Breaking News

Friday round-up

Oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who purchase health insurance on an exchange created by the federal government, are now less than a month away.  Writing for USA Today, Richard Wolf reports on the statistics that both sides cite to support their position.  In a post at the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, Brianne Gorod considers the possible explanations for the absence of an amicus brief by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, while in his column for The Washington Post Greg Sargent considers the possibility that the government could prevail if the “Justices . . . decide the case isn’t just about statutory draftsmanship, and conclude that siding with the challengers would raise serious federalism concerns, ones involving the role of states as separate, independent sovereigns.” 

Transparency at the Court continues to be a hot topic.  At Balkinization, Gerard Magliocca contends that “people are entitled to know how the Justices vote on each cert petition,” while the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times renews the calls for cameras in the courtroom.

Yesterday the Court stayed the execution of Texas inmate Lester Leroy Bower, who had been scheduled to die next week.  I covered the stay for this blog, while Kent Scheidegger weighs in at Crime and Consequences.

Speeches by two Justices are also in the news.  In an appearance at the Georgetown University Law Center, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg discussed (among other things) abortion rights and campaign finance reform; Tony Mauro covered the speech for the National Law Journal (subscription or registration required).  Writing for the Supreme Court Brief (subscription or registration required), Mauro reports on Justice Elena Kagan’s speech at Northwestern University Law School, where she touched on topics such as the Supreme Court bar, the State of the Union message, and her career path.


  • In the Missouri Law Review, Linda Greenhouse celebrates the career of Anthony Lewis, the late Supreme Court reporter for The New York Times.
  • Jim Harper discusses the amicus brief that Cato filed in the hotel privacy case City of Los Angeles v. Patel at Cato at Liberty and – with Ilya Shapiro and Julio Columba – at Cato’s Legal Briefs.
  • At the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Appellate Practice Blog, Lisa Soronen looks ahead at Kingsley v. Hendrickson, in which the Court will consider an excessive force claim by a pretrial detainee.

 [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in Patel.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 6, 2015, 8:19 AM),