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


A recent 5 to 4 opinion of the High Court clarifies the Armed Career Criminal Act's definition of violent crimes to include crimes that involve the minimum amount of force needed to overcome resistance. The ACCA imposes harsher mandatory minimum sentences for offenders that have a history of committing violent crimes.

The case before the Justices involved Denard Stokeling, who pleaded guilty to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Then received a 15-year minimum sentencing enhancement under the ACCA due to a prior robbery conviction. However, the enhancement was initially denied at the district court level where he was given a much shorter sentence, but after an appeal, which was just upheld by SCOTUS, he received a 15-year sentence under the ACCA guidelines.

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Whitaker Appointment

Matthew Whitaker, acting attorney general, will keep his job at the Justice Department -- for now.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge that claimed Whitaker's appointment was illegal because he was not confirmed by the Senate. President Trump named Whitaker to fill in for Jeff Sessions, who resigned in November under pressure from the president.

Arguing in Michaels v. Whitaker , Justice Department lawyers said former presidents have appointed high level officials 160 times without Senate approval. This time, it apparently isn't necessary either.

Rookie justice Brett Kavanaugh has just released his first bit of Supreme Court authorship, writing the unanimous opinion in the Schein v. Archer and White matter. And yes, it is perhaps one of the most boring decisions to expect this year.

As Justice Kavanaugh makes clear on every single page of the brief, sub-ten page, order, when parties to a contract agree that an arbitrator gets to decide issues of arbitrability, then, unsurprisingly, an arbitrator, and not a judge, gets to decide whether the action should be in court or arbitration, even if the correct answer seems obvious.

As Ginsburg Rests, White House Plans to Replace Her

After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed oral arguments recently, the White House reportedly began looking for her replacement.

It's no secret that President Trump wants to add another conservative Justice to the High Court. But according to sources, the White House has quietly told political allies to prepare for Ginsburg's death or departure.

Ginsburg, meanwhile, has been working at home since cancer surgery last month. She is expected to recover fully.

The plot is surely thickening in the Mueller secret grand jury subpoena matter against the undisclosed foreign corporation.

SCOTUS just terminated the temporary stay that was issued on an emergency basis in favor of the mystery foreign corporation pending the Justices holding a conference on whether to take the matter up. Making matters a bit more interesting, it seems that the undisclosed corporation has also filed a petition seeking permission to seek writ in a filing under seal.

This week, a highly anticipated case asking whether restitution can be ordered without a jury trial got killed during a SCOTUS conference.

However, in the aftermath an unlikely pair of Justices agreed over a dissent. Justice Gorsuch filed a written dissent to which Justice Sotomayor joined. The dissent explains that ordering restitution without the safeguard of a jury trial seems to run afoul of either or possibly both the Sixth and Seventh Amendments' guarantees of a jury for criminal and civil matters.

Trump Policy Limiting Asylum Not Revived by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court turned away President Trump's initiative to turn away illegal migrants seeking asylum in the United States.

It was a close decision, as Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. sided with the liberal wing of the court. That included Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was recuperating from cancer surgery the same day.

The decision was important to asylum-seekers, but also to court-watchers. It illustrates the high stakes in the balance between the president and the judiciary.

Justice Ginsburg Has Malignant Cancer Removed From Her Lung

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had cancerous growths surgically removed from her lung Friday, and she is expected to recover fully after a few days in the hospital.

In a press release, the U.S. Supreme Court said the nodules were discovered after the Justice fell and broke her ribs in November. The nodules were malignant, but there was "no evidence of the disease elsewhere in her body."

It is the third time Ginsburg has battled cancer. Each time, the notorious one has won.

To say that 2018 has been a crazy year for the High Court would be an understatement. From Kennedy's retirement to Kavanaugh's confirmation, it's been a wild ride. Justice Ginsburg even took a tumble.

But both the Notorious RBG and the whole High Court keep on keeping on, making history and monumental decisions, that is. Below you can read about five of the most monumental High Court decisions from 2018.

Study Finds Secrets Hidden in Justices' Vocal Pitch

According to a new study, you can tell when judges are likely to rule against you by the pitch in their voices.

The higher the pitch, the higher the chances you are going to lose. It has something to do with the emotions signaled through the vocal chords.

It makes sense when you consider people often raise their voices when they are irritated. But what if the judges don't say anything?