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In this edition of the Monday Round-Up from the SCOTUSblog, Edith Roberts highlights a few recent articles published by sources such as Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times. Roberts provides summaries for each of these articles as they pertain to the relevant court cases they reference. A majority of these articles and op-eds deal with highly controversial topics such as discrimination, abortion, and environmental action.

The two articles Roberts described in depth feature the following cases: Hernandez v. Mesa, a dispute regarding the shooting death of a Mexican family’s son by a U.S. Border Patrol officer while he was on Mexican soil, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which pertains to the legality of discrimination based on sexual identity, primarily in regards to transgender individuals.


At Forbes, Nick Sibilla writes that the court’s decision this term in Hernandez v. Mesa, a case arising from a Mexican family’s efforts to hold a U.S. Border Patrol agent liable for the shooting death of their son, who was on the Mexican side of the border, could “have a drastic impact on victims who want to hold federal officials personally accountable for violating the Constitution.” At The Atlantic, Leah Litman argues that “if there are no remedies for violations of constitutional rights, then it’s not clear that there are constitutional rights either.”

In an op-ed for USA Today, Anita Milanovich argues that in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which the court will decide whether federal employment discrimination law bars discrimination against transgender people, the Supreme Court “shouldn’t take on Congress’s job and reinvent the meaning of “sex”[:] Doing so would fundamentally redefine what it means to be a ‘girl’ or a ‘woman’ by judicial fiat and inject confusion, if not chaos, onto the track and the field, into the pool and the locker room.” [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of respondent Stephens in this case.] At The Atlantic, Garrett Epps observes that how the court resolves Harris and two cases that ask whether sexual-orientation discrimination is covered by the federal law “will reveal a good deal about the fidelity of the conservatives to” textualism, “a theory several of them espouse.” Lisa Keen previews all three cases at Keen News Service.


  • For The New York Times, Adam Liptak notes that in three recent cases in which the Supreme Court denied applications for a stay of execution, “only one member of the court bothered to write an opinion, to give a hint about what was at stake[:] That was Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who maintains a sort of vigil in the capital cases other justices treat as routine.”


Read the rest of the blog post on SCOTUSblog.


Jorge J. Perez is an attorney in South Florida. He is a self-professed history buff.