Breaking News

Thursday round-up

In the Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports that next week a former clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall will argue on behalf of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in its challenge to Texas’s specialty license-plate scheme.  And Richard Wolf previews the case for USA Today, describing it as an example of how a “simple case about license plates becomes a crucial test of the First Amendment, pitting freedom of speech against government authority.”

Benjamin Wermund of the Houston Chronicle (subscription required) and the Chronicle of Higher Education both discuss the amicus brief that the Cato Institute filed recently in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which Abigail Fisher is again asking the Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s ruling upholding the university’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process.


  • As part of the Constitutional Accountability Center’s ongoing study of the Roberts Court in its tenth Term, Brianne Gorod concludes that “the story of Roberts’s decisionmaking in environmental law cases is at least somewhat complicated.”
  • At the ACLU’s Blog of Rights, Cassandra Stubbs discusses an Alabama inmate’s challenge to the state’s practice of allowing a judge to override a jury’s recommendation of a lifesentence and impose the death penalty; she contends that it is an “outlier practice [that] runs afoul of the nation’s evolving standards of decency in direct contravention of the Eighth Amendment.”
  • At the American College of Environmental Lawyers, Andrea Field discusses the Court’s recent decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association. She concludes that, “just a short jog down the road, we will see some particularly bold (or outrageous) re-interpretative rules flowing from agencies unimpeded by fears of the judicial review process.  That will prompt challenges from those supportive of the previous interpretive rules.  And that might well prompt the Chief Justice and one or more other justices to join Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas in revisiting Auer 

A friendly reminder:  We rely on our readers to send us links for the round-up.  If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 19, 2015, 7:06 AM),