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Thursday round-up

At Fortune, Jeff John Roberts reports on Justice Elena Kagan’s use of a link shortener in her dissent in the Fourth Amendment case Utah v. Strieff; he observes that, “in the bigger picture, any controversy over the Google link is just a tiny part of a larger record-keeping problem for the Supreme Court and other important institutions.” Commentary on the decision comes from David Fontana, who focuses on Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent at PrawfsBlawg.  Janell Ross of The Washington Post suggests that, although Sotomayor’s “view wasn’t embraced by the court,” “it is something that broad swaths of Americans, and especially black and Hispanic Americans, agree with.”

Criticism of Sotomayor’s dissent comes from the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, Theodore Kupfer at National Review, and John McGinnis at Library of Law and Liberty.  At The Weekly Standard, Ethan Epstein observed that Sotomayor’s opinion “was greeted with the rapture usually reserved for John Oliver videos,” while in a post at National Review’s Bench Memos, Howard Slugh criticizes an article on the dissent, arguing that it “distorts the majority opinion beyond recognition.” 

NFIB weighs in on Monday’s decision in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, arguing that the ruling “only amounts to a modest check on arbitrary reversals. But a modest check is better than no check at all.” And at The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket, Alan Morrison contends that, “given the lack of clarity in the law and the fact that there are auto dealerships in every state, the likelihood of inter-circuit conflict make it almost inevitable that the issue will be back, bringing with several more years of uncertainty on the part of everyone.”


  • In a photo essay for Reuters, Joan Biskupic chronicles a Term at the Court, concluding that “the justices have largely drawn back from the national scene, sticking to familiar routines, closing ranks, and awaiting the day when they have a ninth again.”
  • In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse examines the “post-Scalia Term.”
  • At (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that the “2015 financial disclosure forms of all eight current U.S. Supreme Court justices were released Wednesday, revealing a treasure trove of information about their stock holdings, gifts and outside incomes.”
  • In The Atlantic, Alex Wagner looks at the role of the Court and contends that “this week is showing the country that something is very, very wrong with its democracy: The courts are governing.”
  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks at Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissents this Term.
  • In The Washington Post, Nick Anderson notes that, although “Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin centers on the public flagship in that state, Harvard’s policy on race and admissions remains very much part of the larger legal battle.”
  • Libby Nelson of Vox looks at statistics showing the effect of last year’s holding that states must allow same-sex couples to marry.
  • At Law 360 and The Employment Law Group, R. Scott Oswald describes last week’s ruling in Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar, as “an unvarnished victory for government prosecutors, taxpayers, and the qui tam relators who file lawsuits on their behalf under the venerable False Claims Act (FCA).”
  • In another post at Vox, Emily Crockett reports that the “American Civil Liberties Union is accusing the state of Texas of hiding public information about abortion and telling state employees to lie about it. The accusation comes as the Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the biggest abortion case it has heard in decades.”

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 23, 2016, 6:10 AM),