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Friday round-up


  • In its latest coronavirus-related order, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Rhode Island to move forward with easing a state requirement for voters to sign absentee ballots in the presence of witnesses or a notary. The court rejected an emergency request from national and state Republicans to reinstate the requirement. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch indicated that they would have granted the request. Amy Howe has a full analysis of the case (in a story that was first published at Howe on the Court).
  • At CNN, Dan Berman writes that the court, in a series of rulings related to the pandemic, “continues to send a clear message” that the justices are uninterested in “stepping in to second-guess state or local officials.”
  • In a New York Times opinion column, Linda Greenhouse argues that Chief Justice John Roberts’ crucial separate opinion in June Medical Services v. Russo has paved the way for a recent ruling by a federal appeals court upholding four anti-abortion laws in Arkansas.
  • In an op-ed in The Hill, Timothy Snowball and Larry Salzman analyze the court’s emergency ruling last month rejecting a challenge to Nevada’s stay-at-home order. They argue that the concerns expressed by the four dissenting justices in that case – Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – raise important issues about the constitutional limits of other stay-at-home orders.

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Recommended Citation: James Romoser, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 14, 2020, 8:24 AM),