Much like last week, we're going to keep this quick. After all, it's Friday, you've already gone home, and no one is reading this (until Monday. Yay procrastination.)
What's the skinny on SCOTUS this week? Not a whole lot, to be honest, other than Justice Stephen Breyer possibly outting himself (gasp!) as an atheist or nonbeliever. There's also a pretty funny infographic making the rounds, which should put a smile on your SCOTUS-loving faces.
Three Two Jews, and a ______
Label this the most irrelevant question of the term: What is Justice Stephen Breyer's religion? He was raised in a non-strict Jewish household, according to The Huffington Post, but he may have outed himself as a non-theist, non-believer, or some other term that people use to describe someone who doesn't flock to faith.
During oral arguments in Greece v. Galloway, Justice Antonin Scalia, a faithful Catholic, asked the arguing attorney, "What is the equivalent of prayer for somebody who is not religious?"
After some hemming and hawing, Justice Breyer spoke up and stated, "Perhaps he's asking me that question and I can answer it later."
It's a fun piece of trivia, but really, it's pretty irrelevant. Justice Breyer isn't going to tweak the outcome of the case based on his personal beliefs. If he did, he wouldn't have made it to the Supreme Court. Just sayin'.
An Infographic for Lawyers, Non-Laywers Alike
If you're looking for a light-hearted look at the upcoming term, Above the Law's newest infographic is just that, mixing a few insights with a few more jokes. It's perfect for explaining to non-lawyers what, exactly, this term has on the docket (even though they forgot the legislative prayer case).
The best part? The "Readymade Smartypants Cocktail Insights," which highlights my favorite battle: Ninth versus Sixth Circuits in the race to see who can fail the most on First Street.
In Case You Missed It...
Brief notes on this week's official business: The Court, after granting certiorari and asking certified questions to the Oklahoma Supreme Court about RU-486 and medical abortions, dismissed the case as improvidently granted (the second such ruling this year).
Also, in bench-slapping the Sixth Circuit (don't worry, the Ninth has already been reversed this year), the court unanimously reversed the lower court's granting of habeas corpus after a lawyer took over a case, didn't read the file, and advised the (seemingly obviously guilty) client to withdraw her plea, netting her many, many more years in prison. The takeaway? The Supreme Court <3s AEDPA deference.
- Okla. Supreme Ct. Answers: RU-486 Law Bans Medical Abortions (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- How Many Ways Does SCOTUS Fail Technology and Transparency? (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- 20 Week Abortion Laws Headed to SCOTUS? Is Viability Still Viable? (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)