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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued its decision in Luis v. United States, holding that the pretrial freeze of a criminal defendant’s untainted assets violates the Sixth Amendment right to retain counsel of choice.  Coverage comes from Daniel Fisher of Forbes, with commentary from Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences.

In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse weighs in on last week’s oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, suggesting that the case is, at bottom, “about religion’s role in civil society” and that what’s “being hijacked is not the religious objectors’ insurance plans, but the Religious Freedom Restoration Act itself.”  And in his column for The Atlantic, Garrett Epps discusses the order for supplemental briefing in the case, concluding that, at “the most basic level, the Court, operating with only eight justices, is unable to decide this and other important questions that are before it.”  


  • In Supreme Court Brief (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that, with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month, lower courts around the country “are staying or halting cases that relate to Spokeo v. Robins, a key case argued before the high court in November that has yet to be decided.”
  • In another column for The Atlantic, Epps discusses the affirmance in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, predicting that, if “a conservative majority re-emerges in the years ahead, expect the issue to reappear.”
  • In The Courier-Journal, Joshua Douglas weighs in on the vacancy on the Court created by the death of Justice Scalia and the prospect that the Court may have to decide the presidential election; he concludes that such a possibility, “although quite remote, is just one of many reasons why the Senate must hold a hearing and vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Merrick Garland.”
  • In the National Review, Ed Whelan urges the Court to grant review in a case that he describes as “one of the most important Free Exercise cases in decades.”
  • In The Atlantic, Vann Newkirk discusses two cases in which U.S. territories are “fighting legal battles over historically fuzzy issues.”

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, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 31, 2016, 8:11 AM),