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


Although the majority of the internet world supported Microsoft's efforts to quash the search warrant that sought to obtain data that was stored abroad, by the time the case made it to the Supreme Court, Congress had passed a new law that effectively decided the dispute.

Curiously though, rather than let SCOTUS rule and affirm the warrant based on the newly passed law, a new warrant was issued and Microsoft just gave up, essentially forcing the hand of the Justices to dismiss for mootness, or, more colloquially, give the case the ole moot boot.

While it has long been a practice of the United States to deport non-citizens who commit a violent felony, what qualifies as a crime of "violence" has been a moving target. As the High Court's opinion in Session v. Dimaya explained, the federal statute requiring deportation defines violent crime in a way that is unconstitutionally vague.

The defendant in the deportation action, James Garcia Dimaya, was convicted of burglary in California. As the majority notes, in some courts, this is considered a violent crime, while in others it is not. Dimaya argued successfully to a lower court that the law was unconstitutionally broad, as his crime resulted in no injuries to his victims. And while Justice Kagan penned the ruling, interestingly, it was Justice Gorsuch's concurring opinion that swung the decision in Dimaya's favor.

Rod Blagojevich may not be the hot news topic that he once was back when he got convicted for trying to sell former President Obama's Illinois senate seat (vacated when he was sworn in as POTUS), as well as his other corruption charges. But the recent rejection of his appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court put the disgraced politician in the headlines, hopefully just one last time before he's released in half a decade.

Blagojevich was appealing to the High Court in hopes of shortening up his 14 year sentence. SCOTUS rejected the appeal, which argued that his status as a "model prisoner" should earn him some time off. However, when you get convicted on 17 out of 20 corruption charges, after a second trial, and your sentence is affirmed a couple times, chances are you don't have a chance with SCOTUS, even if you've been on the Celebrity Apprentice.

While there's no doubt about the fact that Justice Ginsburg is the biggest celebrity on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor may be wrestling away the title of coolest judge. Sure, Ginsburg made a big splash with her workout, but Sotomayor can dance! Also, she's credited with saving Major League Baseball.

And though Ginsburg has a big movie coming out about her in a couple weeks, how can you ignore the fact that Sotomayor, and not Ginsburg, has been interviewed by Oprah. Oprah asked the justice some seriously personal questions, and Sotomayor opened up, even explaining that she enjoyed being an appellate court judge more than she enjoys being a SCOTUS justice. As she explains, it's not that she doesn't like the job, but she really felt like she could be herself as the limelight wasn't as bright in lower court.

CLOUD Act Makes Microsoft Case Moot, Microsoft Agrees

It was the day before the big heavyweight fight, and then suddenly it was off.

One of the fighters got injured, tested positive for drugs, or something. Or as in the case of U.S. v. Microsoft Corp., Congress stepped in and broke it up.

The CLOUD Act, which created new procedures for acquiring data stored across borders, settles the issues in the case. So everybody go home, sorry no refunds.

After several years of appeals, the United States Supreme Court has weighed in, again, on the debate over whether car dealership service advisors are entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro. The case ping-ponged from the district to appellate court, to SCOTUS, then back down and back up to SCOTUS again.

The case, filed back in 2012, sought back pay for car dealership service advisors. The basis of the case was a new 2011 Department of Labor interpretation of the FLSA which seemed to remove service advisors from the specific overtime exemption which covered "any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements."

Reports from today's oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court explain that the justices kept their poker faces on when it came to partisan gerrymandering. Apart from Justices Sotomayor and Kagan's clearly anti-partisan gerrymandering line of questions, there didn't seem to be any indication of which side was winning.

The Benisek v. Lamone case is a little bit different than the Gil case which was heard last fall. One significant difference that has been getting quite a bit of attention is the fact that this case focuses on a gerrymander in favor of democrats, while Gil's gerrymandering favored republicans. Pundits posit that the High Court took up this case specifically to be able to rule on the issue of partisan gerrymandering without appearing political by letting each faction win (or lose) one case.

In a recent editorial opinion penned for the New York Times, retired United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had a clear message for the youth of today: Repeal the Second Amendment.

Justice Stevens explains that repealing the Second Amendment is now the clearest path to undoing the impact of the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which he believes was decided incorrectly. Heller effectively invalidated gun control legislation and held that there is an individual right to bear arms within the Second Amendment. Justice Stevens believes the Heller decision "has provided the NRA with a propaganda weapon of immense power."

Did you know that there's a documentary about the Notorious RBG? Unfortunately, you still have to wait over a month before it is released in theaters nationwide on May 4th. Fortunately though, you won't be guessing which movie is about her, as the film is simply titled: RBG.

Those lucky moviegoers that attended this year's Sundance Film Festival were treated to the first run of the film, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. After all, people sure do love Justice Ginsburg. Even Stephen Colbert has jumped on board the hype-train and released this video of the two of them working out together and having some silly fun.

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to New Congressional Map

When a judge says 'no' the first time, what do lawyers often do?

It's no joke: they ask again. That's basically what happened in the latest gerrymandering case to make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The High Court rejected a petition to stop a new congressional district plan in Pennsylvania -- again. Somehow the petitioners didn't get the message the first time.