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Friday round-up

For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that “Wedding cakes and same-sex marriages are back before the Supreme Court, and this time the justices are being asked to rule broadly that the 1st Amendment’s protection of the ‘free exercise’ of religion shields conservative Christians from state civil rights laws.” At Rewire.News, Jessica Mason Pieklo writes that the petitioners in Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which stems from two bakery owners’ refusal on religious grounds to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, “are asking the Court to overturn nearly 30 years of precedent to allow any religious objector to discriminate against LGTBQ people.”


  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro report that after a “book author’s claim that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has imposed a 100-year restriction on access to her U.S. Supreme Court papers after she leaves the bench triggered a swirl of criticism and concern this week among historians, journalists and law professors,” “it turns out the 100-year restriction as stated in the new book “Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life,” wasn’t accurate.”
  • For Capitol Media Services (via, Howard Fischer reports that, as explained in a recent filing in Swartz v. Rodriguez, “[t]he Trump administration wants the U.S. Supreme Court to conclude that the mother of a Mexican teen shot by a Border Patrol agent through the fence at Nogales has no right to sue.”

  • At The Federalist, Thomas Wheatley weighs in on the court’s pending partisan-gerrymandering cases, Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek, arguing that although “[i]t may be true gerrymandering is bad for our republic,” “the courts have no business resolving it.”
  • In an op-ed for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse worries that the court’s recent rulings in several death-penalty cases reveal “a steady corrosion of the justices’ ability to work together and a corresponding loss of situational awareness of the court’s place in the political order and in American society.”
  • In an op-ed for The Hill, Tony Francois urges the court to review Robertson v. United States, a Clean Water Act case that “would clarify the incoherence of the government’s definition of ‘navigable waters,’ while serving to restrain regulatory agencies from further vindictive actions against property owners.”
  • For Washington Monthly, Stephanie Mencimer maintains that Joan Biskupic’s recent biography of Chief Justice John Roberts “makes painfully clear that the defining feature of Roberts’s legal career has been his relentless efforts to roll back any measures to combat racial inequality and to make life more difficult for minorities.”
  • In an analysis at Law360 (subscription required), Jimmy Hoover notes that “Justice Elena Kagan is one of four Democratic appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court, but she, perhaps more than any other, has fought against the court’s recent rightward drift by trying to get her conservative colleagues to come to the table and compromise.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 12, 2019, 7:00 AM),