At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston reports that the Court, “acting with no sign of dissent, moved in on Wednesday to interrupt at least temporarily a series of lower court rulings that would bar employee benefit companies from claiming that they operate ‘church plans’ and thus are exempt from federal regulatory laws — including the one providing birth control access.” Additional coverage comes from Ross Runkel, also at his eponymous blog.
In The Huffington Post, Cristian Farias reports that a “federal judge on Tuesday ordered the state of Texas to take steps to make it perfectly clear to voters that they’re not required to possess a voter ID before they cast a ballot in the upcoming election”; he also reports that a spokesman for the Texas attorney general announced that the state would ask the Court “’this week’” to review a July appeals court ruling finding that the state’s voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act. Commentary on these developments comes from Mark Joseph Stern at Slate.
- In a UC Irvine School of Law podcast, Erwin Chemerinsky and Joan Biskupic preview the new Supreme Court Term, focusing on cases involving race, religion and the death penalty.
- For AP, Sam Hananel reports that requests for Supreme Court review of lower court rulings in two trademark cases have produced strange bedfellows: Although “Simon Tam has openly criticized the Washington Redskins team name as a racist slur that demeans Native Americans,” “Tam and his Asian-American rock band, The Slants, find themselves on the same side as the NFL franchise in a First Amendment legal battle over trademark protection for names that some consider offensive.”
- In the Civil Procedure and Federal Courts Blog, Adam Steinman summarizes the results of an inquiry into which Supreme Court cases have been cited most frequently in the federal courts, finding that “the Top-5 are all civil procedure cases.”
- At Crime and Consequences, Kent Schiedegger responds to Akhil Amar’s recent commentary on the exclusionary rule in this blog’s symposium on the Court after Scalia, contending that last Term’s decision in Utah v. Streiff “counts as a win in the continuing battle against the ‘despicable and dispensable exclusionary rule.’”
- At Justia’s Verdict, Michael Dorf maintains that “Supreme Court watchers who are fearful about the outcome of the 2016 election can take comfort from the fact that it may not matter as much we expect,” arguing that there are “vast swaths of our public life about which the Court has almost nothing to say,” that courts, including the Supreme Court, are often “secondary actors” responding to changes in public opinion, that some “areas of Supreme Court jurisprudence will likely be unaffected by the next appointment(s) because they rest on broad cross-ideological consensus,” and that new legal issues arising from technological developments could “scramble familiar patterns.”
- At FindLaw, Casey Sullivan highlights seven cases worth following during the upcoming Term.
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