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

July 2011 Archives

Five Things to Know About the Supreme Court Healthcare Appeal

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Today's offering: five things to know about the Supreme Court healthcare appeal. While it's officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and popularly known as Obamacare, the healthcare law made news again this week when a conservative advocacy group filed a petition challenging the law with the Supreme Court.

Sheriff Seeks Opinion on Gun Permits for Medical Pot Users

Oregon Sheriff Mike Winters, like the Winklevoss twins, is not one to give up on a losing case.

Winters, of Jackson County, has been arguing since 2008 that the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the state from issuing concealed handgun permits to drug addicts, which he says includes medical marijuana card holders.

Game Over: ESA Files Motion for Legal Expenses

The video game industry wants California to pay its bills, bills, bills.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Entertainment Merchants Association filed a motion in the Supreme Court on Monday asking for reimbursement of over one million dollars in legal expenses they incurred in fighting a California law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors. Last month, the Supreme Court decided in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association that the law violated the First Amendment right to free speech.

Court Denies Stay, DeYoung Execution to be Taped

The Supreme Court denied Georgia murderer Andrew DeYoung's motion for stay of execution on Wednesday. DeYoung's case has been the subject of national headlines after a Fulton County judge ordered the state to videotape the execution to gather evidence in Death Row inmate Gregory Walker's appeal claiming that pentobarbital causes unnecessary pain and suffering in the lethal injection process.

Although the execution was originally scheduled for Wednesday, July 20, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Georgia Department of Corrections delayed the DeYoung execution 24 hours to address the videotaping issue.

Nine Plus: Supreme Court Clerks by the Numbers

Clerking for the Supreme Court is one of the most prestigious gigs a new lawyer can secure; it can lead to better jobs, bigger salaries, and obscene signing bonuses. Let’s take a look at the young legal minds who will have the magical experience of working for the Court this year.

In case you’re behind on your billables and don’t have time to tally the vital statistics yourself, we’ve done the complicated math for you. Of the 36 Supreme Court clerks, 26 (72.2 percent) attended private law schools, 18 graduated from Ivy League schools, and 12 went to Harvard.

The University of Virginia has the strongest showing in the public school category, with four clerks in the 2011 class. Yale and Stanford also have four clerks, while Georgetown rounds out the multiple clerks list with two. The list, reported by Above the Law, is below.

Supreme Court Releases October Hearing Schedule

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! The Supreme Court announced its October 2011 hearing schedule on July 18. First Monday is October 3.

There are twelve cases scheduled for oral arguments in October, with topics ranging from patients' rights to copyright restoration. A complete list is available below.

Administration Pushing for Supreme Court Intervention in DADT?

The Department of Justice filed an emergency motion on July 14 asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a California district court’s worldwide injunction against the enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The motion accompanied the Obama Administration’s response to the Ninth Circuit’s July 11 order asking whether the government would defend the constitutionality of the policy; the administration claims that the Ninth Circuit is incorrect in concluding that the government must choose whether it will defend the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy because the policy was already repealed by Congress.

Congress passed a bill repealing the eighteen-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in December last year, but the repeal does not take effect until 60 days after the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that the military is ready to handle the change. On July 6, the Ninth Circuit ordered the military to stop enforcement of the policy.

Supreme Court Justice to Officiate Kennedy Wedding

If you are still bragging about the internet-licensed Elvis impersonator who shook up your nuptials, then you obviously have never served in Congress.

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, will marry New Jersey school teacher Amy Petitgout on Friday, July 15. Patrick Kennedy, the most winning politician in the Kennedy family, left his Rhode Island seat last year at the end of his eighth term to pursue “a fuller life;” he announced his engagement in March. The couple will have a small, private ceremony at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis, Mass, according to The Washington Post.

Pew Poll: How Should SCOTUS Interpret the U.S. Constitution?

Letter of the law or spirit of the law: How should the U.S. Supreme Court look at the U.S. Constitution?

Should the United States Supreme Court apply the Constitution in light of current-day trends and events, or should it apply the document based entirely on the way it was originally written?

Americans are divided on these questions.

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear GPS Tracking Cases

When two federal courts in different circuits give conflicting opinions on issues concerning Fourth Amendment rights and national security, you know that the case is primed and ready for a writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia came out with rather conflicting opinions regarding GPS surveillance of individuals. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted review to these cases and has said that it will hear the appeal of the D.C. case next term, reports Reuters.

White House Files Amicus Brief to Stay Execution of Humberto Garcia

The White House has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put the brakes on the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia in an attempt to avoid breaching international law.

Humberto Garcia was convicted in 1994 on charges of rape and murder of a 16-year old girl in Texas. He was sentenced to death and is scheduled for execution this week.

In an amicus curiae brief, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli claimed that the execution would "place the United States in irreparable breach of its international-law obligation to afford (Leal) review and reconsideration of his claim that his conviction and sentence were prejudiced by Texas authorities' failure to provide consular notification and assistance under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations."