UPDATE #1: Erickson v. Pardus is a per curiam opinion that rejects the too-strict pleading requirements the
UPDATE #2: Sole v. Wyner is a unanimous opinion, written by Justice Ginsburg, about what it means to be a "prevailing party" -- entitled to attorneys' fees -- in a §1983 civil rights case. The Court decided that winning a preliminary injunction is not enough if you go on to lose the case on the merits. The plaintiff, by the way, was fighting for the right to protest the war with a giant peace sign composed of naked people.
UPDATE #3: Uttecht v. Brown is a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Kennedy, with a dissenting opinion written by Justice Stevens and joined by Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer and a dissenting opinion written by Justice Breyer and joined by Souter. This case concerns the degree of deference that is owed to a trial judge's decisions about when a juror should be excused based on an inability to follow instructions about the application of the death penalty. An excerpt from Stevens's opinion:
Today, the Court has fundamentally redefined — or maybe just misunderstood — the meaning of “substantially impaired,” and, in doing so, has gotten it horribly backwards. It appears to be under the impression that trial courts should be encouraging the inclusion of jurors who will impose the death penalty rather than only ensuring the exclusion of those who say that, in all circumstances, they cannot....I don't remember ever seeing the fact that a judge was a Supreme Court clerk used to bolster his opinion. Apparently, you're "entitled to assume" some things. I think that whole paragraph, the last paragraph of the Stevens dissent, is just screaming look at all the conservatives who agree with me. I've got Burger and Rehnquist and Powell... and Kozinski, who practically counts as a Supreme Court justice.
Judge Kozinski’s opinion for the Court of Appeals in this case is solidly grounded on the entire line of our cases recognizing the basic distinction dramatically illustrated by Justice Powell’s opinion in Darden and by Justice Rehnquist’s statement in Lockhart. He surely was entitled to assume that the law had not changed so dramatically in the years following his service as a law clerk to Chief Justice Burger that a majority of the present Court would not even mention that basic distinction, and would uphold the disqualification of a juror whose only failing was to harbor some slight reservation in imposing the most severe of sanctions.
UPDATE #4: Safeco Insurance v. Burr is a case about the Fair Credit Reporting Act that I'm going to leave for someone else to untangle. My reticence and my use of the word "untangle" is based on this:
Souter, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Kennedy and Breyer, JJ., joined, in which Scalia, J., joined as to all but footnotes 11 and 15, in which Thomas and Alito, JJ., joined as to all but Part III–A, and in which Stevens and Ginsburg, JJ., joined as to Parts I, II, III–A, and IV–B. Stevens, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Ginsburg, J., joined. Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in part, in which Alito, J., joined.On the bright side: No one dissented.