The court today handed down 5 rulings and not one of them had a single dissenting vote. Most unanimous decisions have a voting line that looks something like the one in Long Island Care at Home v. Coke (which I blogged about here):

BREYER, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Pretty simple. Just one line explaing who wrote it, and who signed on to the opinion. Some are more complicated, like the one today in Fry v. Pliler:

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court with respect to all but footnote 1 and Part II–B. ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., joined that opinion in full; STEVENS, SOUTER, and GINSBURG, JJ., joined it as to all but Part II–B; and BREYER, J., joined as to all but footnote 1 and Part II–B. STEVENS, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which SOUTER and GINSBURG, JJ., joined, and in which BREYER, J., joined in part. BREYER, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Mind you, the ruling in Fry was ‘unanimous’. The footnote in question (footnote 1) can be seen here:

As this case comes to the Court, we assume (without deciding) that the state appellate court’s decision affirming the exclusion of Maples’ testimony was an unreasonable application of Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U. S. 284, 302 (1973). We also assume that the state appellate court did not determine the harmlessness of the error under the Chapman standard, notwithstanding its ambiguous conclusion that the exclusion of Maples’ testimony resulted in “no possible prejudice.”

If you didn’t read that, I don’t blame you. The court basically refused to rule on one of the underlying issues in this case and Justice Breyer calls them out on it in his 2-page opinion.

The Long Island case came down exactly as I predicted and other than those two cases, not much happened today in the Supreme Court. The court further delayed handing down some of the biggest cases on its docket, so it looks like we are in for an even more jam-packed summer of SCOTUS glory.


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