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Thursday round-up

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 to pour in.  At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Ruben Garcia suggests that the dissenting Justices “see the stigma of being viewed as a bigot for being against same-sex marriage as worse than the stigma of being denied marriage,” while in an op-ed for the Boston Globe Kent Greenfield argues that the difference between Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion for the Court and the dissent of Chief Justice John Roberts “is empathy, and lack thereof.”  At Slate, Brianne Gorod discusses the importance of the Obama administration’s decision not to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act for last week’s ruling, while casetext compiles its commentary on the ruling. 

Other commentary focuses on Monday’s final three decisions in argued cases.  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 James Pew, who at Earthjustice argues that the Obama administration “can satisfy the court’s decision and keep the vital health protections that its limits on power plant pollution provide”; and from Justin Pidot, who at ACSblog indicates that he is “not convinced . . . that the decision necessarily tells us anything about when agencies must consider costs.”

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 Kent Scheidegger in a podcast for the Federalist Society.

In Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the Court rejected the state legislature’s argument that the Constitution’s Elections Clause prohibits voters from transferring power over federal congressional redistricting to an independent commission.  Commentary comes from Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, who at the Brennan Center for Justice describes the case as a “big win for direct democracy and voters in general,” while at his Election Law Blog Rick Hasen notes that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg not only corrected an error in her opinion for the Court but also announced that correction.

Commentary on Thursday’s decision in King v. Burwell, in which the Court agreed with the Obama administration that tax subsidies are available under the Affordable Care Act for everyone who purchases health insurance on an exchange, comes from Brianne Gorod, who at the Huffington Post argues that both the outcome and legal reasoning in the Chief Justice’s decision for the Court were better than in his decision three years ago in the challenge to the individual mandate.  And casetext compiles its analyses of the ruling.

Other commentary focuses on the Term more generally.  In USA Today, Richard Wolf concludes that the Court’s four more liberal Justices “hijacked the Supreme Court this year – and already their conservative colleagues appear to be plotting revenge.”  At Think Progress, Ian Millhiser describes the Term as one in which “the Court’s conservatives appeared to lose their mojo.”  And at Cato at Liberty, llya Shapiro characterizes the Term as “a decent year for liberty, but obviously not without its disappointments.”


  • At the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog, Shauneen Werlinger discusses the Court’s orders granting certiorari, vacating the decision below, and remanding three cases for further consideration of this month’s decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert.
  • Commentary on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a challenge to compulsory fees for public-sector unions in which the Court granted cert. on Tuesday, comes from Bill Gould, who suggests at the Stanford Lawyer that the Court “looks poised to cripple public employee unions and collective bargaining.”


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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 2, 2015, 8:31 AM),