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Wednesday round-up

This morning the Court will hear oral argument in a challenge to Minnesota and North Dakota laws that make it a crime for a driver suspected of drunk driving to refuse a chemical test to measure his blood-alcohol concentration.  I previewed the decision for this blog, while law students Jessica Kim and Michael Levy did the same for Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

The second argument today is in the Fair Labor Standards Act case Encino Motorcars v. Navarro.  Ronald Mann previewed the case for this blog, while law students Mark Denton and Reymond Yammine previewed the case for Cornell.  And at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Ruben Garcia previews the case and notes that, “in the backdrop of the case will be pending new overtime exemption rules that will affect many more millions of workers than this case, and which might also come back to the Court in the years to come.”  

Yesterday the Court heard oral argument in United States v. Bryant, a challenge to the use of uncounseled tribal-court convictions as predicate offenses for federal domestic-violence charges.  I covered the argument for this blog, with other coverage coming from Danielle Blevins of Talk Media News.

Blevins also covered the second argument of the day, in the False Claims Act case Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar.  Commentary on the case comes from David Freeman Engstrom, who in The National Law Journal (subscription or registration may be required) describes the case as “notable because it embodies much of what’s wrong with how we as a society talk about, and our elected leaders debate, the role of lawyers and litigation in our system of government. It also points to some possible fixes.”

The Court also issued opinions in argued cases, including a decision in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt.  Lyle Denniston covered the ruling for this blog, with other coverage coming from David Savage of the Los Angeles Times and Josh Gerstein of Politico.

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 Amanda Sakuma of NBC News, BBC News, and Max Ehrenfreund of The Washington Post.  Commentary on the oral argument and the case comes from Dara Lind of Vox, Marielena Hincapie at The Huffington Post, Marshall Fitz at Medium, Shobha Wadhia at Immigration Prof Blog, Brianne Gorod at New Republic, Elizabeth Wydra and Josh Blackman in an episode for KCRW, and Dana Milbank in The Washington Post.

Coverage related to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to succeed him comes from NPR’s Nina Totenberg, Carrie Dann of NBC News, Marella Gayla and Claire Parker of the Harvard Crimson, and Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post.  Commentary comes from Neil Siegel at The Hill.

On Monday the Court issued its opinion in Welch v. United States, holding that the Court’s 2015 decision in Johnson v. United States applies retroactively.  Rory Little covered the ruling for this blog, with coverage coming from Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy and Colin Starger at In Progress.


  • In commentary at The Huffington Post, Elizabeth Taylor describes the plan proposed by religious non-profits in Zubik v. Burwell, the challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate and the accommodation offered to them by the Obama administration, as “burdensome and unworkable.”
  • In an op-ed for The National Law Journal (subscription or registration may be required), Seth Waxman urges the Court to grant review in the case of Texas death-row inmate Duane Buck, describing Buck’s “trial 20 years ago, tainted by a biased expert,” as “extraordinary.”
  • The National Federation of Independent Business urges the Court to grant review in Dibbs v. Hillsborough County and overturn the Eleventh Circuit’s holding that, to challenge a denial of a permit or variance, “landowners must not only be similarly situated with regard to their respective properties, but that they must also be covered by the exact same zoning restrictions.”

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, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 20, 2016, 6:04 AM),