FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER

After a summer hiatus, the United States Supreme Court reconvenes, first Monday in October.

The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym SCOTUS) is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the judicial branch of the U.S. federal government.

The Court consists of nine Justices: the Chief Justice of the United States and eight Associate Justices. The Justices are nominated by the President and confirmed with the “advice and consent” of the Senate. As federal judges, the Justices serve during “good behavior,” meaning they essentially serve for life and can be removed only by resignation, or by impeachment and subsequent conviction.

The Supreme Court is the only court established by the United States Constitution (in Article III); all other federal courts are created by Congress:

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

The Supreme Court holds both original and appellate jurisdiction, with its appellate jurisdiction accounting for most of the Court’s caseload. The court’s original jurisdiction is narrowly focused, as defined in Article III, Section 2 (“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction”). The court’s appellate jurisdiction encompasses “all cases” within the scope of Article III, but is subject to limitation by acts of Congress under the Exceptions Clause in Article III and by the discretion of the Court.

The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C., in the United States Supreme Court building. The Court’s yearly terms usually start on the first Monday in October and finish sometime during the following June or July. Each term consists of alternating two week intervals. During the first interval, the court is in session (‘sitting’) and hears cases, and, during the second interval, the court is recessed to consider and write opinions on cases it has heard.

Here are some of the major decisions of the Court since its inception:

The  Taney Court (1836–1864) made a number of important rulings, such as Sheldon v. Sill, which held that while Congress may not limit the subjects the Supreme Court may hear, it may limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts to prevent them from hearing cases dealing with certain subjects. However, it is primarily remembered for its ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford, the case which may have helped precipitate the Civil War. In the years following the Civil War, the Chase, Waite, and Fuller Courts (1864–1910) interpreted the new Civil War amendments to the Constitution, and developed the doctrine of substantive due process (Lochner v. New York; Adair v. United States).

The  Warren Court (1953–1969) made a number of alternately celebrated and controversial rulings expanding the application of the Constitution to civil liberties, leading a renaissance in substantive due process. It held that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional (Brown v. Board of Education); the Constitution protects a general right to privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut); public schools cannot have official prayer (Engel v. Vitale), or mandatory Bible readings (Abington School District v. Schempp); many guarantees of the Bill of Rights apply to the states (e.g., Mapp v. Ohio, Miranda v. Arizona); an equal protection clause is not contained in the Fifth Amendment (Bolling v. Sharpe); and that the Constitution grants the right of retaining a court appointed attorney for those too indigent to pay for one (Gideon v. Wainwright). 

The Burger Court (1969–1986) ruled that abortion was a constitutional right (Roe v. Wade), reached muddled and controversial rulings on affirmative action (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke) and campaign finance regulation (Buckley v. Valeo), and held that the implementation of the death penalty in many states was unconstitutional (Furman v. Georgia), but that the death penalty itself was not unconstitutional (Gregg v. Georgia).

The Rehnquist Court (1986–2005) will primarily be remembered for its revival of the concept of federalism, which included restrictions on Congressional power under both the Commerce Clause (United States v. Lopez; United States v. Morrison) and the fifth section of the Fourteenth Amendment (City of Boerne v. Flores), as well as the fortification of state sovereign immunity (Seminole Tribe v. Florida; Alden v. Maine). It will also be remembered for its controversial 5 to 4 decision in Bush v. Gore in 2000. In addition, the Rehnquist court narrowed the right of labor unions to picket (Lechmere Inc. v. NLRB); altered the Roe v. Wade framework for assessing abortion regulations (Planned Parenthood v. Casey); and gave sweeping meaning to ERISA pre-emption (Shaw v. Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Egelhoff v. Egelhoff), thereby denying plaintiffs access to state courts with the consequence of limiting compensation for torts to very circumscribed remedies (Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila; CIGNA Healthcare of Texas Inc. v. Calad); and affirmed the power of Congress to extend the term of copyright (Eldred v. Ashcroft).

The Roberts Court (2005–present) began with the confirmation and swearing in of Chief Justice John Roberts on September 29, 2005, and is the currently presiding court. The Court under Chief Justice Roberts is moving full speed ahead towards the conservative end of the spectrum. Some of the major rulings so far have been in the areas of free speech (Garcetti v. Ceballos and Morse v. Frederick); the death penalty (Kansas v. Marsh); abortion (Gonzales v. Carhart); the Fourth Amendment (Hudson v. Michigan); school desegregation (Parents v. Seattle); and anti-trust legislation (Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.). The Seattle school desegregation case especially had severe ramifications for race-based diversity intiatives used by school districts in trying to rectify past discrimination in public schools.(See my post https://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com/2007/07/09/segregation-now-segregation-tomorrow-segregation-forever/ )Below is a table of current active Supreme Court Justices, in order of seniority:

Name Born Appt. by Conf. vote First day Prior positions
RobertsJohn Roberts (Chief Justice) January 27, 1955 (1955-01-27) (age 52) in Buffalo, New York G.W. Bush 78-22 September 29, 2005 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (2003–2005); Private practice (1993–2003); Principal Deputy Solicitor General (1989–1993); Private practice (1986–1989); Associate Counsel to the President (1982–1986); Special Assistant to the Attorney General (1981–1982)   **********
StevensJohn Paul Stevens April 20, 1920 (1920-04-20) (age 87) in Illinois Ford 98-0 December 19, 1975 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1970–1975); Private practice (1948–1970); Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School (1950–1954); Lecturer, Northwestern University School of Law (1954–1958)    **********
ScaliaAntonin Scalia March 11, 1936 (1936-03-11) (age 71) in New York Reagan 98-0 September 26, 1986 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1982–1986); Professor, University of Chicago Law School (1977–1982); Assistant Attorney General (1974–1977); Professor, University of Virginia School of Law (1967–1974    **********
KennedyAnthony Kennedy July 23, 1936 (1936-07-23) (age 71) in California Reagan 97-0 February 18, 1988 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1975–1988); Professor, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific (1965–1988); Private practice (1963–1975)    **********
SouterDavid Souter September 17, 1939 (1939-09-17) (age 68) in New Hampshire G.H.W. Bush 90-9 October 9, 1990 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1990–1990); Associate Justice, New Hampshire Supreme Court (1983–1990); Associate Justice, New Hampshire Superior Court (1978–1983); Attorney General of New Hampshire (1976–1978); Deputy Attorney General of New Hampshire (1971–1976); Assistant Attorney General of New Hampshire (1968–1971); Private practice (1966–1968).    **********
ThomasClarence Thomas June 23, 1948 (1948-06-23) (age 59) in Georgia G.H.W. Bush 52-48 October 23, 1991 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1990–1991); Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (1982–1990); Legislative Assistant for Missouri Senator John Danforth (1979–1981); employed by Monsanto Inc. (1977– 1979); Assistant Attorney General of Missouri under State Attorney General John Danforth (1974–1977)    **********
GinsburgRuth Bader Ginsburg March 15, 1933 (1933-03-15) (age 74) in New York Clinton 97-3 August 10, 1993 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1980–1993); General Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union (1973–1980); Professor, Columbia Law School (1972–1980); Professor, Rutgers University School of Law(1963–1972)    **********
BreyerStephen Breyer August 15, 1938 (1938-08-15) (age 69) in California Clinton 87-9 August 3, 1994 Chief Judge, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1990–1994); Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1980–1990); Professor, Harvard Law School (1967–1980)    **********
AlitoSamuel Alito April 1, 1950 (1950-04-01) (age 57) in New Jersey G.W. Bush 58-42 January 31, 2006 Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1990–2006); Professor, Seton Hall University School of Law (1999–2004); U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (1987–1990); Deputy Assistant Attorney General (1985–1987); Assistant to the Solicitor General (1981–1985); Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (1977–1981)    **********

As of 2006, the average age of the U.S. Supreme Court justices is 66 years.

When the present U.S. Supreme Court reconvenes its new term Monday, it will hear the following cases with a docket that includes:

-Cases on reimbursement for private education, election law and the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

-Appeals on the constitutionality of requiring voters to show a photo ID before they may vote  (Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 07-21, and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita, 07-25).

-To decide the constitutionality of execution by lethal drugs when the chemical protocol poses a risk of pain and suffering  (Baze v. Rees, 07-5439)

The following are court cases granted review  including descriptions of the issues involved, links to the Court’s electronic docket and, where available, PDFs of the petitions, briefs in opposition and replies:

Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics (06-937) (definition of the exhaustion of patent rights when licensee sells products containing the patent): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Kentucky Retirement Sys. V. EEOC (06-1037) (age bias in disability benefits packages): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Virginia v. Moore (06-1082) (lawfulness of search following arrest that violates state law): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Dada v. Keisler (06-1181) (postponement of agreement for alien to voluntarily leave U.S.): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Gomez-Perez v. Potter (06-1321) (federal employees protection against retaliation for complaining about age bias in workplace): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Ali v. Achim (06-1346) (definition of aggravated felony for deportation purposes): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Meadwestvaco v. Illinois Dept. of Revenue (06-1413) (tax on sale of investment in LexisNexis): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

CBOCS West v. Humphries (06-1431) (race retaliation claim under Sec. 1981 of civil rights law): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Morgan Stanley Capital Group v. Public Utility Dist.1 (06-1457) and Calpine Energy Services v. Public Utility Dist.1 (06-1462) (federal regulators’ power to take an energy crisis into account in reviewing electric power sale contracts): docket, docket, petition, petition, brief in opposition, reply, reply.

Preston v. Ferrer (06-1463) (preemption of arbitration agreement): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Warner-Lambert v. Kent (06-1498) (preemption of claim of fraud on a federal agency): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Boulware v. United States (06-1509) (taxation on diversion of corporate funds to shareholder): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

United States v. Rodriquez (06-1646) (crimes that qualify for enhanced sentence under armed career criminal law; specific issue involves state drug crime conviction): docket, petition, brief in opposition, reply.

Begay v. United States (06-11543) (whether felony drunk driving is a violent felony for purposes of enhanced sentencing under armed career criminal law): docket, petition, brief in opposition.

Gonzalez v. United States (06-11612) (waiver of right to Art. III judge to preside over jury selection when counsel agreed to have a U.S. magistrate instead): docket, petition, brief in opposition.

Crawford v. Marion City Election Board (07-21) and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita (07-25) (constitutionality of requiring voters to show a photo ID before they may vote): docket, docket, petition, petition, brief in opposition, supplemental brief in opposition, reply, reply.

Baze v. Rees (07-5439) (constitutionality of execution by lethal drugs when the chemical protocol poses a risk of pain and suffering): docket, petition, supplemental brief to the petition, brief in opposition, reply.

LINKS:

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/

http://suptct.law.cornell.edu/supct/index.html

http://www.usdoj.gov/osg/decisions.html

http://www.scotusblog.com/movabletype/

http://supreme.justia.com/

http://www.cbsnews.com/elements/2006/09/29/in_depth_us/interactivehomemenu2052553.html

VIDEO LINK:

http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=3312822n

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER

  1. Your blog is very nice. Could you tell me how you have done it?
    Im looking for good way to work with wordpress.
    thanks.
    http://www.articles.multiple-search.com . Free articles for all

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s