Breaking News

Friday round-up

At The Economist, Steven Mazie discusses Wednesday’s argument in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court considered what level of educational benefit students with disabilities must receive, observing that it “now falls on the justices to decide whether to endorse the 10th circuit’s all-too-minimal standard for educational equality for disabled students or to articulate a higher standard,” and that the “tenor of the argument suggests they’d like to find a way to do the latter.” In The Christian Science Monitor, Henry Gass notes that Endrew F., along with another argued earlier this term, Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, could make this “a banner year” at the court “for disabled students, their parents, and the cash-strapped school districts that educate them.” 

At FiveThirtyEight, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux looks at last Tuesday’s oral argument in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, a First Amendment challenge to a New York law that allows merchants to give discounts to customers who pay in cash, but prohibits the imposition of surcharges for customers who use credit cards, observing that “a group of behavioral economics scholars says research has found that the framing has a substantial impact on how consumers make decisions — and that these insights should be taken into account as the Supreme Court evaluates the law.” Another discussion of Expressions comes from Noah Feldman, who argues in a column for Bloomberg View that “it seems bizarre to ban merchants from telling their customers that in effect they are paying a credit-card surcharge by declining the cash discount.” Betsy McCaughey also weighs in on the case in an op-ed in the New York Post, asserting that New York’s anti-surcharge law is “a huge favor to the credit-card industry — and it comes at the expense of all consumers.” Constitution Daily notes that during the argument in Expressions, Justice Stephen Breyer expressed concern that striking down a “price regulation” under the First Amendment would hark back to the “’Lochner era,’ when the court struck down laws regulating labor conditions under Lochner’s conception of the 14th Amendment,” and “that a Lochner-like decision would weaken the ability of states to regulate prices and drive such decisions more to the courts.”

Another potential Supreme Court nominee, Judge Raymond Gruender of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, is the subject of a profile for this blog. At Bloomberg BNA, Patrick Gregory and Kimberly Robinson also profile Gruender, reporting that his “conservative bona fides surpass the other frontrunners for the vacant seat on the court, at least by one measure.” In The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that Donald Trump vowed at his recent press conference to “fulfill what he has called the most important promise of his campaign” by naming “a nominee to the Supreme Court ‘within about two weeks’ of his inauguration on Jan. 20.” At Above the Law, David Lat observes that the justices’ clerk hiring patterns do not hint at additional vacancies to come in the near future, because all eight “justices have hired four law clerks apiece for October Term 2017, which is a good sign that they’re planning on sticking around, at least through the end of OT 2017 in June 2018.”


  • At the National League of Cities’ Cities Speak blog, Lisa Soronen maintains that the fate of several federal regulatory programs that may targeted by the Trump administration, such as the Clean Power Act, the regulations defining the waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act, and the overtime regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act, could “lie in the hands of a person as puzzling, powerful, and unpredictable as Donald J. Trump: Justice Kennedy.”
  • At Bloomberg BNA, Kimberly Robinson reports that the court is nearing the deadline for granting certiorari in cases that can be briefed in time for the October Term 2016 argument docket, and that it “is set to have a historically slow term, even with a batch of new cases expected to be added to its docket in the coming days.”
  • At Just Security, Steve Vladeck observes that the effect of Trump’s proposed policies on “the individual rights of non-citizens, be they immigrants physically in the United States (with or without lawful status, Muslim and otherwise), arriving non-citizens stopped “at the border,” refugees seeking shelter from active war zones or other inhumane conditions, or those on foreign soil who are subjected to U.S. uses of force (whether through cross-border shootings, drone strikes, or otherwise),” heightens the significance of four upcoming Supreme Court cases raising “some of the most important questions” the court has “considered in decades about whether and to what extent the Constitution even applies in these contexts.” 

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: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 13, 2017, 7:18 AM),