Here Come the Judges

Exxon-Valdez Oil spill

The Supreme Court has issued 38 opinions so far in this year’s term. That leaves 41 to come between now and the end of June. Many are unlikely to make headlines. ERISA, FOIA, ADEA, paralegal services, interpleader, Article III standing and a patent case are just some of the expected yawners. Yawners, that is to everyone but lawyers and judges. Other cases unlikely to make major headlines involve federal criminal sentencing, when the right to counsel attaches, the reach of Indian law over non-Indian banks which own Indian land, money laundering and an technical question about a provision of immigration law. An Equal Protection opinion is coming as well.

More interesting opinions will include a decision about a criminal defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him when he has secured the absence of that witness — by murdering her. A habeas corpus decision involving an American convicted of a crime in Iraq will be decided. And there is a case about the “millionaire’s amendment” to the campaign finance laws which enlarges the amounts of money an opponent of someone who contributes more than $350,000 to his or her own campaign can raise. A Louisiana case involving the death penalty for a child rapist will get decided. Two cases about the Western energy crisis of 2000 will be decided before the term ends. A union organizing case will make headlines. Another will decide issues surrounding payment to civilian contractors and sub-contractors for the Arleigh Burke class missile destroyers.

Arleigh Burker destroyer

And then there are the biggies. A major terrorism opinion about the “detainees” is coming. We may learn whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms. And the Court will decide if Exxon has to pay punitive damages for the Exxon-Valdez oil spill off Bligh Island in Alaska. It is likely that those decisions will not issue until late in the month. The duck pictured here does not get a vote.  That is the oil spill pictured at the top of the  post.

Oil covered duck

The Court is currently scheduled to release opinions on June 2, 9, 16 and 23, although it often schedules other release dates in June. The Justices begin their summer break June 24.


2 Responses to “Here Come the Judges”

  1. First Monday in October « The Golden State Says:

    […] – May 29, 2008 – Here is the current status of cases before the Court this term and the opinions expected between now and the end of June when […]

  2. joe Says:

    i loved this day

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