Breaking News

Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Court heard oral argument in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, a case in which the Justices are considering the Takings Clause and the government’s regulation of the raisin market.  Lyle Denniston covered the oral argument for this blog, with other coverage coming from Jess Bravin for The Wall Street Journal, Jeremy Jacobs of Greenwire, and Jaclyn Belczyk of JURIST.  Commentary comes from Ruthann Robson at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog.  At this blog, Mark Walsh provides a “view from the Courtroom” during yesterday’s arguments, while at ISCOTUSnow Edward Lee predicts the winner in the case based on the number of questions for each side.

The Court issued one opinion yesterday, ruling in United States v. Wong and United States v. June that the time limits of the Federal Tort Claims Act are subject to equitable tolling.  Coverage comes from Taylor Gillian for JURIST, while Noah Feldman analyzes the decision for Bloomberg View.

Commentary on Tuesday’s opinion in Rodriguez v. United States, in which the Court held that police officers cannot prolong a traffic stop just to perform a search for drugs using a specially trained dog, comes from Leslie Shoebotham at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights and from Aarian Marshall at The Atlantic’s Citylab.

On Tuesday the Court also issued its opinion in ONEOK v. Learjet, holding that state-law antitrust claims by purchasers of natural gas against the interstate pipelines from which they purchase the gas are not within the field of matters preempted by the Natural Gas Act.  Jim Rossi covered the decision for this blog, with commentary coming from Lisa Soronen at the blog of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Other commentary focuses on the upcoming arguments in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage.  In a post at Verdict, Michael Dorf uses the upcoming oral argument in the same-sex marriage cases as an opportunity to discuss the relation between social change and the Supreme Court, while at Dorf on Law he discusses, among other things, the implications of the case for the legacies of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia. At The Daily Signal, Ryan Anderson outlines “what you need to know” about the cases, while in another post at The Daily Signal Gene Schaerr contends that a decision in the challengers’ favor would be “particularly bad news for women and children from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.”  At Public Discourse, Kyle Duncan contends that the challengers in the case “are not merely asking the Court to recognize a new right. They are asking the Court to declare that the Constitution removes this issue from democratic deliberation.”  And at Legalfeet, Robin Radner discusses the same-sex marriage cases and state versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


  • At this blog, Rory Little covers Monday’s oral argument in Johnson v. United States, in which the Court heard re-argument on the constitutionality of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause.
  • At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger anticipates the Court’s decision in Elonis v. United States, the Facebook threats case.
  • At ACSblog, Ellen Unterwald weighs in on next week’s challenge to Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol, arguing that, “[a]s a pharmacologist who studies drugs, I strongly believe the Supreme Court should prevent Oklahoma from using midazolam in lethal injection executions, and encourage states to base lethal injection protocols on all available scientific knowledge and research.”

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, served as counsel on an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in ONEOK.  However, I am not associated with the firm.]

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. 23, 2015, 6:37 AM),