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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued two new opinions in argued cases.  In Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, it held that amendments to interpretative rules do not require notice-and-comment rulemaking.  Coverage and commentary come from Tony Mauro at the Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Steven Schwinn at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, who suggests that the ruling “re-shifts power back to executive agencies in determining the meaning of their own regulations,” Daniel Fisher of Forbes, who notes that “the court’s most conservative justices grumbled in strongly worded concurrences that such deference to regulatory agencies threatens the constitutional balance of powers,” Leland Beck at Federal Regulations Advisor, who contends that the decision “opens the door to many reversals of prior administrative interpretations, even if relied upon by private parties now to their detriment,” and from the Ogletree Deakins blog

And in Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads, the Court held that, for purposes of determining the validity of metrics and standards that Amtrak jointly formulated with the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak is a governmental entity.  Lyle Denniston covered the decision for this blog.

The Court also issued orders from its March 6 Conference, granting review in one new case:  Hurst v. Florida, a challenge to Florida’s limits on the role of the jury in capital cases there.  Lyle Denniston covered the orders for this blog, with other coverage of Hurst coming from Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg covered the Court’s order in University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, returning the Catholic university’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate to the lower courts after last Term’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, holding that the mandate does not apply to closely held corporations owned by devoutly religious families who object to providing some forms of birth control to their female employees.


  • At the Brennan Center for Justice, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy explains why, for her, “[s]ometimes the sweetest sounds in the Home of the Brave are the words ‘cert. denied.’”
  • In The National Law Journal (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports that the Court recently hired Mara Silver as its emergency applications clerk – a position also known as the “death clerk.”
  • In The National Law Journal (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports on an amicus brief supporting the challengers to state bans on same-sex marriage that garnered a “record number” of signers.

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 10, 2015, 6:49 AM),