Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
For those of you who still watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve, you saw U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor start the ball drop.
But before Justice Sotomayor joined revelers at Times Square, she had a busy evening issuing orders in appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Several groups of Roman Catholic universities, schools, and charity organizations on Tuesday afternoon began filing a series of requests for the Supreme Court to delay enforcement of the contraceptive mandate in the new federal health care law. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reports, New challenges to birth-control mandate (UPDATED):
UPDATE 11:21 p.m. In a case from the Tenth Circuit Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily blocked enforcement of the mandate against the institutions in that case, while she awaits a response from the federal government, due by 10 a.m. on Friday. Four separate applications were filed from different federal Circuits, but not all sought immediate relief.
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The Court has already agreed to hear constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate on birth control and other pregnancy-related services, in the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores (docket 13-354) and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius (13-356). The Court has not yet scheduled those cases for oral argument. Briefing in those two is now in progress.
And the state of Utah on Tuesday afternoon asked the Court to put on hold a federal judge’s ruling striking down that state’s flat ban on same-sex marriages. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reports, Utah seeks delay of same-sex marriages:
UPDATE 5:14 p.m. Justice Sonia Sotomayor has asked for a response to the Utah application; it is due by noon on Friday. There thus will be no action on this application pending that filing.
It appears Friday will be "culture warrior day" at the U.S. Supreme Court (followed by Arizona's 20-week abortion ban Horne v. Isaacson (13-402) being considered by the Court next week). Petitions to watch | Conference of January 10 .
To paraphrase Margo Channing in All About Eve, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night 2014!"