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

August 2011 Archives

Top 5 Things to Know About New Deputy SG Sri Srinivasan

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: Top five things to know about the Solicitor General's number two, newly-appointed Principal Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan.

LGBT Self-Identification: New Affirmative Action Category for Colleges?

When Sandra Day O'Connor suggested an expiration date for the use of affirmative action in university admissions in 2003, her hope was that affirmative action would no longer be necessary in the future.

"We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today," the now-retired Justice O'Connor wrote in Grutter v. Bollinger.

But as two new university affirmative action cases make their way toward Supreme Court appeals, is another protected group emerging?

Justice Ginsburg Rights the Past at Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference

In college, we once represented Indonesia at the National Model United Nations Conference. Throughout the conference, students from Germany kept asking us, "Why are you killing people in East Timor?" The crazy thing was that we weren't killing people; we weren't actually from Indonesia. But the German kids, who were firmly committed to role playing, kept glaring at us as though we condoned genocide.

It was awkward.

We suspect that the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference was equally uncomfortable for whoever had to argue that women should not be admitted to the Illinois bar in front of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the conference's Bradwell v. State of Illinois re-enactment.

Eyewitness Identification Review: 2011 Supreme Court Cases

Over the last 30 years, there have been a number of trends that have swept America twice: platform shoes, Bushes in the White House, and 90210, just to name a few.

One other reoccurring topic that hasn't been on America's radar during that time? Supreme Court challenges to eyewitness identification testimony.

In November, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Perry v. New Hampshire, addressing whether due process protections against unreliable eyewitness identification evidence apply to all identifications made under suggestive circumstances, or only when the suggestive circumstances were orchestrated by the police.

ABA Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Martinez v. Ryan

When the Supreme Court schedule includes an ineffective counsel case, you can expect that the American Bar Association (ABA) will weigh in on the issue.

The ABA filed an amicus curiae brief this week in Martinez v. Ryan, a case challenging whether a defendant has a right to effective counsel during his post-conviction relief petition hearings. When considering the case in 2010, the Ninth Circuit held that, since there is no right to assistance of post-conviction counsel in connection with a state petition for post-relief conviction, there could be no right to the effective assistance of counsel.

Ricci Redux? Second Circuit Revives Firefighter's Claim

Will New Haven firefighters have another day in the Supreme Court?

This week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals revived New Haven firefighter Michael Briscoe's claim challenging the same exam that the Supreme Court mulled in Ricci v. DeStefano. A district court had previously ruled that Briscoe's claim was barred by the Ricci holding.

The Nine ruled in 2009 that white New Haven firefighters were unfairly denied promotions because of their race after the city invalidated the results of a promotions exam that none of New Haven's African-American firefighters passed.

Chicago-Kent Hosting IP Conference Sept. 15

Are you an intellectual property practitioner or law student with an interest in IP? Can you be in Chicago on September 15?

Then you may want to take a break from gazing at architecture from the riverboat cruise or Crown Fountain in Millennium Park - both of which are worth seeing, if you haven't already - to attend the Chicago-Kent Supreme Court IP Review (SCIPR) at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Will SCOTUS Hear Alien Tort Act Case?

Will the Supreme Court rule once and for all on whether corporations can be held liable under the Alien Tort Act?

Experts believe that the Court will take up the issue. The question, however, is when it will happen. The circuit-level are-they-or-aren't-they-liable decision count stands at 7 to 1, but several circuits are in the process of re-hearing cases on this issue, en banc.

Supreme Court Releases November Hearing Schedule

If you’ve been waiting to plan your fall trip to D.C. in hopes that the Supreme Court would hear a political question argument, then you can start making travel plans.

The Supreme Court hearing schedule for October 31 through November 9 on Monday has been released. The twelve cases on the docket range from a State Department political question, to the standard criminal fare. The full schedule is below.

Five Things to Know About Living Like a Supreme Court Justice

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 living like a Supreme Court Justice.

August is the glorious month when temperatures soar, the French take vacation, and Supreme Court justices descend from their Beaux-Arts marble palace to walk among mere mortals. The Nine have been rather chatty lately about what makes the Supreme Court work, why it’s the best branch of government — and just a bit about what they are doing on their summer vacations.

So, it is time to ask WWJD? What would justices do?

Justice Kagan Talks Cameras in the Supreme Court, Collegiality

Chief Justice John Roberts may scoff at the thought of allowing cameras in the courtroom, but Justice Elena Kagan, the newest addition to the bench, thinks it would lead to greater confidence in the Court.

Asked about allowing cameras in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Kagan said, "I think it's a good idea ... If everybody could see this it would make them feel so good about this branch of government and how it operates," reports the Aspen Daily News.

Which other justices have weighed in on the issue?

The Top 5: Our Picks for the Top 2010 Supreme Court Cases

What do the cast of Jersey Shore and the Supreme Court have in common?

Little, other than fist-pumping and end of season recaps.

With that in mind, let's take a look at FindLaw's five most fascinating 2010 Supreme Court cases.

Thomas Honored With Supreme Court Bobblehead

In Hollywood, there’s a star on the Walk of Fame. In sports, there’s the immortality of a retired jersey. In law, bobbleheads are the benchmark of success.

The Green Bag, an “entertaining” law journal, has produced fifteen Supreme Court bobbleheads since 2003. The latest justice to receive the honor? Clarence Thomas.