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Monday round-up

Amy Howe covers last week’s Supreme Court news, including action “in cases asking the justices to intervene in cases involving the death penalty and abortion,” in a podcast at Howe on the Court. At First Mondays (podcast), Howe joins the hosts to expand on those topics.

At The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Slattery observes that after last Thursday’s order in June Medical Services v. Gee, in which a divided court blocked a Louisiana law that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from going into effect pending appeal, “[i]t’s highly likely that abortion will loom large at the Supreme Court next term.” Greg Stohr reports at Bloomberg that “[b]ehind the raw vote total were nuanced positions staked out by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the two jurists who probably will determine the pace and ultimate destination of the court’s ideological shift.” At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie writes that “[w]hen it comes to abortion rights, the five-justice conservative bloc seems split into three camps.” At, Tony Mauro observes that “[e]ven though Roberts signed on to a divided 5-4 opinion, he may have done so to defuse the abortion issue for the time being and make the outcome seem less driven by ideology or policy preferences.” Another look at Roberts’ “competing impulses” comes from Adam Liptak in The New York Times. For The Washington Post, Robert Barnes suggests that the orders in the abortion case and in a 5-4 decision to allow the execution of a Muslim inmate in Alabama who had challenged the state’s refusal to allow an imam to be present at his execution “provided new insight into the alliances on the reconstituted Supreme Court.” Commentary comes from Charles Pierce at Esquire.


  • At Bloomberg Law, Jordan Rubin looks at two pending cert petitions in capital cases involving racially biased remarks by jurors.
  • At the Yale Journal on Regulation’s Notice & Comment blog, James Conde explains “two ways in which the Supreme Court could avoid the constitutional concerns posed by the Fourth Circuit’s decision” in PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic Inc., which asks whether the Hobbs Act, a jurisdictional-channeling statute, requires courts to accept the Federal Communications Commission’s interpretation of a statute that allows recipients of junk faxes to sue the senders for damages.
  • For the ABA Journal, Erwin Chemerinsky weighs in on three recent actions by the Supreme Court “that did not involve deciding a case, yet nonetheless provided a likely harbinger of the future,” noting that “[t]he actions reflect the court’s new composition and surely please conservatives but are very troubling to liberals.”
  • In two posts at the Election Law Blog, here and here, Nicholas Stephanopolous presents the results of a paper he wrote with Chris Warshaw analyzing the associational effects of partisan gerrymandering; they found that “parties that are victimized by gerrymandering are impaired in their performance of several key associational functions” and that “[t]hese handicaps … are substantively large, statistically significant no matter how gerrymandering is measured, and roughly equal in size at the congressional and state house levels.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 11, 2019, 7:01 AM),