Good morning, everyone! Welcome to our live blog.
from the Court press room.
The Court is hearing oral arguments in two cases today -- United States v. Bryant, involving the use of uncounseled tribal-court convictions as predicate offenses under a federal criminal law, and the False Claims Act case Universal Health Services v. Escobar. But before that, we are expecting one or more opinions in argued cases.
It's a relatively quiet day at the Court, compared to yesterday; both the plaza outside and the press room are far less populated than yesterday.
Andrew has kindly sent me a list of pending cases, organized by sitting. Here they are:
Ocasio v. US
Foster v. Chatman
Spokeo v. Robins
Torres v. Lynch
Green v. Brennan
Merrill Lynch v. Manning
Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt
Harris v. Arizona Redistricting
Fisher v. Texas
Molina-Martinez v. US
Bank Markazi v. Peterson
Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle
Heffernan v. Patterson
All but Nichols v. US
All but Welch v. US
It is a bit of a puzzler why Ocasio is still kicking around. There were ten cases during the October sitting; everyone but Thomas and Alito have already written, including the late Justice Scalia.
Lots of questions that we won't get to, sorry. I am #waitingforlyle, and then will head upstairs as soon as all of the opinions are released because I am covering the first case. So it may be an abrupt (or non-existent) farewell. But I will type to you tomorrow.
Here's the first opinion, in Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt.
The Court is equally divided on the question whether Nevada v. Hall should be overruled, and thus affirms the Nevada court's exercise of jurisdiction over California's state agency.
Point 2: The Constitution does not permit Nevada to apply a rule of Nevada law that awards damages against California that are greater than it could award against Nevada in similar circumstances.
The decision of the NV Supreme Court is vacated and remanded. The vote on the merits ruling appears to be 6-2. Alito concurs only in the judgment. Roberts dissents, joined by Thomas.
There will be more opinions.
If the opinion is from Breyer, that means we won't be hearing from Alito, Sotomayor, or Kagan today.
This is because they issue opinions from the bench in order of reverse seniority. The Chief is always the most senior.
Hyatt was argued in the December sitting, for what it's worth.
Here's Lyle with the next one.
Ginsburg is author, of Hughes v. MD Public Service Commission.
This is the final opinion for today.
The decision of the Fourth Circuit is affirmed.
The Court holds that MD's program to increase the load capacity of MD generating facilities is preempted because it disregards the interstate wholesale rate required by FERC.
The vote is 8-0. Thomas concurs in part and in the judgment.
State law is preempted when Congress has legislated comprehensively to occupy an entire field of regulation, the Court says.
I am going to go upstairs now.
Here is the opinion in Hughes. Lyle will also have our coverage for this one.
That is all for us today. We will be back tomorrow. Thank you very much for joining us!