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Friday round-up

With the Court now in its summer recess, some coverage and commentary focus on overviews of the Term more generally.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg and this blog’s Tom Goldstein discuss the Term with Robert Siegel, while at the Los Angeles Times David Savage observes that “perhaps the biggest dynamic driving this term was overreaching by the Court’s conservative justices.”  In Education Week, Mark Walsh looks at the Term from an education perspective, noting that even when the Court is not “weighing cases directly involving education, many of its decisions reach into the schools”; another post excerpts rulings in education-related cases, accompanied by sketches by Art Lien.  MoloLamken analyzes the Court’s business docket, while at Slate, Marty Lederman discusses some of the Term’s biggest surprises.

Commentary on last week’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and the recognition thereof, continues.  At the George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket, Alan Morrison criticizes what he describes as the lack of substantive response from the dissenting Justices, while at the Human Rights at Home Blog Jonathan Todres argues that a part of the Chief Justice’s dissent “should not be overlooked, as its implications for access to justice are potentially far-reaching.”  And llya Shapiro weighs in on the decision in a post at Cato at Liberty, arguing that many of the questions left open by the Court’s ruling “show the folly inherent in government insinuation into the sea of liberty on which we’re supposed to sail our ship of life.”

Commentary on Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, in which the Court held that, when deciding whether to regulate emissions from power plants, the EPA must consider the costs to the power plants up front, comes from Patrick Smith, who discusses the tax implications of the decision at Procedurally Taxing; and from Robert Glicksman, who at the George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket describes the majority’s analysis as “not only blinkered, but nonsensical.”

Commentary on Monday’s decision in Glossip v. Gross, in which the Court rejected a challenge to Oklahoma’s use of a sedative normally used to treat anxiety as the first drug in its three-drug lethal injection cocktail, comes from Harry Weller, who at Crime and Consequences criticizes Justice Stephen Breyer’s reliance on a law review article on racial bias in Connecticut’s capital sentencing scheme; and from Lisa Soronen, who summarizes the case at the NCSL Blog.  And at casetext, Josh Lee argues that, just as the Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas “caused lower courts to treat claims that the Constitution requires states to license same-sex marriages with great seriousness,” Breyer’s dissent “should spark the same vigorous debate among lower-court judges” with regard to the death penalty.

Commentary on the Court’s decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, in which the Court held that the Fair Housing Act does allow a cause of action based on disparate impact, comes from Florence Roisman, who at Poverty and Race argues that the ruling makes “three enormously important contributions to the law and policy governing housing discrimination and segregation”; Ralph Kasarda has a different take on the decision at the Washington Examiner, where he contends that “when a city’s good-faith effort to remedy deplorable housing conditions is ‘discriminatory,’ then something is amiss.”

Yesterday the Court issued an order that narrowed the questions before it in a challenge to the state legislative boundaries by Arizona’s election commission.  Lyle Denniston reported on the order for this blog, with other commentary coming from Rick Hasen at his Election Law Blog.

Reity O’Brien of the Center for Public Integrity discusses the Justices’ financial disclosures, which were released on Thursday, while at MarketWatch Francine McKenna reports on possible conflicts of interest revealed by the disclosures.


  • At Cato at Liberty, Jason Bedrick argues that a decision in favor of the plaintiffs in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a challenge to compulsory fees for public-sector unions in which the Court granted cert. on Tuesday, “would be a major blow to the teachers unions . . . and therefore a significant victory for education reform.”
  • At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro discusses the amicus brief that Cato filed, urging the Court to grant review in a case involving a takings claim by a Nevada church.
  • In an op-ed for The Hill, David Bier discusses the Court’s “other big decision on marriage” – its ruling in Kerry v. Din, which in Bier’s view “dealt a blow to the rights of millions of Americans who wish to marry immigrants.”
  • In a post at the Ninth Circuit Blog, Steve Sady contends that the Court’s recent decision in Johnson v. United States, in which the Court held that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act is unconstitutionally vague, “is a huge deal in the Ninth Circuit.”

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 3, 2015, 8:54 AM),