June 25, 2013

Another day of Supreme Court excitement.

The place to hang out is SCOTUSblog, which live-blogs it, or here, where I quote, paraphrase, and snark, and you can comment.

UPDATE 1: Koontz, written by Alito. "The government's demand for property from a land use permit applicant must satisfy the Nolan and Dolan requirements even when it denies the permit." 5-4 in the most predictable 5-4 pattern.

UPDATE 2: Next, a case we talked about here, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. This, too, is written by Justice Alito. "Assuming for the sake of argument that the biological father is a parent under the Indian Child Welfare Act, neither of the two sections at issue bars the termination of his parental rights." Thomas and Breyer have concurring opinions. Scalia has a dissenting opinion, for himself alone. Sotomayor also dissents, with Ginsburg and Kagan. And Scalia joins the Sotomayor dissent in part.

UPDATE 3: Here's the PDF for Adoptive Couple. To jump to what Scalia says:
The Court’s opinion, it seems to me, needlessly demeans the rights of parenthood. It has been the constant practice of the common law to respect the entitlement of those who bring a child into the world to raise that child. We do not inquire whether leaving a child with his parents is “in the best interest of the child.” It sometimes is not; he would be better off raised by someone else. But parents have their rights, no less than children do. This father wants to raise his daughter, and the statute amply protects his right to do so. There is no reason in law or policy to dilute that protection.
UPDATE 4: Huge: "Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. Its formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance." This is Shelby County, written by Chief Justice Roberts. "Thomas concurs. Ginsburg dissents, joined by Breyer Sotomayor, and Kagan.... Section 4 is unconstitutional in light of current conditions. In 1966, the formula was rational in both practice and theory." [ADDED: It's 5-4, again, the typical conservative/liberal split, and Thomas — along with Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito — joins the Chief.]

UPDATE 5: Here's my discussion of the oral argument from last March: "[C]ongressional support for reauthorizing the act has increased over the years, even though the need for it has lessened.... Scalia is saying the Court needs to act because there is a dysfunction in the political process that keeps Congress from looking rationally at the actual need for the remedy that made so much sense back in 1965. Breyer's response is: Congress is still in the middle of doing what was once badly needed, it's not obvious that the endpoint has been reached, and therefore it's not time yet for the Court to act." Apparently, the majority decided it was time.

UPDATE 6: That's it — and that's plenty! — for today. Here's the PDF of the opinion in Shelby County. I'll start a new post for that case, and I will also try to get to Adoptive Couple before long. 

23 comments:

Tim said...

Prediction: The train derails. It's only a matter of where it goes once it does.

No faith. No hope.

Except, of course, it's now a tax, not a penalty.

We know that, for sure.

edutcher said...

You snark?

No way!

Simon said...

Predictable lineup in Koontz.

Simon said...

Shelby County per the Chief!

LarsPorsena said...

The Oracle of Delphi:

"..Plutarch served as a priest at Delphi, and in his histories he has left many details about the inner workings of the sanctuary. Pythia entered the inner chamber of the temple ("Adyton"), sat on a tripod and inhaled the light hydrocarbon gasses that escaped from a chasm on the porous earth. After falling into a trance, she muttered words incomprehensible to mere mortals. The priests of the sanctuary then interpreted her oracles in a common language and delivered them to those who had requested them. Even so, the oracles were always open to interpretation and often signified dual and opposing meanings. "

..and how are we different from those ancient Greeks who need interpretation of the incomprehensible?

Simon said...

WINNER! WINNER!

Amy Howe: Holding: Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. Its formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.

Simon said...

Remember what I said earlier this morning about Fisher and NAMUDNO? We WARNED you, Roberts might as well have said. So get your asses in gear.

Jay said...

Ding dong the witch is dead!

Holding: Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional. Its formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.

Wow

Simon said...

Amy Howe: The Court makes clear that: "Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2. We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions"

Simon said...

You could barely make this up: 'In Justice Ginsburg's dissent, she says: "In the Court's view, the very success of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act demands its dormancy."' *eyeroll*

Scott M said...

We'll have to wait until 2020 to see the effects, right? After the next census?

Simon said...

The House must now stand firm in resisting any knee-jerk attempt to reimpose a similar formula.

AprilApple said...

Thank you. News we won't get from our pathetic unprofessional celebrity obsessed pro-democrat MSM.

jacksonjay said...


So, this means that Hispanics (and the rest of us) will be required to show an ID before voting in Texas?

Mark said...

Yes, April. You are right.

Fox will not utter the phrase 'activist judges' even one time today.

Birches said...

I'm happy for Baby Veronica and the adoptive parents. And a message for the birth father: don't sign anything (especially when its legal papers) if you don't know what it is you're signing. Just because you're 1/28th Indian doesn't mean you can have a get out of jail free card.

Nomennovum said...

Scalia: The Court’s opinion, it seems to me, needlessly demeans the rights of parenthood. It has been the constant practice of the common law to respect the entitlement of those who bring a child into the world to raise that child. We do not inquire whether leaving a child with his parents is “in the best interest of the child.” It sometimes is not; he would be better off raised by someone else. But parents have their rights, no less than children do. This father wants to raise his daughter, and the statute amply protects his right to do so. There is no reason in law or policy to dilute that protection.

Scalia is not savvy to divorce law regarding child custody. The "best interests" of the child is ostensibly paramount. That is bullshit on stilts, of course. The feminized state is only concerned with violating a father's right to raise his children and his right to the economic enjoyment of his earnings.


The state is the father.

Geoff Matthews said...

Jacksonjay,

In Quebec, you need to show photo ID to vote. Is this so bad?

Geoff Matthews said...

I'm most interested in the adoption case. On a case-by-case instance, I glad. If we're going to invalidate legal documents because someone had a great-great grandparent (or triple-great grandparent?) who was Native American, then we're in the realm of parody, and the whole system aught to be dissembled.

jacksonjay said...


Geoff,

I am totally in favor of voter ID laws. DOJ and federal courts overturned the Texas law last summer! No telling how many "illegal" votes were cast in the November election in Texas!

Crunchy Frog said...

Wow, Ginsburg really has had a crappy week.

Clyde said...

A child that is 3/256ths Cherokee is not an Indian, she's just another Heinz 57 like most Americans. I'm glad that the adoptive parents are getting their little girl back.

Renee said...

I wonder what the girl will think as she gets older.

I hope states correct their laws to protect dads in the future.