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Wednesday round-up

Today is the final day of the January sitting.  The Court will hear argument first in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, in which the question presented is whether the Fair Housing Act allows claims based on disparate impact.  Lyle Denniston previewed the argument for this blog, I added a preview in Plain English, and we hosted an online symposium on the case earlier this month.  Other coverage comes from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News, Richard Wolf of USA Today, and Zachary Roth of MSNBC.  Commentary comes from Elizabeth Wydra at the Huffington Post, Todd Gaziano at The Blaze, Sherilynn Ifill at McClatchyDC, Valerie Schneider at ACSblog, and Roger Clegg at the National Review Online.

The second case today is Rodriguez v. United States, in which the Court will consider whether the Fourth Amendment allows police to extend a roadside traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff.  Rory Little previewed the case for this blog.

Yesterday was a busy day at the Court, which began the morning by issuing additional orders from last Friday’s Conference.  The Court summarily reversed the decision of the Eighth Circuit in Christeson v. Roper, leaving the door open for a death-row inmate to pursue federal habeas relief after his lawyers missed a deadline.  Lyle Denniston covered yesterday’s orders for this blog; other coverage of the decision in Christeson comes from NPR’s Nina Totenberg, Addison Morris of JURIST, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, and Lawrence Hurley of Reuters (via Yahoo! News).  Commentary on the decision comes from Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences.  Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News covers the Court’s denial of review in NACS v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in which the Court “left intact a Federal Reserve rule governing how much banks can collect for debit-card transactions.”  Finally, at the Ogletree Deakins blog, Hera Arsen reports on the Court’s denial of cert. yesterday in CLS Transportation Los Angeles v. Iskanian.

The Court followed up by issuing two opinions in argued cases.  In Holt v. Hobbs, it ruled that Arkansas must allow a Muslim inmate to grow a half-inch beard.  I covered the decision for this blog, with other coverage coming from NPR’s Nina Totenberg, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, and Addison Morris of JURIST.  Commentary comes from Steven Mazie at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Ruthann Robson at Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences, Carrie Severino at the National Review Online’s Bench Memos, and Ed Mannino at his eponymous blog.

The other opinion came in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA v. Sandoz, in which the Court ruled that the Federal Circuit should review a trial judges’ findings of fact for clear error.  Ronald Mann covered the decision for this blog, with other coverage coming from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News, Daniel Fisher of Forbes, and Bradley McAllister of JURIST.  Commentary comes from Lisa Larrimore Ouellette at Written Description.

Yesterday the Court also heard oral arguments in two cases.  In Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, it is considering the constitutionality of a rule that prohibits candidates for judgeships from personally soliciting campaign contributions.  Lyle Denniston covered the oral argument for this blog, with other coverage coming from NPR’s Nina Totenberg and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News.  Commentary comes from Rick Hasen at his Election Law Blog, Ruthann Robson at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Reity O’Brien at the Center for Public Integrity, and Jeff Shesol at The New Yorker.

As David McLaughlin reports for Bloomberg News, in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Care Center, the Court is considering whether “hospitals and other health-care providers have the right to challenge Medicaid reimbursement rates set by states.”  Commentary on yesterday’s other argument comes from Nicole Huberfeld at HealthLawProfBlog.  And at ISCOTUSnow, Edward Lee predicts both of the winners in yesterday’s oral arguments based on the number of questions for each side.


  • At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur reports on research arguing that a “Supreme Court decision to overturn Obamacare subsidies would directly affect millions of Americans in key swing states and pose a political dilemma for Republicans ahead of the 2016 election — at least unless they can get behind a viable health care alternative.”
  • In the Tampa Tribune, Elizabeth Wydra weighs in on the Court’s recent announcement that it will review the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage; arguing that because “the Constitution guarantees the right to equal treatment for all, especially when it comes to something as fundamental as marriage, the court should uphold the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.”
  • Five years ago today, the Court issued its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In an op-ed for USA Today, Ilya Shapiro weighs in on the decision, which he describes as  “[p]robably the most misunderstood case in modern legal history.”

 [Disclosure:  Tejinder Singh of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in Christeson.  The firm was also among the counsel to the petitioners in NACSHowever, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 21, 2015, 5:46 AM),