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Tuesday round-up

This morning brings oral argument in two cases. The first is Maine Community Health Options v. United States, which stems from the federal government’s failure to fully reimburse health insurance companies for losses created as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Gabrielle Kanter and Joseph Grosser offer a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. The second case today is Holguin-Hernandez v. United States, in which the court will decide whether and how a criminal defendant must formally object to his sentence to preserve an objection to the length of the sentence on appeal. This blog’s preview came from Rory Little, and Cornell’s comes from Basem Besada and Kaitlyn Marasi.

Yesterday morning the justices issued additional orders from last Friday’s conference, adding no cases to their merits docket and asking for the views of the solicitor general in one case. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Greg Stohr reports for Bloomberg that the court “asked the Trump administration for advice on an effort by the liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s firm to recoup $3 billion that was transferred overseas.” Robert Barnes reports for The Washington Post (subscription required) that the court announced that it “will not review a Kentucky law that requires doctors who perform abortions to give a detailed description of the fetus’s development while the woman is shown an ultrasound image, even if she objects.” For The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Jess Bravin reports that “[t]he one-line order, refusing to review a lower court decision, created no nationwide precedent, but suggests that states may be gaining greater leeway in regulating women’s rights to end their pregnancies.”

At the Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that the justices “declined to grant a bold and unusual request … in a case involving Arizona’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharma L.P. and the billionaire Sackler family for their complicity in the opioid crisis.” For Capitol Media Services (via, Howard Fischer reports that the case centered on “Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s claim that the Sackler family that owns Purdue Pharma has been looting the company of assets — assets he said need to be preserved should Arizona win a lawsuit against the company pending in Pima County Superior Court.” According to Pamela King at Greenwire (subscription required), the justices also “will not take up a case concerning state water quality certifications for pipelines, dams and other federally permitted projects.”


  • At Bloomberg Law, Kimberly Robinson reports that after yesterday’s argument in immigration case Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr, the court seemed likely “to rule in favor of immigrants seeking to get federal courts to take a second look at their deportations,” in a case that “could have implications for those deported years, or even decades ago.”
  • At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps argues that three of the “high-profile conservative-agenda cases on the Court’s docket this term,” including the Second Amendment case that was argued last week, “aim at achieving long-sought goals of the right, and all seem … like ginned-up disputes designed to elicit broad right-wing opinions on facts that do not hold up under close examination.”
  • For The New York Times, Adam Liptak looks at a cert petition involving a lower-court ruling that “alarm[ed] civil rights lawyers and experts on free speech” by reviving a lawsuit filed against a Black Lives Matter activist by a Louisiana police officer injured by an unidentified demonstrator.
  • At Crime & Consequences, Kent Scheidegger remarks that Friday’s order denying the federal government’s request to move forward immediately with federal executions “may have been a Pyrrhic victory,” because several justices signaled their “impatience” at the prospect of delay in the case; the court of appeals yesterday set an expedited briefing schedule, with oral argument on January 15.
  • Speakeasy Ideas’ The Law with D.K. Williams podcast presents an interview with Micheal Baca, whose challenge to a Colorado law that requires electors to vote for specific standards gave rise to a cert petition pending in the Supreme Court.
  • In the latest episode of The World and Everything In It (podcast), Mary Reichard discusses the oral arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, a challenge to New York City’s since-amended limits on transporting personal firearms, bankruptcy case Ritzen Group Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC, and County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which asks whether the Clean Water Act covers pollution that moves through groundwater before reaching a federal waterway [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in County of Maui.]

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 10, 2019, 6:52 AM),