supreme Court’s revolutionary ruling on campaign finance is just beginning to be felt.”
  • The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal urges the Court to grant review in the campaign finance case Vermont Right to Life Committee v. Sorrell, arguing that “[s]tate laws regulating speech have become a morass of conflicting standards, and the Court could add to its legacy by untangling this legal confusion by making clear that a group cannot be called a political committee if it does not qualify as one under the major purpose test.”

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 12, 2015, 6:24 AM),