Happy New Year! Apparently all the judges decided to issue important rulings the day I was off the grid.

January 1st, 2014

So here’s the roundup.

First, Justice Sotomayor, without referring the matter to the entire Court, stayed the contraceptive mandate in a case from the 10th Circuit, where she is Circuit Justice.

UPON CONSIDERATION of the application of counsel for the applicants, IT IS ORDERED that respondents are temporarily enjoined from enforcing against applicants the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U. S. C. § 300gg-13(a)(4), and related regulations pending the receipt of a response and further order of the undersigned or of the Court. The response to the application is due Friday, January 3, 2014, by 10 a.m.

Before Sotomayor issued her injunction, there was a flurry of activity by Circuit Judges. The 7th Circuit (Posner, Flaum, Hamilton) unanimously denied an injunction. The 6th Circuit (Batchelder and Siler) granted the injunction with Stranch dissenting. The D.C. CIrcuit (Henderson and Brown) granted the injunction, with Tatel dissenting.

Second, Justice Sotomayor did not issue a stay in the Utah SSM case from Utah’s request, but instead asked the challengers to file a response by Friday.

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.

Third, Justice Sotomayor tore it up in Times Square, where I was enjoyed the New Year.

Fourth, the Chief Justice issued his annual report on the federal judiciary. Adam Liptak (who apparently cannot enjoy his New Years till the Chief issues the report) has a report.

Fifth, a District Judge in New York upheld most of New York’s recently-enacted gun control laws, with the exception of the ludicrous rule that magazines that hold ten rounds can only hold seven bullets.

In a 54-page ruling, Judge Skretny struck down a well-known but troubled portion of the law, which prohibited gun owners from loading more than seven rounds into a magazine. He called the limit “an arbitrary restriction” that violated the Second Amendment.

I’ll have more on this soon.

Busy day!