U.S. Supreme Court - The FindLaw U.S. Supreme Court News and Information Blog

U.S. Supreme Court - The FindLaw U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Summaries Blog


The Court is back from its two week recess and the Justices sure did all their homework over the break, dropping six new decisions on Monday. Tomorrow, they'll sit down and decide what workload to pick up next.

One of the petitions they'll consider, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, could have a far reaching impact on affirmative action in education. It would also give the Court a chance to revisit its 2013 ruling in the case, one which was largely criticized for ducking the suit's central issue.

Last week, we asked for opinions from the Supreme Court and we got them -- six of them, in fact -- which may portend more multi-opinion days in the weeks to come.

Today's opinions were fairly prosaic (by which we mean "bankruptcy"), but a few stood out as fairly important.

The Supreme Court has been quiet since May 4, when it issued a fairly prosaic opinion in Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank, concluding that an order denying a proposed bankruptcy repayment plan isn't a final, appealable order.

Monday, the Court will be in session, but it won't be entertaining oral arguments. Instead, it will probably announce new opinions and new cert. grants (or denials) for cases to be heard next term. Here's what we think is in store.

The Supreme Court's October 2014 term is winding down. There will be no more oral arguments before the Court goes on summer vacation at the end of June, though there is still plenty of controversy as 35 cases are as-yet undecided. Among these are same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and Confederate license plates.

It's never too late to think about the next term, though. The Court has already granted cert. to several cases that it will hear when it reconvenes this October. Here are some highlights.

The Supreme Court's oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges and the recent shootings at the "Draw Muhammad" contest in Texas have led to some pretty interesting theories about how the Constitution works.

In both cases, the interplay of religious liberty, free speech, and the rights of others concern some people out in the world who are afraid of same-sex marriage or of events that are designed to make people angry, like the Draw Muhammad contest. In both cases, however, the fear that the government can bring its hammer down on free expression is unwarranted.

In the waning month or two left in the Court's October 2014 term, it issued an order granting cert. in a consolidated case that stands to impact electricity regulation nationwide.

The case was brought by the Electric Power Supply Association, a trade group representing several electric companies and regional electricity supply associations throughout the country.

With the arrival of May comes the disheartening realization that there are going to be no more oral arguments for the October 2014 Term. For the next two months, the justices and their clerks will spend each day busily writing opinions in the 36 outstanding cases from this term.

Going through the list, we were kind of shocked to learn which high-profile cases hadn't been decided yet. Obviously, opinions from March and April cases haven't arrived, but what about these guys, which are still out there past the average 92-day decision period for cases this term?

The 5-4 opinion in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar was a bit of a surprise. Chief Justice Roberts sided with the Court's four liberals to conclude that a state canon of judicial ethics prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign donations was constitutional.

What made more sense is that Justice Kennedy, the author of the Court's opinion in Citizens United v. FEC, dissented from this judgment. It's clear that Roberts made the right call, but his reasoning leaves something to be desired, and indeed, carries some weighty implications for future free speech decisions.

They're just gluttons for punishment, aren't they? After two and a half hours of arguments yesterday on the topic of same-sex marriage, the justices today opted for some lighter fare: the death penalty.

Richard Glossip, along with two other Oklahoma inmates, contends that the three-drug cocktail that state uses for lethal injections violates the Eighth Amendment.

Only a few hours ago, the Court concluded a marathon two-and-a-half hours of oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, the consolidated same-sex marriage cases that undoubtedly form the basis of the big civil rights decision of our time.

The Court divided the arguments according to the two questions presented: First, whether the same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, and second, whether Ohio's refusal to acknowledge an out-of-state same sex marriage violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause.