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Friday round-up

Next month’s oral argument in King v. Burwell, in which the Court will consider whether tax subsidies are available to individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government, continues to dominate coverage of and commentary on the Court.  Richard Wolf of USA Today reports on the “standing” issue in the case – whether the challengers have a legal right to pursue their lawsuit — while Sahil Kapur reports for Talking Points Memo that supporters of the ACA “are preoccupied with courting the chief justice, whom they view as their most ‘winnable’ swing vote.”   And in his column for The Washington Post, Greg Sargent suggests that, “[i]f you want a sense of just how far-reaching the impact of a Supreme Court decision gutting Obamacare subsidies could prove, new data on health care signups released this week provide a fresh way to game out such a ruling’s consequences.”

Other commentary focuses on next week’s oral argument in the immigration case Kerry v. Din.  Kevin Johnson previewed the case for this blog, while at the ImmigrationProf Blog Timothy Dugdale considers what Justice Anthony Kennedy might do and concludes that the case is “a tough [one] that demands a narrow but just decision.”  And at the AILA Leadership Blog, Liam Schwartz urges the Court to “uphold the court of appeals’ decision that some visa decisions, including those having nothing to do with a consular officer’s discretion, are not completely shielded from judicial review.”

The Justices will meet today for their February 20 Conference.  Among the cases that they are scheduled to consider is Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education, a church’s challenge to New York City’s ban on the use of public school facilities for worship services.  Eugene Volokh discusses the issues in the case at the Volokh Conspiracy; at the National Review Online, Michael Paulsen urges the Court to grant cert. “both to slap down an intransigent Second Circuit and to vindicate a core constitutional principle: The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment does not in any way authorize, and the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses do not permit, direct government discrimination against religion, religious persons, religious groups, or religious expression in government programs, policies, benefits, or forums.”  And at the ACLU’s Blog of Rights, Ashley Gorski discusses a another case on today’s Conference, in which the Court is being asked to consider “criminal defendants’ right to see surveillance applications approved by the secret FISA court.”


  • At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston reports on the latest developments on same-sex marriage in Texas.
  • Matt Stroud of Bloomberg Business reports on the story of George Toca, the Louisiana inmate whose case the Court agreed to hear but then dismissed after Toca was released from prison.
  • In the Supreme Court Brief, Tony Mauro reports that “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is learning an unwritten rule of high-profile life in the digital age: if you speak publicly often enough, you will eventually say something that makes trouble, ethical or otherwise.”
  • In a podcast for the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen, Michael Dorf, and Ilya Shapiro discuss the recent immigration ruling by a federal judge in Texas and how the case might fare at the Supreme Court.

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 20, 2015, 8:12 AM),