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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Court heard oral argument in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, in which the Justices are considering whether Puerto Rico and the United States are separate sovereigns for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause. Lyle Denniston covered the oral argument for this blog, with other coverage coming from Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal; commentary on the issues involved in the case comes from Rick Pildes at Balkinization.

The Justices also heard arguments in Bank Markazi v. Peterson, in which they are considering whether Congress violated separation-of-powers principles when it passed a law directing a federal court to require the surrender of assets owned by Iran’s central bank to compensate the victims of terrorism sponsored by Iran. Lyle Denniston covered the oral arguments for this blog, with other coverage coming from NPR’s Nina Totenberg.

Commentary on Monday’s oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association continues. At Dorf on Law, Michael Dorf questions the distinction between taxpayer-funded government speech and laws compelling private subsidization of private speech in the case, while at ACSblog Charlotte Garden observes that “five Justices seemed poised to adopt the view that public sector agency fee requirements—under which union-represented workers must pay their share of the costs of contract negotiation and administration—are unconstitutional because those contracts cover matters of public concern.”


  • At Verdict, Michael Dorf urges the Supreme Court to grant cert. and reverse in an Oklahoma license plate case, even as he warns that an opinion written too broadly could threaten anti-discrimination law.
  • In The New Republic, Simon Lazarus argues that, if the Court decides to review the challenge to the Obama administration’s immigration policy, “the ultimate fate of the administration’s program . . . will turn on how the Court handles, as a precedent, its blockbuster decision last June, King v. Burwell, which effectively saved another signature Obama legacy initiative, the Affordable Care Act.”
  • At ACSblog, Richard Hasen discusses his new book on campaign finance and explains that he wrote it to convince “thinking progressives like Justice Kagan and members of a future Supreme Court majority that it is possible to strike a proper balance.”
  • At the NCSL Blog, Lisa Soronen looks ahead to a trio of cases in which the Justices will consider whether “state statutes criminalizing a person’s refusal to take a chemical BAC test where police have not obtained a warrant” are unconstitutional.
  • In the Havasu News, Howard Fischer reports that on Monday the Justices “refused to disturb lower court rulings which upheld a 2011 Arizona law that only the two parties with the highest number of adherents get to be listed on” the state’s voter registration forms.

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief by the American Federation of Teachers and American Association of University Professors in support of the respondents in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The author of this post, however, is not affiliated with the law firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 14, 2016, 10:12 AM),