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Wednesday round-up

Today’s the day!  At 10 a.m. the Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who purchase their health insurance on a marketplace created by the federal government.  Lyle Denniston previewed the oral argument for this blog, while I added a preview in Plain English.  Other coverage of the case comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR; Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, who focuses on the role of Chief Justice John Roberts; David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, who looks at the origins of the case; Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo, who reports that  “Senate Republican leaders wouldn’t commit Tuesday to having health care legislation ready by June to avert a potential crisis if the Supreme Court wipes out Obamacare subsidies for millions of Americans”; Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, who profiles Michael Carvin, the attorney for the challengers; and Paige Winfield Cunningham in the Washington Examiner. And in the Legal Times (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports that the Court has declined to release same-day audio of the argument. 

Commentary (generally supporting the challengers) comes from C. Boyden Gray, Adam White, and Adam Gustafson at the Volokh Conspiracy; Carrie Severino at National Review Online’s Bench Memos, Jonathan Keim at National Review Online’s Bench Memos, Damon Root at Reason’s Hit and Run Blog; and Tom Christina at the Ogletree Deakins blog; commentary generally supporting the government comes from Sister Carol Keehan in the Courier-Journal and Sara Rosenbaum and Georges Benjamin at ACSblog.

Coverage of Monday’s oral argument in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, in which the Court is considering whether the Constitution prohibits the state’s voters from handing over authority for redistricting to independent commissions, comes from Tony Mauro for the Supreme Court Brief (subscription required) and Steven Mazie for The Economist (subscription or registration required).  Commentary comes from Richard Re, who discusses the standing issue at PrawfsBlawg.

Yesterday the Court issued one decision, in the Tax Injunction Act case Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl.  Coverage comes from Tony Mauro of the Supreme Court Brief (subscription required).

Yesterday the Court heard oral arguments in City of Los Angeles v. Patel, in which it is considering a challenge to the constitutionality of a Los Angeles ordinance that allows police to review a hotel’s guest register without needing either consent or a warrant.  Coverage comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR.


  • In The National Law Journal (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports on a petition for certiorari asserting “that federal courts routinely violate the privacy of indigent plaintiffs by making their personal information public.”
  • In the Charlotte Observer, Caroline Mala Corbin urges the Court to uphold a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit striking down a North Carolina law that would requires ultrasounds for women who are pregnant and seeking an abortion; the state has asked the Court to review that ruling.
  • At Poynter, Kimberly Chow discusses the Court’s decision earlier this year in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean, asserting that, “[i]n reinforcing the federal protections given to whistleblowers, the Court recognized the valuable role whistleblowers play in holding the government accountable. By extension, the news media that reports on their disclosures also scored a victory.”
  • In The Atlantic, Dawinder Sidhu discusses last week’s oral arguments in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, in which the Court is considering a retailer’s refusal to hire a Muslim woman because she wears a headscarf; he contends that the “case is not only about discrimination, but also about employers’ attempts to use dress codes as a mechanism to regulate, and minimize, the presence of the visibly religious in our public spaces.”

 [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, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 4, 2015, 5:49 AM),