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Thursday round-up

The Justices return to the bench at ten o’clock this morning to issue additional opinions in argued cases.  In a story for Reuters, Joan Biskupic describes the process by which the Court issues its opinions, noting that the Justices’ statements in the Courtroom itself can “reveal a justice’s personality, sense of humor, or, in a dissenting opinion, temper.”  As the Court enters the home stretch, Richard Wolf of USA Today tracks the Court’s cases in an interactive feature, while Carrie Severino predicts who might be authoring the remaining opinions in a post at the National Review Online’s Bench Memos.  At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger responds to a recent story in The New York Times suggesting that the Court is “drifting leftward”; from a law enforcement perspective, he concludes, it is “not a bad term.”  And at the Blog of Legal Times (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports on a recent letter from members of Congress urging the Court to allow live broadcasts of the upcoming opinion announcements. 

Some coverage and commentary anticipate the Court’s decision in King v. Burwell, in which it is considering whether the Affordable Care Act allows tax subsidies to go to individuals who purchase health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government.  At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that, in the face of dire predictions about what will happen if the Court invalidates the subsidies, “the justices may be considering ways to delay or reduce the disarray.”  In an op-ed at Forbes, Ilya Shapiro looks at “who wins if the justices rule” in favor of the challengers, while at New York Magazine Cristian Farias urges Chief Justice John Roberts to let the “elected rather than the unelected respond for the political consequences of Obamacare.”

Other coverage and commentary focus on decisions from earlier this week.  In his column for The Atlantic, Kent Greenfield links City of Los Angeles v. Patel, in which the Court held that a Los Angeles ordinance which allows police to inspect hotel guest registries without advance notice or a warrant is unconstitutional because it does not provide an opportunity for precompliance review, and Horne v. Department of Agriculture, in which the Court held that a raisin marketing program which requires raisin growers to hand over part of their crops to the federal government violates the Constitution:  he observes that the two cases gave corporations “valuable new constitutional protections – and the liberals were on board.”  At the National Review Online’s Bench Memos, Jonathan Keim predicts that “the immediate practical effect of the Court’s decision” in Patel will “be to encourage litigation by the defense bar and activist groups,” while in another post at Bench Memos he cites the Horne case as an example of why “it’s helpful to step back and recognize why the principles are so important:  they protect real people.”  In commentary for the Cato Institute, Ilya Shapiro and Randal Meyer note that the Court’s decision in Horne “has far-reaching implications for the continuation of all the New Deal-era price controls.”


  • In USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that, in anticipation of a ruling striking down the bans, same-sex couples who can’t get married in their home states are nonetheless going ahead and planning weddings.
  • At IMLA’s Appellate Practice Blog, Lisa Soronen breaks down the decision in Kingsley v. Hendrickson, in which the Court ruled that a pretrial detainee claiming excessive force need only show that the use of force was objectively unreasonable.
  • The ImmigrationProf Blog continues its online symposium on Kerry v. Din with a post from Chuck Roth, who focuses on “what precisely is the holding of” the case?
  • A post at Arizona’s Politics discusses the legal fees that the state has paid to private law firms for their roles in redistricting battles, including the challenge to Arizona’s independent redistricting commission, which is still pending at the Court.
  • In a post at the blog of Faruki, Ireland, & Cox, Jim Smerbeck discusses the Court’s recent announcement that it would review Spokeo v. Robins; he argues that the cert. grant “suggests that at least some members of the Court have serious doubts as to whether a statutory cause of action can substitute for actual harm for standing purposes.”
  • At Boyle’s Laws, David Boyle discusses (among other things) the Court’s recent decision in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and concludes that the Court’s “reasoning was reasonable.”

 [Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the hotel/motel owners in Patel. However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 25, 2015, 6:40 AM),