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Wednesday round-up

The Justices returned from their long weekend yesterday morning and gave us plenty to talk (and write) about for the rest of the week.  At 9:30 a.m. yesterday they issued orders from last week’s Conference, adding three new cases to their docket for next Term.  Lyle Denniston covered those orders for this blog, with other coverage of the list generally coming from Jaclyn Belczyk of JURIST.

In Evenwel v. Abbott, they noted jurisdiction in a “one-person, one-vote” appeal involving Texas’s redistricting plan for its state senate.  In addition to Lyle’s reporting on the case in his orders post, other coverage comes from Mark Walsh at Education Week’s School Law Blog, Adam Liptak of The New York Times, and Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), with commentary coming from Rick Hasen at his Election Law Blog and at Slate.  At the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Ruthann Robson weighs in on yesterday’s grant in Foster v. Humphrey, a Georgia capital case in which prosecutors’ notes revealed that they had identified, and then struck, all of the African-American jurors in a criminal case.  She argues that the “Court has the opportunity to revisit Batson and the problem of distinguishing between race-neutral and pretextual reasons, perhaps providing a more workable and fair rule.”The Court also issued three decisions in argued cases.  In Kellogg Brown & Root Services v. United States ex rel. Carter, the Justices ruled in a case involving the limitations period for civil fraud cases.  Commentary comes from Marcia Madsen and Luke Levasseur at Mayer Brown’s Meaningful Discussions and from Scott Oswald at Law 360 (subscription or registration required).

The Court issued its opinion in the bankruptcy case Wellness International Network v. Sharif.  Coverage comes from Mark Curriden of the Dallas Morning News, who reports that the Justices ruled that “federal bankruptcy judges are able to decide legal issues outside of their normal authority if the parties in the case consent.”  Commentary on the case comes from Daniel Fisher of Forbes, who observes that “[a]n otherwise arcane bankruptcy case handed the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court a bitter defeat at the hands of the court’s second-most junior judge over an issue he considers ‘sacred,’ while the ghost of Anna Nicole Smith no doubt smiled approvingly overhead.”  And at Balkinization, Marty Lederman remembers Harvard law professor Dan Meltzer, who passed away Sunday evening and whose work Justice Sonia Sotomayor cited in her opinion for the Court in Wellness.


  • Lawrence Hurley and Dan Levine of Reuters report on the Obama administration’s recent filing of an invitation brief in which it urged the Court not to review Google’s “appeal in a case against Oracle with wide implications for the technology industry.”
  • In the ABA Journal, Mark Walsh reports on a recent law review article that explores whether and why high-profile cases are more likely to be issued at the end of the Court’s Term.
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman discusses possible reasons why the Court has not yet issued its opinion in the Facebook threats case Elonis v. United States.
  • In a column for JURIST, Caroline Mala Corbin discusses the post-Hobby Lobby cases involving non-profits which argue that filing paperwork to obtain an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate is a substantial burden on religious liberty. She argues that, “if the government’s simple administrative procedure for receiving a religious exemption were itself treated as an assault on religious liberty, it would be a troubling interpretation of what constitutes a ‘substantial burden.’”

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 27, 2015, 5:12 AM),