June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this session (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as we have our first Thursday opinion day.
As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.
All eyes turn to the court
UPDATE: Six decisions, reporting from SCOTUSblog
McFadden v. U.S. – “In a unanimous judgment (the Chief Justice concurs in part and concurs in the judgment), the Court holds that when an analogue is involved, the statute requires the government to establish that the defendant knew he was dealing with substance regulated under either the Analogue Act or the main federal Controlled Substances Act.”
Ohio v. Clark – “The Court is unanimous in its judgment that the child’s statements to his teachers (the introduction in court of a young child’s statements to his preschool teachers about child abuse at home, when the child was unfit to testify) did not violate the Confrontation Clause (the Sixth Amendment right of the accused to confront the witnesses against him.).”
Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans – “The majority holds that the specialty license-plate designs offered by Texas constitute government speech, and thus Texas was entitled to refuse the design proposed by the Confederate heritage group that featured a Confederate battle flag.”
Davis v. Ayala – “The Court rules five to four to reverse the Ninth Circuit and hold that a trial judge’s decision to exclude a criminal defendant’s attorney from part of a Batson v. Kentucky hearing, in which the prosecutor explained the basis of some of his peremptory strikes of jurors, was harmless error.”
Brumfield v. Cain – “The Court rules five to four … that there was sufficient evidence that a death-row inmate in Louisiana could show he was impaired by an intellectual disability that he was entitled to have his claims under Atkins v. Virginia (which bars the execution of inmates with a mental disability) considered by a federal court.”
Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona. – “In a unanimous judgment (with five other Justices joining Thomas’s opinion), the Court holds that the town’s relevant sign restrictions are content-based regulations that fail strict scrutiny.” (Overturning 9th Circuit)
The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:30am Eastern.
Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the district court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Some other First Amendment cases:
– The Confederate license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (5th Circuit ruled against state, state appealed) DECIDED: State can ban racist plates
– A signage case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (9th Circuit ruled that the restrictions were reasonable, Reed appealed) DECIDED: Town cannot ban church signs
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
– A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)
A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.