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Thursday round-up

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court ruled Monday in favor of a Christian baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, stays front and center. For The New York Times, Julie Turkewitz reports that a Colorado celebration for “the cake baker’s fans, … [t]here were balloons and Bible verses, and also misgivings: In a nation that has moved so far in the direction of gay rights in recent years, it wasn’t clear if Mr. Phillips’s victory would mean much for long.” At the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, John Sides questions a law professor about the “political impact” of the decision.

At First Things, Hadley Arkes maintains that after Masterpiece, “[t]he local authorities will still be able to force Catholic institutions out of business if they will not place children for adoption with same-sex couples, or cover those couples in their medical insurance”; “[t]hey will just have to be nice while they’re doing it.” Linda Greenhouse worries in an op-ed for The New York Times that “the Supreme Court has imposed a regime of constitutional political correctness on how we talk about religion.” In an op-ed for The Guardian, Joshua Matz highlights “three features of [Justice Anthony] Kennedy’s opinion that should be celebrated by progressives and members of the LGBTQ community.” Additional commentary comes from Kristin Waggoner in an op-ed for The Washington Post, Chris Potts in an op-ed for CNS News, and James Gottry in an op-ed at The Daily Wire, who maintains that the court “left itself ample room, in future cases, to protect the constitutional freedoms of all Americans.”


  • In the latest episode of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates “break down the Masterpiece cake case and chat with Judge Kevin Newsom of the 11th Circuit.”
  • For The New Yorker, Douglas Starr reports that Dassey v. Dittman, a cert petition filed by one of the subjects of the Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer,” “could provide some much needed attention to the subject of police interrogations.”  [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.]
  • At The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket blog, Michael Selmi is surprised, not by the outcome in Epic Systems v. Lewis, in which the court held that arbitration clauses in employment contracts that require employees to forgo class and collective actions are enforceable, but by “the stridency of the majority and dissenting opinions, both of which could have been uploaded straight from one of the many advocates’ briefs.”
  • At PrawfsBlawg, Carissa Hessick argues that Hughes v. United States, in which the justices held that a defendant who pleads guilty in a plea deal can generally benefit from later changes in the sentencing guidelines, “marks another episode in the continuing saga about how to treat the Federal Sentencing Guidelines,” and that “[b]y failing to explain what ‘advisory’ Guidelines actually are, and by making inconsistent statements about the role of the Guidelines at sentencing, the Court has left sentencing law ambiguous.”
  • Also at PrawfsBlawg, Leah Litman points out some areas of overlap between the government’s position in Jennings v. Rodriguez, in which the court held that immigration-law provisions do not give detained aliens a right to periodic bond hearings, and the administration’s policy of separating families” at the border, maintaining that “courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, have played a part in enabling an abusive and excessive immigration system.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 7, 2018, 7:24 AM),