Roundup: Utah Appeal, Obamacare's Next SCOTUS Date, Roberts Lied?
Happy Friday afternoon. If you're still stuck behind a desk, and done reading about LeBron James and Jeremy Lin, you're probably looking for something else to tide you over until you sneak out early.
We've got your back. Here is a roundup of the biggest end-of-the-week Supreme Court news, including Chief Justice John Roberts' alleged lie and the Supreme Court's next dates with Obamacare and gay marriage:
Utah Appealing 10th Cir. Gay Marriage Ruling
Totally not a shocker, right? The only thing surprising about Utah's appeal of a Tenth Circuit panel's holding that the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional is that they didn't seek an en banc rehearing first. Either way, the state announced earlier this week that it would be the first to seek certiorari, reports Reuters.
Other cases that are close behind include Oklahoma (also a Tenth Circuit state), Virginia (Fourth Circuit panel opinion due any day now), and Michigan (case pending in the Sixth Circuit).
Maybe Utah wants to be the state to make history, for better or worse. Or perhaps they surveyed the Tenth Circuit's makeup and didn't like the en banc odds (there's a 7:5 ratio of Democrat appointees to Republican appointees).
Obamacare Episode III (and Beyond)
We've just finished the Obamacare SCOTUS sequel, but fans are already clamoring for a third installment.
CBS News outlines a couple of possibilities: the Obamacare subsidies argument, which asks whether the vague, poorly worded statute only provides subsidies for state exchanges, rather than state and federal exchanges. If so, Congress will have to either patch a statute or Obamacare will collapse. The D.C. Circuit is weighing this case as we speak.
The other lawsuit, currently in a district court, deals with Congress' own healthcare: The Affordable Care Act requires Congress (and staffers) to buy insurance through the exchanges, cutting off their existing coverage. The statute forgot to assign the tab, however, so the Obama administration created a rule that gives subsidies to cover the cost.
And, of course, there's the exemption to the contraception exemption paperwork series of cases.
C.J. Roberts? Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) thinks you, sir, are a liar. You too, Justice Alito.
Sen. Durbin is mad about Hobby Lobby, reports ABC News, but he's especially mad because he says that during both justices' confirmation hearings, he repeatedly asked the two justices whether they would respect Griswold v. Connecticut, the landmark contraception/privacy case, to which they both responded in the affirmative.
Griswold made no appearances in Hobby Lobby, but Durbin argues that the Court's decision goes against the decades-old precedent.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) echoed Durbin's frustrations to an extent: He told ABC News that Altio was forthcoming about who he was, but that Roberts "misdirected us."
As we noted on Wednesday, Congress is currently considering legislation to "fix" the Hobby Lobby decision, but the odds of such a bill clearing the Republican-led House are slim to none.
- Hobby Lobby: SCOTUS Says Corporations Have Religious Rights (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Abortion Protest Buffer Zone Struck Down in Weird Opinion (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Obama Loses in Recess Appointment Case; So Does Scalia (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
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