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. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.