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Wednesday round-up

Commentary on Friday’s announcement that the Court will review a challenge to a Texas law imposing additional regulations on abortion clinics in that state continues.  In the Stanford Lawyer, Jane Schachter concludes that the case “will present an occasion for the Court—and especially Justice Kennedy—to reflect on” its 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey “outside the unique context of partial birth abortion.”  At ProPublica, Nina Martin has a “reading list” for the case, which she describes as potentially “its most important abortion case in a generation.”  At the Knowledge Center, Lisa Soronen summarizes the abortion and birth-control mandate cases, while at Dubitante Justin Sadowsky discusses the distinction between direct and indirect rights in the context of the abortion cases and the Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

Remarks by Justice Antonin Scalia are in the news as well.  At Education Week’s School Law Blog, Mark Walsh reports on Scalia’s appearance at Georgetown University Law Center, where he told an audience that “there is no U.S. constitutional right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children.”  And at PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman discusses Scalia’s remarks in an unrecorded speech at Princeton – in which, according to a Princeton faculty member who opposes same-sex marriage, Scalia “declared that though Supreme Court rulings should generally be obeyed, officials had no Constitutional obligation to treat as binding beyond the parties to a case rulings that lack a warrant in the text or original understanding of the Constitution.”


  • At PrawfsBlawg, Richard Re looks at the possibility that the Court’s first decision in Abigail Fisher’s challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process established jurisdiction for Fisher’s second trip to the Court.
  • At the Liberty Blog, Tim Sandefur discusses the amicus brief that the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Cato Institute filed in “a case involving teeth whiteners” and the question whether “‘mere protectionism’ qualif[ies] as a ‘legitimate state interest’ under the lenient ‘rational basis’ rule.”
  • Elsewhere at the Knowledge Center, Lisa Soronen looks at last Friday’s grant in Wittman v. Personhuballah, a challenge to the constitutionality of Virginia’s congressional redistricting plan.
  • In The Oklahoman, Gregory Baylor discusses the challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate, concluding that the Court is “in a position to determine whether religious institutions must sacrifice their deeply held religious beliefs in order to survive.”
  • AmericaWorksTogether collects and summarizes the amicus briefs filed in support of public-sector unions in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
  • NFIB’s blog discusses an amicus brief that it filed in a challenge to environmental regulations in Colorado that, it says, “effectively regulate conduct of out-of-state energy producers.”

If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) news article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 18, 2015, 5:54 AM),