May 20, 2013

Any big Supreme Court decisions coming out today?

If so, we'll find out soonest by following the SCOTUSblog live-blogging here.

ADDED: The Court granted cert. in an Establishment Clause case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, about whether "a legislative prayer practice violates the Establishment Clause notwithstanding the absence of discrimination in the selection of prayer-givers or forbidden exploitation of the prayer opportunity." SCOTUSblog opined that it's "a potentially significant religion case" because "The Roberts case has not done much in that field so far." My instant impression was they granted cert. to reverse and it's obvious (based on precedent).

AND: This chart shows which cases are undecided from each month of the term so far. All the November cases have been decided, but one case remains from October, Fisher v. University of Texas, the affirmative action case. There's also a chart which shows which Justices have written the cases from each "sitting," and that chart makes it appear that Kennedy is writing the affirmative action case.

ALSO: No Fisher today.


Emil Blatz said...

Hold on, let me check..."Hey Lou! Lou! What youse got?"

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Well, it's a good thing the Supreme Court justices represent a wide range of religious beliefs ( and non-beliefs. ) Should be plenty of empathy there for the atheists.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Full disclosure:

I'm an atheist, but I think the current precedent reads the establishment clause too expansively.

Let people pray, including as parts of official government ceremonies and proceedings. It does me no harm, and wastes less of my time than most things the government does.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm an atheist, but I think the current precedent reads the establishment clause too expansively."

The Court approved the legislative prayer years ago (in Marsh v. Chambers) so no reining in of expansiveness is needed here.

Smilin' Jack said...

"a potentially significant religion case"

Oxymoron alert.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Court approved the legislative prayer years ago (in Marsh v. Chambers) so no reining in of expansiveness is needed here.

I do understand that. I did not mean for my comment to apply to this specific case, though I can certainly understand it coming across that way.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So we're still waiting for Kennedy to write the opinion in the Affirmative Action case?

Someone needs to tell Kennedy to Fisher cut bait.


Susan Stewart Rich said...

When you say no Fisher, are you saying Mr. Fisher will not be arguing? Or is that the name of a case? And I just learned you teach Religion and the Constitution. Do you teach Pleasant Grove City v. Summum? Judge Michael McConnell was a professor of mine.

n.n said...

It is long past time to end institutional discrimination. A selective rule of law never served to promote the general Welfare and will not build a cohesive American tribe.

Richard Dolan said...

The most interesting cert grant was on the Apprendi issue in the context of sentencing. The SCOTUS has said that any fact bearing on guilt or punishment must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. Another line of cases deals with the confrontation right, meaning the accused's right to confront the witnesses against him. The textualists are having a hard time with both, and both will be front and center next term.

Today's order list had a grant of cert raising the question whether facts that could determine the length of a sentence must be proven to the jury. Up to now, the rule has been that facts bearing on guilt must be proven to the jury, but facts bearing only on the judge's sentencing discretion need not be. Instead, facts of the latter sort have been proven in a so-called Fatico hearing (a procedure invented by Judge Weinstein, EDNY). In Harris, decided in the '80s, SCOTUS said that procedure didn't raise a constitutional problem. The Court has now granted cert to reconsider whether Harris can be reconciled with Apprendi.

In another case accepted by the Court, the issue is whether a dying declaration by the victim of a crime can be received in evidence when the defendant had no opportunity to cross examine. Dying declarations are an ancient exception to the hearsay rule, and the essential issue is whether the hearsay rule is largely displaced in criminal cases by the right of confrontation, at least in those cases where the hearsay is 'testimonial.'

Both cases portend a revolution in how criminal cases are tried. But this is a court with a limited appetite for revolution. So all bets are off, and logic may not be the best guide to the eventual results.

Anga2010 said...

I believe that precedent is wrong. A simple reading of the amendment permits anyone to pray at any time for any reason and prohibits the Congress from the prevention of same.