on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:40 am
As Amy Howe reports for this blog, on Friday “the Supreme Court declined to intervene in challenges by churches in southern California and the Chicago area to stay-at-home orders issued as a result of the COVID-19 crisis”: “[T]he justices were closely divided in the California case, [South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom], with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote and writing a late-night opinion to explain his decision to deny relief.” At Education Week’s School Law Blog, Mark Walsh reports that “Roberts’ concurrence [in South Bay], only for himself, … emphasizes the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic.” For The Washington Post (subscription required), Robert Barnes reports that “[t]he … deeply divided order … still provides a guide for lower courts balancing government rules intended to preserve public health with parishioners’ constitutional religious rights.” At Vox, Ian Millhiser suggests that “Roberts’s vote in South Bay United suggests, at the very least, he recognizes that the Court must not afford so much special solicitude to religious conservatives that it endangers public health.” The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) finds it “disappointing to see the Chief late Friday join his liberal colleagues to uphold California’s discrimination against places of worship.”
- At The Economist’s Espresso blog, Steven Mazie notes that “today a legal tussle over whether the House Judiciary Committee may see portions of the [Mueller] report that were redacted before its release in April 2019 comes to a head”: “[O]n May 8th the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the disclosure, allowing the Department of Justice a chance to request that the court take another look.”
- At the ImmigrationProf Blog, Kevin Johnson and others weigh in on Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, a challenge to the government’s decision to terminate the DACA program, which allowed immigrants brought to this country illegally as children to apply for protection from deportation; they argue that “[t]he Supreme Court should require the Department of Homeland Security to undertake [a] searching analysis of facts and policy impacts, and honestly proceed, playing by the rules.”
- At the Duke Center for Firearms Law’s Second Thoughts blog, Robert Leider says “the constitutionality of restrictions on the public carry of firearms, whether open or concealed … is ripe for resolution”; he urges the court to review one of the pending cases from New Jersey that raises the issue, noting that New Jersey’s “justifiable need standard … is close to a blanket ban.”
- The editorial board of The New York Times writes that “pleas from liberals and conservatives to narrow the doctrine of qualified immunity, and to make it easier to hold police and other officials accountable for obvious civil rights violations, have grown to a crescendo”; “[t]he Supreme Court is considering more than a dozen cases to hear next term that could do just that.”
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