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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 sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

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  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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