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Thursday round-up

Tuesday’s decision in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, in which a divided Court held that Medicaid providers do not have a cause of action to challenge a state’s reimbursement rates, continues to spur commentary.  At the Health Affairs Blog, Timothy Jost analyzes the decision, which he describes as “momentous”:  “Justice Scalia’s opinion, were it supported by a clear majority, could have largely eliminated decades of court decisions allowing the federal courts to enforce the Medicaid law,” but “Justice Breyer’s concurrence muddies the waters a bit” by “leav[ing] open the possibility of judicial enforcement of Medicaid rights where they are clearer, and preserving existing enforcement rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.” And at the blog of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Lisa Soronen argues that the “Court’s rejection of a private cause of action under the Supremacy Clause has implications well beyond this case.  Had the Supreme Court ruled otherwise, the Supremacy Clause would have provided a cause of action for every federal statute that arguably conflicts with state law.”

Other commentary focuses on last week’s decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, in which the Court sent the case of a female UPS driver who became pregnant back to the lower court for it to reconsider its ruling.  In an essay for Politico Magazine, Naomi Schoenbaum suggests that the Court’s ruling is important not only from a legal perspective, but also as “a significant reminder of what a coalition of liberals and social conservatives—what we might call the ‘Care Caucus’—can achieve when they come together, whether in the courts or in the legislature, to advance policies that promote women’s rights and support for the family.”


  • NPR’s Nina Totenberg reviews The Woman in Gold, a new movie that portrays how Maria Altmann “fought her way to the U.S. Supreme Court in her quest to force the Austrian government to give back the painting of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer.”
  • At ACSblog, Leslie Shoebotham weighs in on Monday’s per curiam decision in Grady v. North Carolina, holding that requiring a sex offender to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet constitutes a search.
  • In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse argues that, “if there’s one place that seems to stand apart from the tide of disenchantment with capital punishment, it’s the Supreme Court.”
  • At ISCOTUSnow, Edward Lee predicts the winners of yesterday’s oral arguments based on the number of questions for each side.
  • At Balkinization, Nelson Tebbe discusses Monday’s denial of certiorari in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education, in which the Court denied to review a New York City policy that prohibited the use of public school facilities for worship services.
  • Elsewhere at Balkinization, Tebbe and Corey Brettschneider look back at last week’s oral argument in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, the challenge to Texas’s specialty license plate scheme.
  • At Comparative Patent Remedies, Thomas Cotter analyzes this week’s oral argument in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, and concludes that “there is a majority to overruleBrulotte, with Justices Kagan and Breyer dissenting.”

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 (Apr. 2, 2015, 8:09 AM),