Breaking News

Friday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued opinions in two cases. Mark Walsh has a “view” from the courtroom for this blog. In Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, the justices held 7-2 that a Minnesota law banning political apparel at polling places is facially overbroad under the First Amendment. Amy Howe has this blog’s opinion analysis. Subscript provides a graphic explainer for the decision. At Good Judgment, Ryan Adler remarks that “this was not the crowd’s best day” for forecasting the result. For USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that the “decision struck down a century-old Minnesota law that was challenged by a voter temporarily turned away for wearing a Tea Party shirt and a ‘Please I.D. Me’ button.” For The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Brent Kendall report that the justices held “that Minnesota went too far in banning all political buttons and apparel at polling stations, but said more limited electioneering restrictions most other states enforce are acceptable.” Additional coverage comes from Bill Mears at Fox News, Kevin Daley at The Daily Caller, Mark Walsh at Education Week’s School Law Blog, Pete Williams at NBC News, Andrew Chung at Reuters, Josh Gerstein at Politico, Adam Liptak for The New York Times, and Robert Barnes for The Washington Post.

At the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Ruthann Robson observes that “the import” of the decision is that “states can prohibit certain expressive apparel and accessories at the polling place on election day, but the courts must find the statutory definitions sufficiently defined as to be ‘reasonable.’” At the Pacific Legal Foundation blog, Deborah La Fetra maintains that “[w]hile carefully crafted, today’s decision can be expected to have a wide impact on free speech rights” and that “[t]he Constitution now clearly protects all Americans’ fundamental right to peacefully wear ‘political’ clothing on government property without overbearing state interference.” Additional commentary comes from the First Amendment Blog, Jennifer Tiedemann at the Goldwater Institute, Adav Noti at Take Care, Howard Wasserman at PrawfsBlawg, and Richard Hasen at Slate, who concludes that “the opinion shows a more realistic and functional understanding of the political process than the court has shown in campaign finance cases.”

In yesterday’s second case, Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co., a unanimous court held that courts are not bound to defer to a foreign government’s interpretations of its own law. This blog’s opinion analysis comes from Amy Howe. Subscript’s graphic explainer is here. For The Wall Street Journal, Brent Kendall reports that the court “revived a price-fixing case against Chinese vitamin C makers … , ruling a lower court was too deferential to arguments by the Chinese government in defense of its companies.” At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that an “unusual alliance that included class action plaintiffs, the Trump administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce chalked up a win … in a ruling that said foreign law deserves ‘respectful consideration,’ but should not determine the outcome of a class action.” Additional coverage comes from Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley at Reuters and Greg Stohr at Bloomberg. At PrawfsBlawg, Cassandra Robertson points out that “[i]f the Second Circuit on remand agrees that the defendants’ pricing strategies were required by Chinese law (a question explicitly left open by the Supreme Court), then the class-action plaintiffs’ victory may be short-lived.”

At USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that “if the justices don’t reach a final conclusion” in this term’s two partisan-gerrymandering cases, Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone, “on whether blatant partisanship is permissible or unconstitutional, North Carolina’s congressional map looms as the next test.” In an op-ed for The Hill, Barry Burden and Robert Yablon predict that “[w]in or lose at the high court, reformers will continue to press ahead in other forums.”

For The Economist, Steven Mazie remarks that after Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, in which the justices ruled on Monday that Ohio’s process for removing infrequent voters from the state’s voter rolls does not violate federal voter-registration laws, “Ohio is unlikely to remain the only state with such a scheme.” Counting to 5 (podcast) “explain[s] the Court’s new decisions in five argued cases, including Husted.”


  • At The Nation, Dave Zirin interviews former NBA player and New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, the prime mover behind the federal law that barred states from legalizing sports betting, which the court struck down this term in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • In the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates “talk about the Pacific Legal Foundation’s big First Amendment win and Ginsburg bench slapping the 2nd Circuit.”
  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle report that “[t]he three U.S. Supreme Court justices who own significant stock holdings have continued to sell some but not all of their shares, according to 2017 financial disclosure forms made public on Thursday.”
  • At The Public Discourse, Sherif Gergis weighs in on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court ruled in favor of a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, arguing that “we can’t assess the implications of the free exercise argument relied on by the Masterpiece majority without taking a position on a key premise of the free speech argument the majority left untouched.”
  • At Bust, Zoë Naseef reports that a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figures has exceeded expectations.

We rely 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, podcast, or op-ed relating to the Supreme Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] Thank you!

Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 15, 2018, 7:30 AM),