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Friday round-up

Monday’s oral argument in United States v. Texas, the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy for some undocumented immigrants, continues to dominate coverage of and commentary on the Court.  C-SPAN Radio will air the oral argument today at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m.  In The Daily Signal, Josh Siegel reports on comments by Texas governor Greg Abbott, who predicts that the Court will deadlock in the case.  At Immigration Prof Blog, Peter Margulies responds to some of the arguments and commentary on work-authorization regulations, while Josh Blackman and Cristina Rodriguez discuss the case in a podcast for the National Constitution Center.  And in Fortune, Kevin Johnson suggests that Texas’s lawsuit is “little more than a political gambit.” 

Coverage of Wednesday’s oral argument in the challenges to state laws that make it a crime for a driver to refuse to take a chemical test to measure his blood alcohol level comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR (with an earlier story here) and Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, while Leslie Shoebotham analyzes the argument at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights.

At Think Progress, Ian Millhiser weighs in on the supplemental briefing in Zubik v. Burwell, the challenge to the Obama administration’s birth-control mandate and the accommodation offered to religious non-profits; he argues that “it appears increasingly likely that this battle could continue for months or even years.”  At Balkinization, Marty Lederman contends that “the supplemental briefing has significantly weakened the petitioners’ efforts to show that the government’s accommodation substantially burdens their religious exercise.”

 Commentary urging the Court to review the case of Texas death row inmate Duane Buck comes from Mark Earley and Timothy Lewis in USA Today and Maurice Chammah at The Marshall Project.

Coverage related to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to succeed him comes from Kevin Diaz of Houston Chronicle, who reports that Texas Governor Greg Abbott sided “with Senate Republicans who have refused to hold hearings on Merrick Garland” and “also took a shot at Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed to the court by former President George W. Bush”; Bre Payton covers the same speech for The Federalist.  At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes the Court’s opinions since Justice Scalia’s death, while at the Alliance for Justice Blog Kyle Barry criticizes the criticism of Chief Justice Merrick Garland as “a lawless anti-business radical.”  And at PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman notes that today marks the seventieth anniversary of the death of Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, which left the Court with just seven members.


  • At Crimmigration, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández analyzes Monday’s ruling in Welch v. United States, in which the Court ruled that its 2015 decision in Johnson v. United States applies retroactively, and contends that, although the decision “presents as a straightforward criminal sentencing decision, it has potentially substantial implications for anyone involved in crimmigration work.”
  • Rick Gladstone of The New York Times reports that “Iran reacted furiously” to Wednesday’s ruling in Bank Markazi v. Peterson, in which the Court upheld a statute which directs that Iranian assets go to terror victims and their families.
  • Commentary on Tuesday’s oral argument in the False Claims Act case Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar comes from Joan Krause at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights.
  • Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services (via Arizona Daily Sun) covers Wednesday’s decision in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
  • At Cato at Liberty, Trevor Burrus looks ahead to next Term’s Murr v. Wisconsin, arguing that “[a]dopting a bright-line rule here in the narrow context of determining what constitutes ‘the parcel as a whole’ would bring some clarity to the Penn Central test and help protect property rights.”
  • In another post at Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro and Jayme Weber discuss the amicus brief that Cato filed in next Term’s Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, arguing that under “the Supreme Court’s precedents regarding the ‘play in the joints’ between the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses, Missouri’s arguments should be insufficient to support its religious discrimination.”
  • At the Knowledge Center, Lisa Soronen discusses Tuesday’s decision in the power plant preemption case Hughes v. Talens Energy Marketing, in which the Court “held that Maryland’s program which guarantees a power plant generator a contractual rate rather than the ‘clearing price’ wholesale rate set at a federally-approved capacity auction is preempted by the Federal Power Act (FPA).”
  • In a second post at the Appellate Practice Blog, Soronen looks at Tuesday’s decision in Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt, concluding that, as a result of the ruling, “if your city gets sued out-of-state it might not be as bad as you think.”
  • At Vox, German Lopez discusses the case of an Alabama man, serving a sentence of life without parole for “a string of robberies 20 years ago, for which he already served time, and marijuana possession”; the Court denied review earlier this week.

 Remember, we rely exclusively on our readers to send us links for our round-up.  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., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, 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 (Apr. 22, 2016, 10:57 AM),