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SCOTUS enters term's final weeks; issues 4 opinions

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued opinions on four cases.

In Williams V. Illinois, the court in a 5-4 decision affirmed a divided opinion of the Illinois Supreme Court. The court ruled that the testimony of an expert witnesses about DNA evidence collected by a witness who did not testify did not violate the Confrontation Clause. The decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer, who wrote a concurring opinion. Justice Clarence Thomas concurred in judgment only. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagen, Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

In Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak et al., the court in an 8-1 opinion ruled that a lawsuit against a Michigan Indian casino south of Grand Rapids may proceed. Sotomayor was the lone dissent in a ruling that a casino opponent had standing to sue in a case in which the United States claimed an interest in land that was not tribal property.

In Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, justices ruled in a 5-4 decision that the United States government must pay the full costs of tribal contract support costs to fund services the tribes provided that once were done by the government, even though Congress capped those costs. Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion joined by Kagan, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas.

In Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham, the court in a 5-4 decision upheld a decision of the 9th Circuit that for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act, pharmaceutical representatives qualify as outside salesmen. Breyer dissented and was joined by Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor.

The SCOTUS did not issue opinions Monday on any of the highly anticipated health care cases or the Arizona immigration law challenge.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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