This week, we’re attempting to satisfy your hunger for Supreme Court news with recaps of the highs and lows of the week.
First up, the first decision out of First Street for the 2011 term, Greene v. Fisher.
In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court upheld petitioner Eric Greene’s conviction, deciding that “clearly established federal law,” for purposes of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, is limited to the Supreme Court’s decisions “as of the time of the relevant state-court adjudication on the merits.”
Observing that "Greene's predicament is an unusual one of his own creation," the Court noted that Greene missed two opportunities to petition the Supreme Court for relief.
Next we turn to oral arguments.
Pre-argument blogosphere buzz this week was focused on warrantless GPS tracking in U.S. v. Jones. The government may lose this one, as the Justices did not seem excited about the idea of letting the government track people willy-nilly.
Word of New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Donna Andrieu's rough day at the Court arguing Smith v. Cain, however, is starting to eclipse the warrantless GPS talk because - let's face it - lawyers are snarky and love schadenfreude.
We're not claiming superiority over this mindset; we may not ever argue before The Nine, but we'll also never face Justice Kagan suggesting that we admit that we're wrong in open court.
The ABA Journal has aggregated crafty criticisms of the Smith v. Cain oral arguments here.
Finally, the Court will consider new petitions during conference on Thursday; among those are several Affordable Care Act challenges, including Liberty University v. Geithner and Thomas More Law Center v. Obama. Yes, the Court could soon grant writ to the individual mandate challenge to end all individual mandate challenges.