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Monday round-up

At Forbes, Nick Sibilla writes that the court’s decision this term 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, could “have a drastic impact on victims who want to hold federal officials personally accountable for violating the Constitution.” At The Atlantic, Leah Litman argues that “if there are no remedies for violations of constitutional rights, then it’s not clear that there are constitutional rights either.”

In an op-ed for USA Today, Anita Milanovich argues that in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which the court will decide whether federal employment discrimination law bars discrimination against transgender people, the Supreme Court “shouldn’t take on Congress’s job and reinvent the meaning of “sex”[:] Doing so would fundamentally redefine what it means to be a ‘girl’ or a ‘woman’ by judicial fiat and inject confusion, if not chaos, onto the track and the field, into the pool and the locker room.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of respondent Stephens in this case.] At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps observes that how the court resolves Harris and two cases that ask whether sexual-orientation discrimination is covered by the federal law “will reveal a good deal about the fidelity of the conservatives to” textualism, “a theory several of them espouse.” Lisa Keen previews all three cases at Keen News Service.


  • For The New York Times, Adam Liptak notes that in three recent cases in which the Supreme Court denied applications for a stay of execution, “only one member of the court bothered to write an opinion, to give a hint about what was at stake[:] That was Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who maintains a sort of vigil in the capital cases other justices treat as routine.”
  • At E&E News, Pamela King reports that “[a]s disputes over key Trump administration environmental actions crescendo in the lower courts, the nation’s highest bench is filling out its calendar with a small set of cases that could have major impacts on water permitting, Superfund cleanups and tribal lands.”
  • At Take Care, Mary Bonauto and Shannon Minter point out the resemblances between June Medical Services v. Gee, which asks whether a decision upholding Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and Pavan v. Smith, in which the court two years ago struck down an Arkansas law that required the names of both mothers and fathers on birth certificates but not the names of both parents in same-sex marriages as inconsistent with Obergefell v. Hodges.
  • Fox News has an op-ed from Barronelle Stutzman, the florist whose refusal on religious grounds to design flowers for a same-sex wedding is at the root of the cert petition in Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington.
  • At the Washington Legal Foundation blog, Lawrence Ebner looks at four decisions from last term “that reveal, in a variety of contexts, the justices’ current thinking on the role and application of stare decisis.”
  • At Forbes, Nick Sibilla notes that “[o]ne of the nation’s longest-running food fights could soon be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court” as the justices consider a cert petition urging them “to strike down Chicago’s GPS tracking requirement” for food trucks as a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 30, 2019, 7:08 AM),