June 23, 2008

What will the Supreme Court do today?

Get the latest news here.

UPDATE: Thanks to SCOTUSblog for the thrilling presentation of the news. I love the way the live-blog automatically updates — no refreshing of the page needed — and makes that hot-off-the-press typing sound — calling me back from whatever page I've wandered off to.

Now, I was just about to say that today's cases aren't the exciting ones we've been waiting for when the live-blog typed out this, from Tom Goldstein:
The only opinion remaining from the March sitting is Heller. The only Justice without a majority opinion from that sitting is Justice Scalia.
So the eagerly awaited gun rights case is almost surely going to be written by Justice Scalia.

UPDATE 2: Greenlaw v. United States:
May a United States Court of Appeals, acting on its own initiative, order an increase in a defendant’s sentence?
Answer: no.

Rothgery v. Gillespie County:
[A] criminal defendant’s initial appearance before a judicial officer, where he learns the charge against him and his liberty is subject to restriction, marks the start of adversary judicial proceedings that trigger attachment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
The third case, Sprint Communications v. APCC Services, is about standing to sue in federal court, specifically whether assignees of claims have standing. Article III of the Constitution requires the plaintiff in federal court to have a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the defendant and likely to be redressed by the requested relief. In this case, the relief would go to the assignor of the claims, not to the plaintiff, the assignee. So was the "redressability" prong of the standing requirement met? Justice Breyer, writing for the majority and answering the question yes, responded to the dissenters this way:
The dissent argues that our redressability analysis could not be more wrong,” because “[w]e have never approved federal-court jurisdiction over a claim where the entire relief requested will run to a party not before the court. Never.” Post, at 5 (opinion of ROBERTS, C. J.). But federal courts routinely entertain suits which will result in relief for parties that are not themselves directly bringing suit. Trustees bring suits to benefit their trusts; guardians ad litem bring suits to benefit their wards; receivers bring suit to benefit their receiverships; assignees in bankruptcy bring suit to benefit bankrupt estates; executors bring suit to benefit testator estates; and so forth.
The Roberts dissent, joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, frets about the loosening of standing requirements but takes some comfort in Justice Breyer's stress on precedent. Roberts:
[P]erhaps we should heed the counsels of hope rather than despair. The majority, after all, purports to comply with our Article III precedents, see ante, at 16–18, so those precedents at least live to give meaning to “the judiciary’s proper role in our system of government” another day. Raines, 521 U. S., at 818. What is more, the majority expressly and repeatedly grounds its finding of standing on its conclusion that “history and precedent are clear” that these types of suits “have long been permitted,” ante, at 5, and that there is “a strong tradition” of such suits “during the past two centuries,” ante, at 16, 19. This conclusion is, for the reasons we have set forth, achingly wrong—but at least the articulated test is clear and daunting.
Achingly wrong. That's a new one. Really, I did a LEXIS search of Federal & State Cases, combined, and no one has ever written "achingly wrong" before. But Roberts's point is: The majority read the precedents badly, but at least it showed it cared about precedent.


Fen said...

Grant illegal combatants the right of appeal? State tuition rates for college? Or has that already happened?

George said...

Does this mean the Court goes out with a bang?

Fen said...

Wouldn't that be ironic.

Simon said...

Tom and I had exactly the same thought about Heller; that was the very first thing that jumped into my head when I saw who wrote Rothgery. One is minded to think: what wonderful news it would be if true. But then again, one thinks of Rapanos. Cautious optimism is in order.

Cedarford said...

The only opinion remaining from the March sitting is Heller. The only Justice without a majority opinion from that sitting is Justice Scalia.
So the eagerly awaited gun rights case is almost surely going to be written by Justice Scalia.

Wow, Althouse, great reading of the tea leaves!
If the Justices each write an opinion in the Roberts Court, for eight of them, you know where they will pretend the Constitution guides them when they politics are usually all you need to know where they will come down on a ruling with political overtones. Kennedy, of course, will become liberal a few months before he starts his customary summer vacation, which is two months of European Elites and "progressive" International Human Rights Law esquires. Ten liberal for the two months after Kennedy returns until the EuroLeft indoctrination fades. Then the other half of each year he is just a wee bit left of center.

Of course Breyer and Ginsberg spend their summer vacation in Europe, but it doesn't alter their views. As both are more Global Transnationalists than the conventional, mundane Americans on SCOTUS that narrow their judicial perspectives to parochial American legal traditions and only think one Constitution is important to how they decide cases.

James Wigderson said...

Happy 60th Birthday Justice Thomas!

P. Rich said...

And the Left marches on. Power to the courts, uh, people, uh, oh what the hell.

Fritz said...

Obama is achingly wrong. If it were up to Obama, you would not have read that word. CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS

Joe Veenstra said...

I THINK that C.J. Roberts FEELS that Justice Breyer is ACHINGLY WRONG.


Simon said...

P. Rich said...
"And the Left marches on. Power to the courts ..." (emphasis deleted).

The Democratic Party has certainly come a long way from a century ago. In those days, its platform routinely condemned "government by injunction." Editors' introduction at lvi n.10 in Hart & Sacks, The Legal Process (Eskridge & Frickey eds. 1994).

Smilin' Jack said...

Here in America we the people make the laws. Then we wait for the Supreme Court to tell us what they are.

robert said...

Surely if the minority in Sprint v APCC are right, nobody has standing to sue before the Federal Court? The assignor couldn't have sued as he has transferred away his cause of action.

A bit more reasoning, rather than endless numbers of cases being cited by both majority and minority, would have helped.

Professor Robert Stevens

Maria said...


Maria said...

I think you need to leave it to supreme justice just chill and try trousers.