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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Justices heard oral arguments in Nebraska v. Parker, in which they are considering a dispute over land on the Omaha Indian reservation in Nebraska.  Lyle Denniston covered the case for this blog, with other coverage coming from Mark Walsh of Education Week.

At yesterday’s oral arguments in Sturgeon v. Frost, the Court was considering the case of an Alaska man who wants to use his hovercraft to hunt moose there.  Coverage comes from Robin Bravender for Greenwire and E&E Publishing (subscription required).

The Court also issued decisions in argued cases.  In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, the Court divided six to three in ruling that an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff’s case.  Coverage comes from Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, Tony Mauro of Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Ross Runkel at the Ross Runkel Report, and Daniel Fisher of Forbes.  Commentary comes from Howard Wasserman at PrawfsBlawg.

In Kansas v. Carr, the Justices – by a vote of eight to one – reinstated the death sentences for three Kansas inmates.  I covered the decision for this blog, with other coverage coming from NPR’s Nina Totenberg, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), and Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed.  Commentary comes from Andrew Cohen at the Brennan Center for Justice.

And in Montanile v. National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, the Court ruled that when an ERISA plan participant wholly dissipates a third-party entitlement on non-traceable items, the plan fiduciary cannot bring a lawsuit under ERISA to attach the participant’s separate assets.  Ronald Mann covered the decision for this blog, while Timothy Verrall analyzed the case for Ogletree Deakins.

There is still more coverage of and commentary on United States v. Texas, the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy for undocumented immigrants. Coverage comes from Steven Mazie for The Economist.  At Balkinization, Marty Lederman and Neil Kinkopf focus on the Take Care Clause issue, while Nicholas Bagley discusses the Administrative Procedure Act issue.  Other commentary comes from Phillip Pemberton at Ogletree Deakins, Shoba Wadhia and Gabriel Chin at ACSblog, and Spencer Amdur in The New Republic.

In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse discusses what she sees as the implications of the Court’s ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association for the Supreme Court itself.  And in his Sidebar column for The New York Times, Adam Liptak considers the prospect that the Court’s decision in Friedrichs could widen the gap between corporations and unions when it comes to campaign finance.


  • Elsewhere in Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro lists five lessons from Tuesday’s “bizarre” argument in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, in which the Justices are considering whether the First Amendment prohibits the government from demoting an employee based on a supervisor’s perception that the employee supports a political candidate.
  • In The Atlantic, Adrienne Lafrance reports on “an algorithm designed to determine which justice wrote unsigned opinions.”
  • At More Soft Money Hard Law, Bob Bauer weighs in on Justice v. Hosemann, in which the Court is being asked to consider “whether individuals coming together to influence a ballot initiative, but spending little more than $200, can be compelled to register and report as a political committee.”
  • At Article 8, Daniel Hensel weighs in on Shapiro v. McManus, in which the Court issued its decision last month.

 [Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in Heffernan v. City of Paterson.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

 If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) 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, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 21, 2016, 9:18 AM),