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Wednesday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court granted the federal government’s request to stay a lower-court ruling that would have exempted from the government’s entry ban up to 24,000 refugees covered by formal agreements between the U.S. government and resettlement agencies. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, Richard Wolf at USA Today, Adam Liptak in The New York Times, Robert Barnes and Matt Zapotosky in The Washington Post, Ariane de Vogue at CNN, and Brent Kendall in The Wall Street Journal, who notes that “[i]t was the third time the justices have intervened since June to set interim rules on travel while the court more fully considers the legality of President Trump’s March 6 executive order.” Coverage of the broader entry-ban controversy comes from Steven Mazie at The Economist.

The court, split 5-4 along ideological lines, yesterday also put on hold a lower-court order that would have required Texas to redraw congressional and state district lines to cure voting-rights problems. Amy Howe has this blog’s coverage, which first appeared at Howe on the Court. Additional coverage comes from Ariane de Vogue at CNN, Adam Liptak in The New York Times, Lawrence Hurley at Reuters, Lyle Denniston at his eponymous blog, Robert Barnes in The Washington Post, and Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, who reports that the moves suggest that “the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is skeptical about the lower court rulings and eventually could use the disputes to put new curbs on voting-discrimination suits.” At the Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen observes that “[f]or those who expect Justice Kennedy to be a savior here—or in the Gill partisan gerrymandering case (where he also voted with the Court to stop an interim remedy in Wisconsin pending Supreme Court resolution)—this is one data point against that hope.”

At USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that Edith Windsor, “the New York octogenarian whose Supreme Court victory in 2013 forced the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage and led to its legalization two years later, died Tuesday.” Additional coverage of Windsor’s life comes from Robert McFadden in The New York Times, Ariane de Vogue and Sophie Tatum at CNN, and Sarah Karlan at BuzzFeed.

In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case stemming from a devout Christian baker’s refusal to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, exemplifies the way in which, “[f]aced with the remarkable rise of the gay rights movement, conservative Christians have begun to push back against that argument, saying the nation’s tradition of religious liberty should shield them from being forced to endorse or participate in any way in a same-sex marriage.” At PrawfsBlawg, Rick Hills argues that the question raised in several of the briefs filed in the case – “whether baking a wedding cake is sufficiently ‘expressive’ to qualify as ‘speech’ the compulsion of which violates Wooley v. Maynard‘s ‘forced speech’ doctrine” – “ought to be legally irrelevant.”

At ElectionLaw@Moritz, Edward Foley discusses Gill v. Whitford, the partisan-gerrymandering case that will be argued on October 3, describing new statistical techniques for measuring “a partisan gerrymander that is egregious rather than merely routine partisan tinkering with district lines.” Subscript provides a graphic explainer for the case.


  • Georgetown University Law Center’s Supreme Court Institute has released its annual preview of the upcoming Supreme Court term.
  • The National Security Law podcast features a discussion of the “array of petitions for review [in the Supreme Court] involving military court questions.”
  • In Columbia Magazine, Thomas Vinciguerra describes Justice Neil Gorsuch’s days as a student at Columbia College, where the future justice “was one of [the college’s] most prolific conservatives,” credited even by “those who disagreed with him … for stirring up vigorous debate on a predominantly liberal campus.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 13, 2017, 7:19 AM),