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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued orders from its April 29 Conference, adding two cases to its merits docket for next Term.  Lyle Denniston covered the orders for this blog, while Mark Walsh covered the grant in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands for Education Week.  And Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed reports that the Justices ordered courts in Alabama to “review whether the process the state uses to sentence someone to death remains constitutional after a ruling from the justices earlier this year that struck down Florida’s similar sentencing process.”

Other coverage related to yesterday’s orders focused on the cases in which the Court denied review.  Marina Koren reported for The Atlantic that yesterday the Justices declined to “consider a case from Native American inmates in Alabama prisons who want to wear their hair long in accordance with their religious beliefs and tradition.”  Steven Nelson of U.S. News & World Report reported that the Justices also rejected a case involving the phone records of the late “D.C. madam.”  Lawrence Hurley of Reuters reported that the Justices “declined a request from shareholders seeking to revive their class action lawsuit against BP claiming the British oil company misrepresented its safety procedures prior to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.”  And Daniel Wiessner of Reuters reported that the Justices “rejected a challenge by business groups to Seattle’s law raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour, a move echoed by other locales, in a case focusing on how the ordinance affected local franchises like McDonald’s.”    Coverage relating to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and its effect on the Court comes from Richard Wolf, who reports for USA Today that “the court’s four liberal justices have been on the winning side of every major decision so far this term.”  And Robert Barnes of The Washington Post reports that “it appears the absence of Scalia will be felt on the court’s work next term, as well,” because the “number of cases the justices have accepted has fallen, meaning that a docket that in recent years has been smaller than what is traditional is shrinking still.”


  • At More Soft Money Hard Law, Bob Bauer looks back at last week’s oral arguments in former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s challenge to his fraud convictions; he characterizes it as “an extraordinary argument, highlighting through dead-end hypotheticals and confusing exchanges the ambiguity of the law–an argument that defied the best efforts at clarification of everybody involved.”
  • At ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser anticipates four of the Court’s major rulings.
  • In an op-ed for Arkansas Online, Gabe Roth remembers former Arkansas congressman Ray Thornton, who led the fight against “a ballot initiative to limit the number of congressional terms an individual could serve, a fight Thornton took all the way to the Supreme Court (and won in 1995),” and argues that “term-limiting Supreme Court justices would rein in the power of the most powerful, least accountable part of our government and rightfully return power to our elected branches.”
  • Ryan Malphurs looks at humor at the Court this Term.

 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, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 3, 2016, 7:03 AM),