The upcoming health care arguments remain headline news.  Sam Favate of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports on a recent Bloomberg poll (to which Kiran linked yesterday) indicating that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the Court’s health care decisions will be influenced by politics, while Dana Blanton of Fox News reports on a Fox News Poll showing that Americans are divided on the constitutionality of the health care law.   And at the National Review Online, Carrie Severino responds to a recent flurry of editorials and opinion pieces by “counsel[ing] the justices to spend the remaining weeks reading those thousands of pages of briefing, and to ignore the media’s unsolicited advice.”

Anticipating oral argument, Lyle reports on the division of time among advocates at oral argument, while Stuart Taylor, Jr. (writing for Kaiser Health News) identifies “key points to keep in mind while watching the action.”  At USA Today, Richard Wolf discusses some of the hypotheticals raised by challengers to the Affordable Care Act and concludes that if the Act “is to withstand legal challenge, government lawyers must convince a majority of justices that the health care marketplace is unique.”  Adopting a distinct approach at ACSblog, Jonathan Gruber discusses his recent graphic novel about health care reform and defends the constitutionality of the individual mandate, concluding that “I depict the individual mandate as the ‘spinach we have to eat in order to get the dessert that is fairly priced insurance coverage.’”

Commentators also focused on the Court’s upcoming argument in Jackson v. Hobbs and Miller v. Alabama, in which the Court will consider whether the Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentence of life without parole for someone who was convicted of murder when he was fourteen.  David Lohr previews the case for the Huffington Post, as does Sevil Omer of MSNBC.  Tanya Greene of the ACLU’s Blog of Rights argues that “the U.S. stands utterly alone on this one” and that the plaintiffs’ “youth still gives them great capacity for change and should prevent them from being treated as worthless and hopeless throwaway kids.”  The editorial board of Washington Post agrees, writing that “to deny them a chance to make their case for freedom flies in the face of the best medical science available and borders on the immoral.”


  • For this blog, Susan F. Mandiberg previews next week’s oral argument in Southern Union Co. v. United States, “a case that could bring about profound changes in the way courts impose criminal fines, which serve as the principal sanction for organizations, including corporations.”
  • At the Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen reports that Texas has filed an amended complaint in its litigation with the Department of Justice over its voter identification law, setting the stage for a challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Right Act to potentially reach the Court early by the fall.  The Texas Redistricting Blog, the Austin American-Statesman, and the San-Antonio News Express also cover this development.
  • Wake Forest School of Law has posted a link to the video of a recent “Conversation with Justice Thomas.”
  • Tony Mauro of the Blog of the Legal Times reports that “[a]ll four women who have served as Supreme Court justices will appear together April 11 for a program celebrating the 30th anniversary of Sandra Day O’Connor’s first term on the Court.”
  • At Verdict, Vikram David Amar discusses the methodological and procedural issues that the Court will face in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (the challenge to the university’s use of affirmative action in its undergraduate admissions policies).

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Joshua Matz, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 16, 2012, 10:20 AM),