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Monday’s Supreme Court Watch

Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)


– Fisher remanded to appeals court by a 7-1 vote.

– No ruling on DOMA, Prop 8

– No ruling on Voting Rights Act

From SCOTUSblog: On Tuesday, June 25, at 10 a.m. ET we expect opinions in argued cases. We will begin the Live Blog at 9 a.m

And so will we!

Today more decisions on the merit cases argued in the October 2012 term will be announced starting at 10am Eastern.

SCOTUS Blog for liveblog starting at 9:00am Eastern.  

The 11 remaining cases in PDF format: Cases Remaining for October Term 2012.

Those cases include:

– Fisher v. University of Texas 11-345, heard 10/10/2012 (Affirmative Action)

– Shelby County v. Holder 12-96, heard 02/27/2013, (Voting Rights Act)

– Hollingsworth v. Perry 12-144, heard 03/26/2013 (Prop 8)

– United States v. Windsor 12-307, heard 03/27/2013 (DOMA)

Here is the summary of the cases many of us are watching closely this week:

Fisher v. University of Texas 11-345 CA5 Oct 10, 2012

Whether this Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Grutter v. Bollinger, permit the University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions. (Kagan, J., recused)

Hollingsworth v. Perry 12-144 CA9 Mar 26, 2013

(1) Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and (2) whether petitioners have standing under Article III, ยง2 of the Constitution in this case.

Shelby County v. Holder 12-96 CADC Feb 27, 2013

Whether Congress’ decision in 2006 to reauthorize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act under the pre-existing coverage formula of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act exceeded its authority under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and thus violated the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the United States Constitution.

United States v. Windsor 12-307 CA2 Mar 27, 2013

(1) Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State; (2) whether the Executive Branch’s agreement with the court below that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives this Court of jurisdiction to decide this case; and (3) whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has Article III standing in this case.

Some SCOTUS news and commentary, found on the Internets:

Kali Borkoski from SCOTUSblog on the cases

We expect orders from the June 20 Conference at 9:30 a.m. and opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m.  […]

At least one additional decision day is inevitable next week, and the Court may issue additional orders as well.  


Amy Howe at SCOTUSBlog – Waiting on Proposition 8 and DOMA decisions: In Plain English

Over four years ago, superlawyers Ted Olson and David Boies – who opposed each other in the Bush v. Gore presidential election case – came together to challenge California’s ban on same-sex marriage on behalf of two California couples.  In the next few days, the Supreme Court is finally expected to rule on whether that ban (known as Proposition 8) and the federal Defense of Marriage Act – which limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law – are constitutional.  But then again, it might not . . . .  So let’s talk about the same-sex marriage cases and what the Court could do with them in Plain English.


  1. Amy Howe: The Court holds that an employer is a supervisor for vicarious liability under Title VII only if she has the power given by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim. Justice Alito writes.

    The vote is 5-4. Thomas concurs.

  2. Amy Howe:

    First Circuit is reversed.

    The Court holds that design defect claims under state law that turn on the adequacy of a drug’s warnings are preempted by federal law under PLIVA.

    Vote is 5-4.

    Two dissenting opinions.

    Breyer dissents, joined by Kagan

  3. Amy: The Fifth Circuit is reversed and remanded. Registration requirement under SORNA as applied to Kebodeaux falls within the scope of Congress’s authority under the Necessary and Proper Clause.

    Justice Breyer has the opinion for the Court. Vote is 7-2.

  4. Amy Howe:

    The opinion by Kennedy. The Fifth Circuit is vacated and remanded.

    Amy Howe:

    The holding is because the Fifth Circuit did not hold the university to the demanding burden of strict scrutiny articulated in Grutter and Bakke, its decision afffiming the district court’s grant of summary judgment was incorrect.

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