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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Court returned from a two-week recess to issue six opinions in argued cases. Mark Walsh provided a “view from the Courtroom” for this blog. Perhaps the biggest decision of the day came in Comptroller v Wynne, in which the Court – in an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito – held that Maryland’s personal income tax scheme violated the Constitution’s dormant Commerce Clause. Coverage comes from Mark Walsh for Education Week’s School Law Blog and Jaclyn Belczyk of JURIST, while commentary comes from Daniel Fisher of Forbes.

Justice Alito also had the Court’s decision in City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan, in which the Court held that two police officers who forced their way into the room of a woman with mental disabilities and shot her are entitled to qualified immunity from her lawsuit. Lyle Denniston covered the decision for this blog, with other coverage coming from Ashley Hogan of JURIST. Commentary comes from Howard Wasserman, who focuses on Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in a post at PrawfsBlawg, from Mark Joseph Stern at Slate, and from Ruthann Robson at the Constitutional Law Prof Blog.

Justice Breyer had the unanimous decision for the Court in the ERISA monitoring case Tibble v. Edison International. Coverage comes from Jaclyn Belczyk at JURIST, while commentary comes from Ross Runkel at his eponymous blog, Preston Burch and Timothy Verrall at the Ogletree Deakins blog, and Daniel Fisher at Forbes.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had the Court’s decision in the bankruptcy case Harris v Viegelahn. Ronald Mann analyzed the decision for this blog. Other coverage comes from Jaclyn Belczyk of JURIST.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the Court in Henderson v. United States, in which the Court held that an individual who surrenders his guns to police and is then convicted of a felony has the right to transfer those guns to an independent third party, including by selling them. Richard Re covered the decision for this blog, with other coverage coming from Tony Mauro of the Supreme Court Brief (subscription required) and Steven Wildberger of JURIST.

Justice Breyer also had the Court’s decision in Coleman v. Tollefson, in which the Court held that the dismissal of a prisoner’s lawsuit counts as a “strike” for purposes of the Prison Litigation Reform Act’s “three strikes” provision even while an appeal of that dismissal is still pending. Steve Vladeck covered the decision for this blog; other coverage comes from Taylor Brailey of JURIST.

The Court also issued orders from its May 14 Conference. Lyle Denniston covered the orders for this blog, focusing in particular on the Court’s denial of review in a “years-long political battle surrounding Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his political allies.” Other coverage of the denial in the Wisconsin case comes from Lawrence Hurley of Reuters.

The Court granted one new case: Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, in which it will consider issues related to mootness and class actions. Commentary on the grant comes from Andrew Pollis at PrawfsBlawg and from Donald Falk and Archis Parasharami at Mayer Brown’s Class Defense Blog. Mark Walsh covered the Court’s denial of certiorari in a special-education “stay put” case, Ridley School District v. M.R., for Education Week’s School Law Blog, as well as the cert. denial in a lawsuit brought by thousands of New Orleans teachers who were fired after Hurricane Katrina. And at the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog, Mark Miller discusses the Court’s order requesting a response to PLF’s petition for rehearing in an environmental case.


  • In the Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports that, “[f]or the first time in years, New York University Law School professor Burt Neuborne thinks he heard some faint notes of James Madison’s ‘music’ in a First Amendment opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
  • At Reuters, Dan Levine and Lawrence Hurley report that the “Obama administration has been locked in internal wrangling over what position to take in high profile litigation between two American technology giants, Google and Oracle.”
  • At Dorf on Law, Eric Segall discusses the “running debate among legal scholars and Court commentators over the blend of personal values and law that drives Supreme Court decisions. That question,” he contends, “has never been timelier or more important.”
  • At The Hill, Timothy Jost discusses the possible consequences if the Court were to hold in King v. Burwell that tax subsidies are not available to individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 19, 2015, 9:45 AM),