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Tuesday round-up

In less than a week, the Court will hear oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, in which the Justices have been asked to overrule their 1977 decision holding that public employees who do not belong to the union that represents them can still be required to pay for the costs of collective bargaining.  Lyle Denniston previewed the case for this blog, with commentary coming from Richard Epstein at Ricochet, Steven Mazie in The Economist, Harlan Elrich – one of the plaintiffs in the case – in The Wall Street Journal, and the Center for Individual Rights (which discusses Elrich’s op-ed).  I discussed Friedrichs and the challenge to the administration’s immigration policy yesterday on KPCC’s Take Two program.

In his column for law students for this blog, Steve Wermiel discusses Indian law cases at the Court  Relatedly, at Forbes, Daniel Fisher surveys a “trio of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, plus another one waiting in the wings involving native Hawaiians” that “all tackle the same question: Where do the universal human rights of indigenous people end and the specific rights of American citizens begin?”

This blog kicked off its symposium on Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, the challenge to a Texas law regulating abortion clinics there, with contributions from Michael Dorf and Mailee Smith.  And in The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that yesterday the Obama administration “urged the Supreme Court to strike down Texas abortion regulations it said effectively would eliminate access to the procedure for large numbers of women across the vast state.”


  • At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston reports that a “group of Hawaiians seeking to create a new tribal nation inside the state moved on Monday to head off a contempt order in the Supreme Court.”
  • At Dorf on Law, Michael Dorf argues that the year-end report from Chief Justice John Roberts overstates the changes to discovery affected by recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in order to limit plaintiffs’ court access.
  • In The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro looks at the 2016 presidential election and the Court, and in particular the prospect that “the intense political climate [will] affect how the justices decide . . . hot-button cases.”
  • In the Virginia Bar Association Journal, Stuart Raphael discusses the legacy of Loving v. Virginia.
  • At the Michigan Law Review’s First Impressions, Leah Litman argues that the “petitions for original writs of habeas corpus raising questions about” the retroactivity of last Term’s decision in Johnson v. United States “will test whether the Court will keep its word that original writs of habeas corpus are a real backstop for AEDPA’s restrictions on postconviction review.”
  • In the New York Daily News, Juan Gonzalez notes that, in “a startling complaint to the United Nations, Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla blasted a legal opinion on his island’s political status that the Obama administration filed” in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 5, 2016, 8:47 AM),