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Thursday round-up

There is more commentary on Tuesday’s summary reversal in Box v. Planned Parenthood, in which the justices overturned a lower court’s decision striking down an Indiana law with respect to a provision relating to the disposition of fetal remains by abortion providers but left the decision in place with respect to a provision barring abortions based on the disability, sex or race of the fetus. At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie writes that “it seems that the conservative justices on the nation’s highest court (with the notable exception of Clarence Thomas) are content to plod along rather than rush headlong into a decision that could spark a dangerous new flashpoint in the culture wars.” At Human Rights At Home Blog, Sital Kalantry observes that “[b]ans on specific reasons for abortion could appeal to members of the Court that do not want to drive a truck through Roe v. Wade, but are willing to kill it with a thousand cuts.”

At The Daily Signal, Melanie Israel, Elizabeth Slattery and Christina Eastman look at Justice Clarence Thomas’ “powerful concurrence to the court’s unsigned opinion,” in which he “extensively documented the historical ties between Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s birth control movement of the early 20th century and the American eugenics movement.” In the latest episode of Rewire.News’ Boom! Lawyered podcast, Imani Gandi and Jessica Mason Pieklo argue that “Thomas’s opinion equat[es] modern-day family planning with eugenics,” and they address “signals from the Court’s conservatives that access to birth control is in their crosshairs.”

Ronald Mann has this blog’s analysis of Tuesday’s opinion in Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. v. Jackson, in which the court held that neither of two removal provisions in federal law permit a third-party counterclaim defendant to remove a class-action claim from state to federal court. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, was among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.] Subscript Law offers a graphic explainer for the court’s decision Tuesday in Nieves v. Bartlett, ruling that a plaintiff’s First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim failed because police officers had probable cause to arrest him.

Lawrence Hurley of Reuters and Suzanne Monyak of Law360 cover the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to hear oral argument in Hernandez v. Mesa, a case arising from a Mexican family’s efforts to hold a U.S. Border Patrol agent liable for the shooting death of their son, who was on the Mexican side of the border. Keith Goldberg of Law360 covers a case the Supreme Court decided not to review, “a petition from Pennsylvania landowners claiming federal courts improperly gave a Williams Cos. unit access to their land for a natural gas pipeline without first arranging for compensation.” At Keen News Service, Lisa Keen characterizes the court’s denial of a petition from students objecting to a Pennsylvania school district’s policy of permitting transgender students to use restrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity as “a discernible ray of light flashing across an otherwise dark and stormy sea.”


  • For this blog, in coverage that originally appeared at Howe on the Court, Amy Howe reports that the federal government has filed a fourth petition in a dispute over the Trump administration’s September 2017 decision to end the program known as “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), which allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to apply for protection from deportation, and has asked the justices to consider the petition before their summer recess.
  • At Final Decisions, Bryan Lammon discusses a petition filed earlier this month in Nasrallah v. Barr, concerning the application of 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(C)’s jurisdictional bar to review of denials of relief under the Convention Against Torture; he observes that although the court denied cert on the same issue in a different case last week, Shabo v. Barr, the federal government acknowledges that the issue merits review.

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Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 30, 2019, 10:15 AM),