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Friday round-up

More coverage of Wednesday’s oral arguments in oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, the challenge to the accommodation offered to religious non-profit groups that do not wish to provide access to birth control for their female employees and students, comes from NPR’s Nina Totenberg, while commentary comes from Michael Dorf, who at Dorf on Law focuses on a question raised by Justice Samuel Alito:  “Could the federal executive effectively create new private contraception-only insurance programs on the exchanges, even if not directly authorized to do so by statute?”  Marty Lederman weighs in on the same question at Balkinization, arguing that such a program “would be far less effective in advancing the primary compelling governmental interest in securing women’s access to effective contraceptive services (and thus reducing unplanned pregnancies and abortions).” At Rewire, Greg Lipper suggests that “women’s interests in receiving contraceptive coverage—and receiving it seamlessly—seemed to get short shrift” at Wednesday’s argument.  At The Volokh Conspiracy, Michael McConnell writes that “the argument confirmed my impression that the government has very little reason to force these religious parties to violate tenets of their faith.”  If you didn’t attend the oral arguments, you can hear them today at 3:30 p.m. on C-SPAN Radio, and again on Saturday at 6 p.m.


  • At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Angela Morrison analyzes Tuesday’s decision in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, suggesting that, because the Court opted to focus “on the individual employees’ perspective,” although “the decision is positive for workers as individuals, it fails to recognize the group harm caused by wage theft and instead focuses on the individual wrong.”
  • At Credit Slips, Steven Lubben weighs in on (and responds to a column by Noah Feldman about) Tuesday’s oral argument in Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, in which the Court is considering whether federal bankruptcy law preempts a Puerto Rico law intended to allow the commonwealth’s public utilities to restructure their debts.
  • At Written Description, Lisa Larrimore Ouellette discusses the petition for certiorari filed in an international patent exhaustion case; she concludes that “the issues are undeniably important, and there are enough confusing things about the Fed. Cir. opinion that I think the Court should grant cert.,” but she also urges attorneys in the case to “do a better job explaining the relevant concerns.”
  • At Liberty Blog, Ethan Blevins analyzes Tuesday’s opinion in Sturgeon v. Frost, the case of an Alaskan moose hunter, asserting that the ruling “rescued Alaska from a crippling threat to the state’s sovereignty and economy” but also that “this is only one battle in a longer war.”

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]

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Zubik. However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 25, 2016, 11:27 AM),