Wednesday round-up

There is more commentary on Monday’s opinion in Montgomery v. Louisiana, holding that Miller v. Alabama – the Court’s 2012 decision prohibiting mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders – applies retroactively to cases on state collateral review. At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Leslie Shoebotham concludes that, although the ruling “is a broad decision with constitutional implications that extend beyond its immediate application,” its scope remains to be seen.” At casetext, Tamar Birckhead suggests that, with the ruling, “the Court’s most consistent swing voter has authored an opinion that leaves little room for the state to justify sentencing a juvenile to die in prison.”


  • The Citizen’s Guide to the Supreme Court (podcast) looks at a trio of cases in which the Justices will consider whether state laws “that punish a suspected drunk driver’s refusal to take a blood or breath test are constitutional under the 4th amendment.”
  • In an op-ed for The Orange County Register, Ilya Shapiro weighs in on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, observing that the oral argument earlier this month “went about as well as it could, maybe better. Those who support the First Amendment rights of public-sector workers to the freedoms of speech and association, and oppose the corrupt collusion of state governments and union bosses, are on the cusp of a historic victory.”
  • At truthdig, Bill Blum contends that “none of us can plausibly argue that the election won’t matter, especially when it comes to the future of the Supreme Court and the laws it oversees.”
  • At Stoel Rives’s Renewable + Law, Jon Wellinghoff analyzes Monday’s ruling that the Federal Power Act provides the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with the authority to regulate wholesale market operators’ compensation of demand response bids, describing it as “the biggest consumer energy story of the day, and perhaps the decade.”
  • In The Economist, Steven Mazie discusses Monday’s orders denying review in cases involving abortion and the constitutionality of the death penalty; he observes that, with several Justices having “explicitly or implicitly invited these challenges in previous dissenting opinions,” Monday’s orders “may be a sign they feel a tad skittish about extending their hand still further into America’s most contentious disputes.”

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities was among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Friedrichs, but I am not affiliated with the firm.]