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Opening SCOTUS Briefs In Hobby Lobby, Conestoga

Via Marty Lederman, the government's opening brief (PDF) in Hobby Lobby and the plaintiff's opening brief (PDF) in Conestoga. The government is the petitioner in Hobby Lobby and the Conestoga plaintiffs are the petitioners in their case.

Bone up as we will be discussing these issues during the week.

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Supreme Court Limits Warrantless Forced Blood Tests for DUI Suspects

The Supreme Court today ruled in Missouri v. McNeely (opinion here) that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Sotomayor. There were two concurring and one dissenting opinions.

While the court didn't say a warrant was needed, it made clear officers shouldn't assume one is not needed. Scotus Blog explains: [More...]

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Supreme Court Rules Against Warrantless Canine Sniffs at Homes

The Supreme Court has taken a step to keep the 4th Amendment from going to the dogs. It ruled today that police may not use the fruits of a warrantless dog search at the front door to a residence as probable cause for a search warrant. The case is Jardines v. Florida and the opinion, written by Justice Scalia, is here.

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Supreme Court Rejects FISA Surveillance Challenge

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision written by Justice Alito, today ruled civil rights groups and lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees lacked standing to challenge the 1998 FISA Amendment that allowed their overseas conversations and e-mails to be intercepted. The case is Clapper v. Amnesty International, the opinion is here.

Split 5-4 on ideological lines, with conservatives backing the government and the liberal wing in the minority, the country's highest court said none of the three categories, including human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have legal standing to sue because they could not show they had suffered any injury.

The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit, says: [More...]

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Supreme Court Upholds Dog Search

The Supreme Court today issued its opinion in Florida v. Harris, ruling that extensive reliability evidence is not necessary for probable cause for a dog search. The opinion is here.

Justice Elena Kagan said the Florida court had gone too far, and suggested that proper training and certification of the dog — rather than how it has performed in the field — might be enough for law enforcement’s purposes.

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Supreme Court: Argument in Two Dog-Sniffing Cases

Update: Transcript of argument in Florida v. Jardines is here, and Florida v. Harris here. Washington Post recap here.

Will the Supreme Court keep the 4th Amendment from going to the dogs?

The Supreme Court held two hours of oral argument today on the constitutionality of using drug-sniffing dogs at private homes, and the reliability of the dogs. Background here and at Scotus Blog here. Wired reports here, and the LA Times here.

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A Dark Cloud On A Sunny Day

Obama and Roberts
Upholding ACA, laying groundwork to strike down New Deal

Yesterday, a happy day for many of us, where the Affordable Care Act was upheld in a 5-4 decision (PDF) authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, there is a dark cloud attached. The Chief Justice accepted the federal government's argument that Congress had exercised its taxing power in enacting the mandate. But rather than being a judicial minimalist and deciding only those constitutional questions that must be decided, the Roberts Court bulled on to decide issues that need not have been addressed—whether the mandate exceeded the Congress' Commerce and Necessary and Proper power.

And the Roberts opinion on the scope of the national government's power to address national problems is a shot across the bow to the Supreme Court's New Deal jurisprudence that underpins our modern national government.

(Continue reading below the fold)

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Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

The opinion is here.

Here'a a new thread to discuss the Supreme Court decision and related topics. (I haven't read it yet, I just got out of court. I'll chime in later, I'm sure.)

BTD - Radio most of the day but I promise to discuss ACA here at Talk Left tomorrow if anyone is still interested.

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Decision Day for Health Care Law

BTD will be on the radio (please join him), and I'll be getting ready for court when the Supreme Court releases its historic decision on the Affordable Care Act. The decision will be available on the court's website.

According to C-Span, these are the four issues:

  • Whether the court has jurisdiction over a tax law that has yet to take effect,
  • Whether the individual mandate is constitutional,
  • Whether the court can strike down only part of the law without striking down the law in its entirety,
  • And whether the law's extension of Medicaid is constitutional.

Put even simpler, the decision will address jurisdiction, the individual mandate, the fate of the rest of the law — and separately, the Medicaid provision.

For the legal-minded among you, check out ScotusBlog. It's plain English version (which maybe should be called plain English for lawyers) is here. Here are some potential scenarios in plain English as to the effects of the ruling should it go one way or the other.

Here's a thread to discuss all aspects of the decision and the potential effects -- legal, economic, political, and personal.

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The SCOTUS and ACA: Live Coverage

Bump and Update (TL):

Thursday morning, starting at 9 am ET, Daily Kos Radio will be presenting live coverage and reaction to the Supreme Court's momentous decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. You can listen here. We'll be taking calls as well (Skype calls preferred.) What we'll be talking about - via Adam B:

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The Constitutional Issue In the ACA Case

I think Andrew Koppelman gets it in one paragraph:

The philosophy they relied upon, which I’ll call Tough Luck Libertarianism, holds that property rights are absolute and any redistribution to care for the sick violates those rights. If you’re sick, and you can’t afford to pay for medical care with your own money, that’s your tough luck. The judges’ willingness to read this notion into the Constitution is very big news, dwarfing even the fate of the ACA, which is itself the most important social legislation in decades.

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Undoing The New Deal

Unsurprisingly, Randy Barnett touts Charles Lane's unconcern that the New Deal jurisprudence will be overturned. Lane writes:

What, then, led the [liberal] academics to misread this [ACA] case [sic]? In a sense, they resemble the conservative leaders of the bar at the dawn of the New Deal. President Franklin Roosevelt’s alphabet soup of federal programs ran counter to established doctrine denying the constitutionality of economic and social legislation, state or federal. Steeped in that tradition, many legal experts recoiled in horror at FDR’s plans.

Amid a Great Depression, and under tremendous pressure from a popular president and his huge congressional majority, however, this expert consensus gave way. The Supreme Court abandoned its laissez faire understanding of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause (among other provisions) so as to permit New Deal programs.

Lane seems to believe our Constitutional history began during the Lochner Era. McCulloch v. Maryland? Never heard of it says Lane. Gibbons v. Ogden? What's that says Lane. But forget all that.

Lane (and Barnett) are happy to see the New Deal jurisprudence overturned. This is the conservative project. This is the Constitution in Exile movement. Janice Rogers Brown explained it clearly and forthrightly (PDF):

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The SCOTUS and ACA

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Supreme Court Invalidates Mandatory Life Without Parole for Juveniles

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, today ruled that juvenile sentences to life without parole violate the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The opinion is here.

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Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law

The Supreme Court has invalidated three of the four parts of Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB 1070, but it left intact for now the "show me your papers" provision, saying that part could take effect, although it may be subject to future challenges. The opinion is here.

The clueless Governor of AZ called the decision a victory. [More...]

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