The Court convened Monday to begin the new term and first heard oral arguments in Altria Group v. Good. The case revolves around whether or not federal labeling regulations on the use of ‘light’ or ‘low-tar’ cigarettes preempts state deceptive advertising claims. Theodore Olsen opened arguments on the day on behalf of the tobacco companies [...]

Welcome Back, Old Friend

Tomorrow, the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle will host the 55th Red Mass. Tradition holds that, on the Sunday before the opening of the Court’s October term, the Catholic Church hosts a mass to bring wisdom and guidance to the Justices of the high court. Although the current Court is a 5-4 majority of [...]

Earlier tonight, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama joined Pastor Rick Warren at his California megachurch for an event pegged as “The Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency.” The interviews, each an hour in length, were separated by thirty-six tense seconds in which the presumptive nominees shared the stage (and an awkward hug [video here!]). [...]

I just finished the Term Index, which you can find here. Number of Opinions Released: 72 Per Curiam Decisions: 5 (7%) Unanimous Decisions (9-0, 8-0): 24 (33%) Lone Dissenter(8-1):6 (8%) [Thomas(3), Ginsburg(2), Breyer(1)] Two Dissenters (7-2, 6-2, 5-2) :19 (26%) Three Dissenters(6-3, 5-3): 9 (13%) Five-to-Four Decision: 9 (13%) More to come as I have [...]

The Supreme Court’s landmark public use decision Kelo v. City of New London was handed down three years ago today. On June 23, 2005, Justices Stevens handed down an opinion that held that “there is no basis for exempting economic development from our traditionally broad understanding of public purpose.” Justices Kennedy, Souter, Breyer, and Ginsburg [...]

US v. Williams (opinion) stole the spotlight amongst last week’s decided cases and for good reason. The court narrowed scope of the PROTECT Act and upheld its basic tenants against first amendment claims. Another case, US v. Ressam, struck me as being particularly interesting. The facts of Ressam (opinion) aren’t terribly complex. Ahmed Ressam tried [...]

The Supreme Court handed down one of the most high-profile decisions of its term, the lethal injection case Baze v. Rees. The Court upheld Kentucky’s use of the execution method, holding that “that petitioners have not shown that the risk of an inadequate dose of the first drug is substantial.” Chief Justice Roberts wrote the [...]

The Supreme Court today handed down an opinion in Begay v. US in which it held that drunk driving is not a violent felony as defined by particular sentencing regulations. Justice Breyer authored a six-Justice majority opinion that concluded that drunk driving does not fall into a category of behavior that “otherwise involves conduct that [...]

Medellin (docket, questions presented, oral arguments, petitioner’s brief) is without a doubt one of the most anticipated opinions of the year. Medellin was argued on October 10, 2007, making it one of the oldest cases still being decided. As of today, it has been nearly 160 days since Medellin‘s oral arguments and last year, the [...]

Courting Business

The always-insightful New York Times Magazine has an interesting article on the Court entitled “Supreme Court Inc.” Jeffery Rosen takes a look into the Court to determine why it has become so receptive to big business and comes to some pretty interesting, if not particularly unexpected conclusions. Though the current Supreme Court has a well-earned [...]



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