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Thursday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court left in place a district judge’s ruling allowing entry into the United States by close relatives of people in the U.S., such as grandparents, but put a hold on the portion of the judge’s order that loosened the government’s restrictions on entry by refugees, pending disposition of the government’s appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Amy Howe covers the Supreme Court’s order for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Brent Kendall at The Wall Street Journal, Josh Gerstein at Politico, Adam Liptak in The New York Times, Richard Wolf at USA Today, Robert Barnes in The Washington Post, Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, Pete Williams at NBC News, Ariane de Vogue at CNN, and Gary Gately at Talk Media News. In The Economist, Steven Mazie observes that the “paper-and-ink volley” in the parties’ briefs was not “fought in polite, lawyerly terms.” At Take Care, Joshua Matz argues that “[t]he Supreme Court is now a co-owner and co-author of the travel ban,” and that “with that position comes major institutional risk to the Supreme Court’s public legitimacy.”


  • In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Ben Feuer argues that the “level of speculation, fear and dramatic suspense” sparked by Supreme Court retirement rumors “is a sign that the stakes of Supreme Court appointments are simply too high,” and endorses a proposal “that Supreme Court justices should serve 18-year terms, with a new judge appointed every two years.”
  • At Supreme Court Brief (subscription required), Tony Mauro reports on turnover at the U.S. solicitor general’s office, noting that [t]wo lawyers are leaving … for private practice, two have joined from private firms, and more departures and hires are likely before the fall term begins in October.”
  • In an op-ed for The Hill, Samuel Green weighs in on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the “critical civil rights case” of “a cake artistnamed Jack Phillips who politely declined to create a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage because of his Christian beliefs about marriage”; Green argues that “freedom-lovers of all political stripes and orientations should root for Jack in his struggle against tyranny.”
  • In an op-ed for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse considers Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, in which the justices held that “a church had a constitutional right to be considered on the same basis as secular institutions for a state grant to improve the safety of its preschool playground,” noting that the effect of an “odd” footnote seeming to limit the court’s holding “that doesn’t even speak for a majority of the nine-member court” “depends on what the lower courts make of it.”

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, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 20, 2017, 7:30 AM),