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Tuesday round-up

Today the Justices will hear oral arguments in two cases.  Douglas Berman previewed the sentencing case Molina-Martinez v. United States for this blog, with other coverage coming from Ben Einhouse and Victor Pinedo at Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.  Steve Vladeck previewed the habeas case Duncan v. Owens for this blog, with other coverage coming from Brandon Annette and Christopher Saki at Cornell.  And The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket previews all of the January cases.

Yesterday the Justices heard oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the challenge to mandatory “fair share” fees for public employees who are represented by a union but decline to join that union.  Molly Runkle compiled early coverage and commentary in an evening round-up for this blog; other coverage comes from Daniel Fisher of Forbes and Steven Mazie of The Economist.  Other commentary comes from Paul Waldman, who in The Washington Post argues that it is in “cases like Friedrichs where Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices show their truest colors,” and from Karen Harned, who at NFIB concludes that “what came through crystal clear” at the arguments “is that everything is a question of policy when it comes to public employees.”


  • In a podcast for the National Constitution Center, Burt Neuborne and John Inazu preview next week’s oral arguments in the First Amendment case Heffernan v. City of Paterson.
  • At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro and Jayme Weber discuss Cato’s amicus brief in Zubik v. Burwell, observing that “a preliminary question is whether the executive departments responsible for creating the accommodation (HHS, Labor, and Treasury)” for religious non-profit groups that object to providing their female employees with health insurance that includes access to birth control “had the authority to do so. The short answer is that they did not.”
  • Lawrence Hurley and Will Dunham of Reuters report that yesterday the Court “refused to hear former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman’s appeal arising from his bribery conviction involving a $500,000 donation from a healthcare executive in a prosecution the Democrat contended was politically motivated.”
  • At the WLF Legal Pulse, Glenn Lammi explains why last Friday’s Conference “potentially offers positive results for free-market enthusiasts.”
  • At the NCSL Blog, Lisa Soronen notes that a “challenge to President Obama’s immigration deferral program and (another) challenge that could harpoon the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could make it on the Supreme Court’s docket this term and be decided by the end of June.”
  • At the Huffington Post, Brianne Gorod and Judith Schaeffer argue that, although Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore “may not want to recognize that the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say when it comes to the U.S. Constitution, . . . it does. The nation’s high court should take the opportunity presented by V.L. v. E.L. to once again remind Moore and his colleagues of that very important fact. Nothing less than the rights of a mother and her children depend on it.”

[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 this case. The author of this post, however, is not affiliated with the law firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 12, 2016, 7:05 AM),