Weekly Roundup, January 22, 2016

Did you miss your Supreme Court news this week? Let our Weekly Roundup help. (To stay on top of the latest Supreme Court happenings, follow ISCOTUS on Twitter.)

The biggest news of the week: the Court announced on Tuesday that it would review a challenge to Obama’s deferred-action policy for undocumented immigrants. The Court’s move—which was widely expected—generated commentary from NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Atlantic, and The New Republic, among many others.

The week of oral arguments in the Supreme Court began with a strange one.  In Heffernan v. City of Paterson the Court considered whether a police officer who had made no effort to exercise his First Amendment right to free expression would nonetheless receive its protections when he was demoted because his bosses wrongly thought he spoke out against them. The argument received coverage from The Washington Post, NPR, and Education Week. There was also further commentary from The Economist and National Review.

Buzzfeed reported on Justice Breyer’s recent call to reconsider the constitutionality of the death penalty. According to Breyer, inmate Christopher Brooks’ request to halt his execution “underscores the need to reconsider the validity of capital punishment under the Eighth Amendment.”

On Wednesday, in Kansas v. Carr and Kansas v. Gleason, the Supreme Court ruled against three inmates who “committed acts of ‘almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity’.” Coverage from the New York Times, BloombergView, and NPR.

The Atlantic reported on an algorithm designed to determine the authorship of the Court’s unsigned opinions. Some of the justices’ tells: the Chief Justice likes to start sentences with “here” and end them with “the first place”; one of Justice Breyer favored phrases is “in respect to”; and Justice Scalia tends to start sentences with “of course” and writes “utterly” a lot.

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