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Friday round-up

Yesterday was a big day at the Court, with opinions in three cases and equally divided affirmances in two more.

Molly Runkle rounded up early coverage and commentary for this blog of the Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, holding that the race-conscious admissions policy in use when Abigail Fisher applied (unsuccessfully) to the university does not violate the Constitution, for this blog.  Other coverage comes from Tony Mauro of Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), David Savage of Los Angeles Times, Daniel Fisher of Forbes, and Michael Bobelian, also at Forbes.  Commentary supportive of the decision comes from David Gans at Balkinization; critical commentary comes from Terrence Pell at USA Today and Joshua Thompson at Forbes, And at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick concludes that, although the decision is “a loss for Alito and Clarence Thomas and the chief justice on affirmative action,” there is also “mass confusion about what it all means in any concrete terms.” 

Molly also rounded up early coverage and commentary on yesterday’s four-four tie in United States v. Texas, the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy for certain undocumented immigrants (as well as coverage and commentary on yesterday’s other decisions) for this blog.  Coverage comes from Steven Mazie of The Economist, Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones, Michael Shear and Tripp Gabriel for The New York Times, Tom Dart of The Guardian, and Haeyoun Park and Alicia Parlapiano of The New York Times, with an interactive feature on the effects of the decision, while coverage relating to the decision and its role in the 2016 presidential campaign comes from Julia Preston of The New York Times, David Nakamura of The Washington Post, Russell Berman of The Atlantic, Nick Gass of Politico, Nolan McCaskill of Politico, and Aaron Blake of The Washington Post.

Commentary related to the decision comes from Howard Wasserman of PrawfsBlawg, Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly, and Irene Scharf at the Human Rights at Home Blog.

Commentary on yesterday’s decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota, in which the Court held that the Constitution allows warrantless breath tests – but not warrantless blood tests – of suspected drunk drivers, comes from Steve Shiffrin at Religious Left Law.


  • News Service of Florida reports that, after “waging a long-running legal battle against a congressional redistricting plan, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., has dropped an appeal to the U.S Supreme Court.”
  • At Whatever Source Derived, Daniel Hemel and Michael Pollack weigh in on the Court’s recent decision in Encino Motorcars v. Lee, focusing on “what is either a doctrinal innovation in Justice Kennedy’s opinion or a long-overdue statement of the obvious.”
  • In a second post at PrawfsBlawg, Howard Wasserman anticipates the Court’s ruling in the challenge to Texas’s abortion regulations, suggesting that if the Court does not deadlock, “the next likely result is a 5-3 opinion declaring the . . . regulations unconstitutional.”
  • In The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that the Justices “took scores of trips paid for by private sponsors last year, according to the financial disclosure forms of eight justices released Wednesday.”
  • In The New York Law Journal (subscription required), Robert Schonfeld looks at the effects that the Court’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins could have on the issue of standing in other lawsuits.
  • At Legal Aggregate, Lisa Ouellette analyzes the Court’s recent decision in Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee.
  • In The Huffington Post, Judith Schaeffer contends that, “as we celebrate the anniversary of Obergefell, it’s critical to remember that the short-handed Supreme Court is now in a position in which it may not be able to issue decisions for our nation on fundamental rights and other important legal issues.”

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, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 24, 2016, 12:05 PM),