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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