Breaking News

Tuesday round-up

This morning the Court will hear oral arguments in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, a challenge to an independent commission’s redistricting maps for the state legislature in Arizona.  I previewed the case for this blog, with other coverage coming from Alexander Gray and Michael Levy for Cornell’s Legal Information Insitute.

In Evenwel v. Abbott, the second case today, the Justices are considering a “one person, one vote” challenge to the state legislative maps in Texas.  Lyle Denniston previewed the case for this blog, with other coverage coming from Richard Wolf of USA Today, Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News, and Mark Denton and Jessica Kim for Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

Tomorrow the Court will once again hear oral arguments in the challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process.  In the Austin-American Statesman, Mary Ann Roser reports that “a maverick UT System regent called admissions at UT and most other schools opaque, unaccountable and potentially corrupt.”  Commentary supporting Fisher’s challenge comes from Roger Clegg and Joshua Thompson at Forbes, while in The New Republic, David Gans profiles Edward Blum, the driving force behind both Evenwel and Fisher, and discusses Blum on KCRW.

Coverage of yesterday’s oral arguments in Dollar General Stores v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, in which the Court is considering whether Indian tribal courts have jurisdiction to hear civil tort claims against non-members, comes from Dan Fisher at Forbes.  Coverage of yesterday’s second argument, Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, in which the Court is considering whether a state agency can be haled into another state’s courts against its will, comes from Lyle Denniston for this blog, with commentary from Jessica Berch and Chad DeVeaux at PrawfsBlawg.

Yesterday the Court also issued additional orders from its December 4 Conference.  Perhaps most notably, it denied review (over a dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas that was joined by Justice Antonin Scalia) in a challenge to an Illinois city’s ban on assault weapons.  Lyle Denniston covered the orders for this blog, with other coverage coming from Richard Wolf of USA Today, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, and Lawrence Hurley of Reuters.  Writing for Education Week, Mark Walsh reports that yesterday the Justices also “rebuffed an effort by parents in a Kansas school district to declare a federal constitutional right to spend more on education than the state’s school-finance plan permits.”


  • At PrawfsBlawg, Richard Re discusses Justice Elena Kagan’s recent lecture at Harvard Law School, noting that the lecture “reinforces a conventional wisdom on textualism’s recent success.”
  • At the OUPblog, Edward Zelinsky proposes an alternative to the accommodation offered to religious non-profits that object to providing their female employees with health insurance that includes access to birth control, the dispute in which the Court will hear oral arguments next year: “any religious employer objecting to any otherwise ACA-mandated item of medical coverage should have the right to instead fund an independently-administered health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) for each of its employees.”
  • Elsewhere at PrawfsBlawg, Jay Wexler discusses his new novel, “about a Supreme Court justice having a mid-life crisis in the middle of one of the biggest terms in recent years.”
  • NPR’s Nina Totenberg looks at the drop in the number of executions and concludes that “there is no sign that a majority of the justices are prepared to abandon the death penalty entirely if states can overcome the inherent difficulties of imposing it fairly and properly.”
  • In Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Marcia Coyle reports on studies of cases in “relist limbo” – that is, cases relisted by the Justices multiple times.

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioners in Dollar General.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 8, 2015, 7:01 AM),