Today was another big day at the Supreme Court. Among the four merits opinions released, we got a very interesting summary reversal in Ryburn v. Huff and a landmark opinion in U.S. v. Jones, the GPS-tracking case. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to plow through the latter yet, but I hope to get through it [...]

While browsing the C-SPAN archives for interesting vidoes, I ran across a great one from 1989. The video features Tim O’Brien providing a recap of October Term 1988, which happened to be Justice Kennedy’s first year on the Court. I can’t embed the video, but you can find it here. There are a few interesting [...]

Updated Most of you know that the Court hears cases during two-week sessions every month from October to April. During most sessions, the Court will hear 8-12 cases and majority opinion assignments are distributed equally for each session. In other words, if there are nine cases for the October session, each justice will write one [...]

After the Court released its opinion in Perdue v. Kenny A. yesterday, there was only one case left from the October sitting: Salazar v. Buono. The only justice who hasn’t written a majority opinion from October is Justice Kennedy. Barring an incredibly surprising turn of events, Justice Kennedy will be writing the majority opinion in [...]

As the term winds down, the Court will begin releasing opinions pretty rapidly. There are 14 cases left and the Court will decide all of them by June 29. Here are a few of the most important left to be decided, sorted by the date they were argued: Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (07-591) (Argued November 10, [...]

The Supreme Court continued its quest to strike at Article III taxpayer standing today in its opinion in Summers v. Earth Island Institute (here). In 1968, the Court ruled 8-1 in Flast v. Cohen (here) that Florence Flast and others could file suit against the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare for violating the First [...]

With the release of several opinions this week, the Court has now released 26 opinions for the term. Its time to take a look at some of the numbers: Opinions released: 26 Cases dismissed: 21 Oldest Case: Vanden v. Discover Bank, argued October 6, 2008 (141 day ago) Average number of days between arguments and [...]

(Nearly) every majority opinion features a short introduction before it jumps into the standard I, II, III, IV, etc structure. Some Justices simply introduce the facts very briefly (Scalia), while others discuss the procedural history (Thomas), and others discuss the underlying issue in the case (Souter.) I took a look at all of the cases [...]

The use footnotes has been a topic of quiet conversation around the judiciary for some time now. One group of Judges and practitioners (and an even larger percentage of students) find them to be burdensome and often unnecessary. Others think they serve as useful guides and make opinions more readable. Footnotes largely come in two [...]

The Supreme Court handed down an opinion today in Altria Group v. Good (opinion here) which will likely open the door for state-level suits against false advertising by cigarette companies. Justice Stevens penned the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion that was joined [...]



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