Habeas corpus is all but dead, gun rights mean nothing (especially for 18 to 21-year-olds), the Feds will break up your neighborhood poker game, and the Supreme Court's rulings in the Washing Machine Cases were ignored completely.
Yes, these are all exaggerations of the effects of the most notable of today's many denials, found amongst a 46-page orders list. But in fact, the Court did not grant any new cases. Here are the ones that we were keeping an eye on:
Wolfe v. Clarke: Prosecutors coerce perjury using the death penalty, commit a multitude of Brady violations, and more. A federal court grants habeas relief, requiring a retrial or release within 120 days. The order is ignored, and the Fourth Circuit holds that it is powerless to enforce the order.
What good is federal habeas relief if the state can simply ignore it?
DiChristina v. United States: Okay, so your friendly neighborhood game isn't really at stake. The 1970 law that nailed DiChristina for his for-profit poker club only applies to games with at least $2,000 per day in revenue or that operate on a regular basis for more than 30 days. We're not actually surprised by the cert. denial here, but it would've been interesting to see the Court take a case that we covered at the trial level, especially if the High Court had agreed with the trial court that poker was a skill, rather than gambling.
Alas, per the Second Circuit, poker is gambling, no matter what Matt Damon says.
Lane v. Holder: You have the right to bear arms. Unfortunately, if you live in D.C., and the only federally-licensed firearm dealer goes out of business, well, maybe a nice man on the corner will sell you a piece for $200. You certainly can't go to Virginia or Maryland to purchase said piece.
Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) live on, even when they make legal exercise of one's constitutional rights factually impossible.
NRA Cases: Sorry. You're old enough to vote, and to go to war, but you can't own a handgun. And concealed carry? The Court will have other opportunities to take on that fight. Unless you're 21, you still can't purchase a handgun. Or carry it.
Washing Machine Cases: Front-loading washing machines stink -- literally. A series of class-action lawsuits regarding the machines' propensity for mold and foul odors will proceed after the Supreme Court denied cert. The denial comes a little less than a year after the Court previously nixed class certification, citing Comcast, where certification was denied because consumers' injuries were insufficiently similar to warrant a single class.
Did you notice any other notable denials? Talk SCOTUS with us on Facebook.
- Orders List [PDF] (Supreme Court)
- Supreme Court court turns away moldy washer cases (Reuters)
- Wolfe Asks SCOTUS to Bar Re-Prosecution Due to Misconduct (FindLaw's Fourth Circuit Blog)
- Argentina Returns, Again Seeking Cert. in Bonds Case (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)