Breaking News

Thursday round-up

Earlier this week, both sides filed supplemental briefs in Zubik v. Burwell, the challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate and the accommodation offered to religious non-profits that object to the mandate.  Coverage comes from Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, with commentary from Greg Lipper at Bill of Health Blog, Steven Mazie of The Economist, Ed Whelan at Bench Memos, and Michael McConnell at The Volokh Conspiracy.

 On Monday the Court begins its April sitting – the final set of oral arguments scheduled for this Term.  Coverage of the April sitting generally comes from Tony Mauro, who in Supreme Court Brief (subscription required) reports that thefinal argument cycle of the current U.S. Supreme Court term will begin and end with a bang, with a roster of veteran advocates traipsing to the lectern in between.”  First up next week is the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy for some immigrants; in USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that a “tie vote would hand a victory to Texas and 25 other states that have successfully blocked the program in lower courts, but it could unleash new challenges.” 

Coverage related to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to succeed him comes from Burgess Everett of Politico, who reports that, after a meeting with Garland, Republican Senator Pat Toomey “was more resolute than ever that Garland should not be confirmed.”  Commentary comes from Jerrold Ganzfried and William Jay, who in Supreme Court Brief (subscription required) contend that “[b]usinesses and other repeat litigants that are used to a stable and relatively predictable Supreme Court should understand that the game has changed” now that they are litigating before an eight-member Court: “Although cries that the court won’t be able to decide any major cases are overblown, this may be an era of ‘small ball’ at the court.”  In his column for The Atlantic, Garrett Epps criticizes the suggestion that, if the Senate does not act on Garland’s nomination, President Barack Obama should “simply proclaim Judge Merrick Garland ‘confirmed’ and send him over the One First St. NE to take Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat.”  And at n+1 (subscription required), George Blaustein discusses Scalia’s influence, originalism, and Catholicism.


  • In a podcast for NPR, Nina Totenberg looks back at, and describes, her role in the battle over the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas.
  • In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that a Texas “voter ID law serves as an example of how difficult it can be to halt potentially discriminatory voting rules in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County vs. Holder.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks at theattorneys, law firms, and amicus curiae that have dominated Supreme Court participation this Term by participating in more than one case.”

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 amicus briefs filed in support of the respondents in Zubik.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]


Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 14, 2016, 9:41 AM),