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

January 2012 Archives

Sooners to Supreme Court: Stop Minding Oklahoma Business?

Perhaps Oklahoma is peeved that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state's anti-Sharia law, a state constitutional amendment that prevents Oklahoma state courts from considering or using Sharia law in decisions.

Or, maybe the legislature is trying to take its cues from Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Either way, Oklahoma does not seem to be a fan of federal appellate courts.

Now, Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey of Oklahoma City is ready to stop the federal courts from second-guessing the will of the people. His solution? A constitutional amendment that would deny the Nine Supreme Court judicial review of Oklahoma laws, according to The Daily O'Collegian.

Newt Gingrich v. The Nine: Can POTUS Ignore SCOTUS?

Lawyers are bound by the courts. We may disagree with judges, but we respect their decisions. If we fail to do so, we can be fined, or even jailed.

But is the President of the United States bound by the same limitations as mere mortal lawyers? Not according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In fact, Gingrich claims that the POTUS can simply "ignore" a Supreme Court decision that he deems "fundamentally wrong."

How the Supreme Court Botched U.S. v. Jones

The Supreme Court fumbled the warrantless GPS tracking decision on Monday.

Yes, privacy advocates are claiming the case as a victory. And it is. But U.S. v. Jones is more of a field-goal-in-overtime victory, than a resounding win for privacy rights.

Here's why.

Unanimous: Warrantless GPS Tracking is Unreasonable Search

Happy Monday, everyone. We're kicking this week off with four more Supreme Court opinions, most notably a decision in the warrantless GPS tracking case, U.S. v. Jones.

Today, the Court ruled that the government executed an unreasonable search when it attached a GPS tracking device to a suspect's car, and tracked the car for 28 days without a warrant.

While the Court was unanimous that warrantless GPS tracking constitutes an unreasonable search, the Nine were split as to why it was an unreasonable search.

Back to the Drawing Board: Reversal in Texas Redistricting Case

Rick Perry may have exited the presidential race, but he scored a win for Texas Republicans in the Supreme Court; the Nine vacated orders to implement a court-designed Texas redistricting plan this morning, reports The Washington Post.

Texas was awarded four additional congressional seats after the 2010 Census. Tasked with redesigning the state’s legislative and congressional districts to reflect the adjusted population numbers, the Republican-controlled Texas legislature proposed a redistricting map that — no surprise — favored Republicans.

This Week on First Street: SCOTUS Decides Maples v. Thomas

The Nine released three more 2012 Supreme Court opinions yesterday, including a decision in a closely-watched criminal law matter.

In a 7-2 decision, the Court overturned the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to find that death row inmate Cory Maples was entitled to another shot at his ineffective counsel appeal.

The case gained national media attention due to the highly unusual circumstances surrounding Maples' appeal.

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Student Free Speech Rights Cases

The Nine are not fans of social media, and they're not ready to consider arguments that students' free speech rights do not extend to cyberspace.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied cert in three free speech rights challenges involving comments that students made about administrators or peers on MySpace.

Supreme Court to Consider Qualified Immunity for Lawyers Tuesday

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Filarsky v. Delia, a qualified immunity case challenging a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that government-employed lawyers are entitled to qualified immunity, but private lawyers working on a case-by-case basis for the government are not.

While this isn’t the type of case that would typically pique the public’s interest, the outcome could make private lawyers reconsider whether they want to take on government projects.

Decided: 3 More 2012 Supreme Court Opinions

The Supreme Court has been busy this week, disposing of cases and dispensing decisions.

The Nine followed up yesterday's decisions in CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood, Gonzalez v. Thaler, Minneci v. Pollard, and Smith v. Cain with three more 2012 Supreme Court opinions.

Here's a quick review of the most-recently decided issues:

This Week on First Street: First 2012 Supreme Court Opinions

It was a busy day at First Street, with both oral arguments and the first round of 2012 Supreme Court opinions.

In addition to hearing arguments in Knox v. Services Employees International Union and FCC v. Fox Television Stations, the Court released opinions in four cases today.

While they may be known as the Nine, the Justices agree with Count von Count that eight is great; each of the cases resulted in 8-1 decisions.

How Will Western Tradition Partnership Affect Citizens United?

Once again, Montana is the wild, wild west: Last week, the Montana Supreme Court challenged the U.S. Supreme Court to a showdown.

In a 5-2 decision, the popularly-elected Montana Supreme Court held in Western Tradition Partnership v. Attorney General that the state had a compelling interest in continuing to enforce the state’s Corrupt Practices Act. Montana voters approved the Act, which limits/bans corporate campaign expenditures, in 1912.

Chief Justice Roberts on Supreme Court Ethics: We've Got This

While you were chilling the champagne and prepping your party hat Saturday night, Chief Justice John Roberts was steeling himself for the publication of his 2011 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.

In light of the many calls for recusals during 2011, particularly in the individual mandate litigation, the theme of this year's report was Supreme Court ethics.

Justice Roberts' take on the issue: Pipe down. We've got this.