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Thursday round-up

Coverage of and commentary on the Court looks back at the Term that just ended.  In Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports on the “alliance” between two Justices from California:  Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer.  In a story for The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro looks at how business interests fared at the Court this Term, while he and Marcia Coyle have a second story at (subscription required) with “nine takeaways” from the Term.  At Bench Memos, Mark Pulliam suggests that “one thing is clear: Justice Kennedy is rapidly rising in the pantheon of Bad Supreme Court Picks. This will be Kennedy’s ignominious legacy.”

More coverage relating to Monday’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, in which the Court struck down two provisions of a Texas law regulating abortions, comes from Molly Redden and Tom Dart in two stories for The Guardian.  Commentary comes from Cynthia Soohoo, who at the Human Rights at Home Blog argues that, although the opinion “was a major victory for women’s rights,” “it would have been nice to hear the Court reaffirm reproductive choice as essential to women’s liberty and autonomy and perhaps even recognize that access to abortion also implicates other fundamental rights”; and from James Robenault, who at the City Club of Cleveland Blog considers the ruling’s possible effects on Roe v. Wade.

Commentary relating to the Court’s denial of review in the challenge to a Washington regulation requiring pharmacies to stock and provide emergency contraception comes from Emma Green, who in The Atlantic notes that “the case also tees up a number of complicated questions that could have potentially informed future lower-court cases on religious freedom, had the Supreme Court taken it on”; and Ian Millhiser, who at Think Progress focuses on Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent from the denial of review in the case.


  • Coverage relating to Monday’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, in which the Court struck down the federal corruption convictions of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, comes from Taylor Anderson, who in The (Bend, Ore.) Bulletin reports that, as a result of the ruling, “federal prosecutors in Oregon face a narrowed scope in influence-peddling cases like the one involving John Kitzhaber,” the state’s former governor.
  • At Narrowest Grounds, Asher Steinberg analyzes the Court’s decisions in Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee and Encino Motorcars v. Navarro.
  • Commentary relating to the denial of rehearing in the challenge to agency fees for public employees comes from Brian Miller, who in the National Review contends that “the Supreme Court has let stand a legal regime in which organizations may rapaciously punish dissenters” “and know they will continue to receive his coerced financial support.”
  • At Summary Judgments, Eric Miller discusses the Court’s recent decision in Utah v. Strieff , describing it as “a real blow to the democratic accountability of the police.”
  • At Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman analyzes Monday’s ruling in Voisine v. United States, in which the Court ruled that a domestic-violence conviction is a misdemeanor crime of violence for purposes of limiting access to firearms. He observes that the “court’s majority was happy to interpret domestic violence expansively. For very different but overlapping reasons, Justices Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor disagreed.”
  • At the Burnham Gorokov Blog, Ziran Zhang looks at the Court’s ruling in Johnson v. United States, in which the Court held that imposing an increased sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s “residual clause” violates due process, as well as the decision’s effect on “the definition of ‘crime of violence,’ how federal prosecutors are pushing back against Johnson’s reach, and how courts of appeals have ruled on this issue.”


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[Disclosure:  Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, was among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the union fees case.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 30, 2016, 8:00 AM),