Good morning from the Court press room.
Good morning, everyone! Welcome, and thanks for joining us.
We are expecting one or more opinions in argued cases today. As is almost always the case (i.e., unless it is the last day of the Term) we don't know which cases we are getting or how many.
The Court has decided three cases from its October sitting (DIRECTV, Hurst v. Florida, and OBB Personenverkehr) and only two from its November sitting (Bruce v. Samuels and Shapiro v. McManus). So it's hard to guess what opinions we might get today.
Five minutes to sitting buzzer just sounded in the halls.
Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, which was argued on the first day of the Term, certainly seems like a possibility.
Two boxes of opinions. May mean four or more decisions, or two big ones.
Today is the last day of the January sitting. The Justices are scheduled to hold a "non-argument" session on Monday, so we *could* get opinions that day, although we don't know whether we will at this point.
But then the Justices start their winter recess and we won't get additional opinions until the end of February.
We have the first opinion. Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez. Ginsburg has the opinion for the Court.
The decision of the CA9 is affirmed and remanded.
The vote appears to be 6-3.
Justice Thomas concurs in the judgment; Roberts files a dissenting opinion joined by Scalia and Alito; Alito does a separate dissent as well.
The holding is: An unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff's case, so the district court here retained jurisdiction to adjudicate Gomez's complaint.
There will be more. Two boxes, apparently.
Ronald Mann is covering this case for us.
Second holding in this case: Campbell's status as a federal contractor does not entitle it to immunity from suit for its violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
In case you were following that question in particular . . .
Someone had guessed in the comments that we might get Campbell-Ewald today . . . well done!
Ronald Mann will have our coverage in this case.
Campbell-Ewald was argued on October 14.
If the opinion is by Justice Ginsburg, that means we won't hear from Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, or Kagan today, because they issue opinions in order of reverse seniority.
We could still hear from Ginsburg, Thomas, Kennedy, Scalia, or the Chief Justice.
Montanile v. National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan.
The vote is 8-1. Ginsburg dissents.
Alito joins all of the opinion except for Part III-C.
The holding: When an ERISA plan participant wholly dissipates a third-party entitlement on non-traceable items, the plan fiduciary may not bring suit to attach the participant's separate assets.
That exhausts the first box, says Lyle. So we have more coming.
I think this may be a Ronald Mann case as well. I hope he's not teaching today!
Presumably this is not going to be a case in which Ginsburg dissents from the bench.
Here's Lyle with Kansas capital cases.
Justice Scalia has the opinion.
Vote is 8-1. Sotomayor dissents alone.
The decision of the Kansas Supreme Court is reversed and remanded.
The Eighth Amendment does not require capital sentencing courts to instruct the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
That's the first holding. Second holding: The Constitution did not require severance of the Carr brothers' joint sentencing proceeding.
There will be another opinion.
I am pretty sure that I am covering the Kansas cases.
Either the Chief Justice or Scalia will have the next opinion.
These cases were argued on October 7, for those of you keeping track at home.
Duncan v. Owens. Writ is dismissed as improvidently granted. Per curiam.
Steve Vladeck had been covering Duncan for us.
Thanks for joining us, everyone! Sorry to cut it short, but I have to start reading Kansas v. Carr and Kansas v. Gleason. If we have opinions next week, we'll see you then.