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, continues to dominate coverage of and commentary on the Court.  At The Hill, Sarah Ferris summarizes the current dispute over “standing” – whether the challengers have the legal right to pursue their lawsuit.  At MSNBC, Dominic Perella concludes that, if the Court were to dismiss the lawsuit because the plaintiffs lack standing, it “could be a nightmare for Obamacare’s challengers: another year for more people to sign up for insurance through the exchanges, and for more people to reap the benefits of subsidies.” Nicholas Bagley weighs in on the standing issue at The Incidental Economist, expressing “serious doubts about the standing of” three of the four challengers.  At The New Republic, Cristian Farias observes that “the Supreme Court, as much as it stands for uniformity and principle, has not been consistent at all in its application of standing, and could very well choose to do whatever it wants with it in King.”  And at Balkinization, Rob Weiner contends that “developments since the high water mark when the Court granted review in King do not merely undermine the [challengers’] claims” but “also highlight the significance of the case to the democratic principles at the core of our constitutional system, and, accordingly, to the legitimacy the public accords the Court’s decisions.”

Other coverage focuses on recent appearances by and interviews with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports on the event that she moderated last week:  a joint appearance by Justice Ginsburg and Justice Antonin Scalia, at which – among other things – Ginsburg admitted to being not “100 percent sober” at this year’s State of the Union address.  Other coverage of that appearance comes from Robert Barnes in The Washington Post and from the BBC News.  MSNBC’s Irin Carmon also reports on her interview with Ginsburg, who once again reiterated that she has no plans to retire.  Addressing the retirement question, Richard Wolf of USA Today observes that “if any of the four justices now between 76 and 81 years of age were to depart under a president of the opposite party – particularly Ginsburg or Scalia – the ideological swing could be much more dramatic” than occurred with the past few retirements. 

Briefly:

  • At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Leslie Griffin discusses Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education, a case scheduled for consideration at Friday’s Conference that asks the Court to consider whether a church is entitled to use public school facilities for worship.
  • At the National Review’s Bench Memos blog, Roger Clegg follows up on a question raised by the Chief Justice at last month’s oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, noting a recent op-ed by “the chairman of another Texas organization, who . . . complains that what’s needed is more low-income housing in minority areas, not less.”
  • Second Founding has posted video of an event to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday and the legacy of the Thirteenth Amendment; the video includes remarks by retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • At ImmigrationProf Blog, Nancy Morawetz continues a series of posts on the immigration case Kerry v. Din, arguing in her latest post that “the pattern of using the power of the federal government to conveniently change the image of facts on the ground is at work once again in the government’s reply submission” in the case.

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Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Snow-day round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 17, 2015, 9:47 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2015/02/snow-day-round-up/