Wednesday round-up

Yesterday the Court issued two opinions in argued cases. In Whitfield v. United States, it upheld the conviction of a fleeing bank robber who broke into an elderly woman’s home and instructed her to go with him to her computer room – four to nine feet away – so that police would not see him. The Court held that the federal bank robbery statute’s “forced accompaniment” provision applies whenever a bank robber forces someone to go somewhere with him, even for a short distance. I covered the decision for this blog, with other coverage coming from David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, and Bradley McAllister of JURIST.

In Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., the Court held that the Truth in Lending Act only requires a borrower exercising his right to rescind to provide written notice of the intent to rescind within three years; it does not require him to file suit within three years. Ronald Mann covered the decision for this blog, with other coverage coming from Addison Morris of JURIST and Sam Hananel of the Associated Press (via Yahoo! Finance). And in a column for Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman discusses what the unanimous results in yesterday’s decisions might mean for King v. Burwell, the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government.

Commentary on Monday’s oral argument in Reed v. Town of Gilbert continues. In another column for Bloomberg View, Noah Feldman focuses on comments by Justice Antonin Scalia at the oral argument suggesting that “the First Amendment requires all speech to be treated as equal in value with respect to regulation. That idea,” Feldman observes, “is markedly different from the old notion that politics comes first, then ideas, then everything else.” And at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie concludes that, although the Justices initially “seemed keen to grant localities a measure of discretion in regulating their signage,” “it makes no sense to limit the Good News Community Church to ‘a little dingy’ sign (in Justice Breyer’s words) for the sole reason that it includes an arrow pointing to the right.”

Briefly:

  • At ISCOTUSnow, Edward Lee predicts the winners in both of yesterday’s oral arguments based on the number of questions from the Justices.
  • crImmigration is hosting an online symposium to discuss the issues raised by Mellouli v. Holder, the immigration case in which the Justices will hear oral arguments today.
  • moment hosted a symposium to discuss the influence of religion on the Justices; contributors include Robert Barnes, Dahlia Lithwick, Tony Mauro, Sarah Posner, Stephen Wermiel, Leslie Griffin, Marshall Breger, Emily Bazelon, and this blog’s Lyle Denniston.
  • In the National Review, Hans von Spakovsky and Elizabeth Slattery discuss Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, in which the Court will consider whether the Fair Housing Act allows lawsuits based on disparate impact, and predict that Texas “will refuse to blink and withdraw the case before the Court can finally decide whether this federal law is being misinterpreted not just by the courts, but also by the government.”

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