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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Orders and opinions today. Nothing remarkable, some things notable. June home stretch upon us.

For whatever reason, the Supreme Court again did not make final decisions on a few notable cases, particularly one involving selling cakes that were deemed too pro-gay. That one has been "relisted" multiple times, including after Gorsuch came on board.  Also, in footnote news, the justices took back the suspension of an attorney's membership, noting it was a case of mistaken identity.  [Update: He never was a member of the Supreme Court bar, actually. And, this article says this isn't the first case of mistaken identity. Maybe make sure before printing it in an order for all to see?] Also, a couple more cases from gadflies that resulted in no quorum, so the opinion below was deemed final.
After being relisted only once, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Husted v. A.Philip Randolph Institute from the Sixth Circuit.  The question presented is: “Whether 52 U.S.C. § 20507 permits Ohio’s list-maintenance process, which uses a registered voter’s voter inactivity as a reason to send a confirmation notice to that voter under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.”
Rick Hasen summarizes it and it might be the most notable thing decided today; others are also concerned since the voters won and there was no circuit split.  With this Court, therefore, the rule set forth to allow purging of voting lists in such a way that legitimate voters will be harmed (the 2002 law specifically in part was concerned with the problems in that respect in Florida/2000).  Regarding said Court, in an otherwise not too notable case (Sotomayor alone partially dissented), Judge Gorsuch was for the first time officially cited as being involved.  So, I'll just consider it 7.5-.5. Yeah, sticking to it: his seat is tainted.

One of the orders involved asking for the solicitor general's opinion (CVSG) in a patent case and one of the opinions (again with but one justice partially dissenting) involved such a case (printer toner).  The other two are unanimous criminal justice opinions.  As I noted there in a comment, it's a case with sympathetic facts (with 2A implications!) and hopefully the parties will get some relief.  But, the justices at oral argument flagged their concerns with the specific legal rule set forth below.  Justice Alito in his opinion leaves open the chance of still winning on the general rule to determine unreasonableness in place.  So, it's apparently a minimalist opinion, suggested by its brevity.

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