Wednesday round-up

The Court is scheduled to resume oral arguments in just a few days, and so previews of the upcoming Term and the cases on the Court’s docket continue. Chantal Valery of Agence France-Presse looks at the Term as a whole, noting that the Court has “a slate of hot-button cases, including freedom of speech in the Facebook era and a likely reprise on gay marriage.” And in Education Week (with graphic here), Mark Walsh surveys the Court’s education docket (or lack thereof), observing that “one would have to go back before the court’s landmark decision in Brown [v. Board of Education] to find a comparable five-year period in which the justices heard no school cases.” In The Atlantic, Dawinder Sidhu looks ahead at next week’s argument in Holt v. Hobbs, in which an Arkansas inmate is arguing that a prison policy which prohibits him from growing a beard for religious reasons violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Sidhu argues that the case “will test whether the Roberts Court’s stance on religious freedom includes a minority faith, Islam, practiced by a disfavored member of our society: a prisoner. At stake are both the state of religious freedom in the country and the Court’s reputation.”


  • In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin discusses Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s criticism of the majority’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby – holding that a closely held corporation owned by a religiously devout family cannot be compelled to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate — and concludes that Ginsburg “was right: the decision is opening the door for the religiously observant to claim privileges that are not available to anyone else.”
  • At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro discusses the amicus brief that Cato filed in Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads, which has been scheduled for argument on December 8.
  • At, Stephen Bainbridge discusses the amicus brief that he filed in Whitman v. United States, an insider-trading case that is scheduled for consideration at the Court’s October 10 Conference.