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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued opinions in several argued cases.  Andrew Hamm rounded up early coverage and commentary for this blog.  In Bank Markazi v. Peterson, the Court upheld a statute which directs that Iranian assets go to terror victims and their families.  Lyle Denniston covered the ruling for this blog, with other coverage coming from Tony Mauro of The National Law Journal (subscription or registration may be required), who reports that, before yesterday’s ruling, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts had “never been the only two dissenters in a case.”  Commentary on the ruling comes from Howard Wasserman at PrawfsBlawg

Coverage of Tuesday’s oral argument in the False Claims Act case Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar comes from Ronald Mann for this blog, with commentary from Paul Kalb and Jaime Jones at Original Source and from R. Scott Oswald, who at the Whistleblower Law Blog concludes that “there was little doubt about which side the justices preferred.”

More coverage of Monday’s oral argument in United States v. Texas, the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy for some undocumented immigrants, comes from Elise Foley of The Huffington Post, who focuses on some of the undocumented immigrants who were at the Court on Monday.  Commentary comes from Marty Lederman, who at Balkinization argues that, if the Court holds that Texas has standing to bring its lawsuit, the Court “should hold that the Secretary does have authority to confer work authorization on the DAPA aliens, all of whom have already demonstrated that they are likely to remain in the United States, and most of whom are already working, albeit not ‘above board’”; Beth Werlin, who at Immigration Impact addresses the issue of “lawful presence” and confirms that, “yes, under the complex, and often confusing immigration laws, a person’s actions can be both lawful and unlawful”; David Leopold, who at Medium “deconstructs” the questions from Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts; and Michael Dorf, who at Verdict notes regretfully that “the case does not appear to present the opportunity for the Court to address what may be the most fundamental question that the political firestorm over the Obama administration’s policies on immigration, marijuana, and other matters has sparked: what is the scope of the president’s prosecutorial discretion not to enforce laws duly enacted by Congress?”

Coverage related to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to succeed him comes from Tony Mauro, who in The National Law Journal reports that “the executors of the papers of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. are blocking public access to the justice’s file on high court nominee Merrick Garland, who clerked for Brennan in 1977 and 1978.”  Commentary comes from the National Federation of Independent Business, which argues that the four-four tie in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association “underscores the vital importance of Scalia’s vote over the past several decades, and the high stakes of filling his vacancy.”


  • At The Incidental Economist, Nicholas Bagley offers “a modest proposal” to “fix” the Court’s recent decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Lawrence Hurley of Reuters reports on Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony for a group of deaf or hard-of-hearing attorneys, at which Chief Justice John Roberts used sign language.
  • In The New Yorker, Lincoln Caplan urges the Court to take on the case of Texas death-row inmate Duane Buck, “to maintain public confidence that courts will not permit an execution tainted by ‘expert’ testimony explicitly linking race to dangerousness.”

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]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 21, 2016, 8:51 AM),