The big Supreme Court news today is a recent New York Times/CBS News poll showing that only 44 percent of Americans approve of the Nine. The Times notes that the Court's popularity may have slipped because people think that the Court's opinions, like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, are influenced by personal or political views.
Perhaps a new batch of 2012 Term cases will spike the Court's approval rating. Here are three cases that we've been thinking about this week.
Bailey v. United States. In the only case granted on Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it will review whether, pursuant to Michigan v. Summers, police officers may detain an individual incident to the execution of a search warrant when the individual has left the immediate vicinity of the premises before the warrant is executed. Here, the cops detained the suspect a mile away from his house. Should the beans he spilled during that detention be used against him?
Tibbals v. Carter. Why do we write about so many habeas corpus cases? Because it's hard to find a boring one. In this Sixth Circuit appeal, the Court will consider whether a defendant has a right to be competent during a federal habeas proceeding, and whether a district court can indefinitely stay habeas proceedings if the defendant isn't competent. The outcome in this case could have an interesting tie-in with forced medication, like in Jared Lee Loughner's case.
Clapper v. Amnesty International USA. Does Amnesty International have Article III standing to challenge secret surveillance statutes? Can the group get prospective relief? And if Amnesty International loses this case, will it ever escape the stigma of being the ACLU's less-hot civil rights sister?
While none of these cases are likely to generate the media storm that the Affordable Care Act did during the 2011 Term, the 2012 Term could have its own mega-case: Both the Defense of Marriage Act and California Proposition 8 are poised for petitions to the Supreme Court.