Here he is. We have the first opinion.
Justice Thomas has dissented, joined mostly by the Chief Justice and Scalia and Alito.
Alito has a dissenting opinion joined by the Chief.
The holding is that because Brumfield satisfied 2254's requirements, he was entitled to have his Atkins claim considered in federal court on the merits.
Atkins forbids the execution of the intellectually disabled.
So nothing from Kagan today. More to come.
We could have an opinion from Sotomayor or anyone else besides Kagan.
Second opinion. Ohio v. Clark. First of two by Alito.
The decision of the Court is to reverse the decision of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
This is a case about the Confrontation Clause and the intro of testimony by a child. It is unanimous, although Scalia concurs in the judgment, joined by RBG. Thomas concurs in the judgment only
the holding is that the introduction of the child's statements at trial did not violate the Confrontation Clause. The child is three years old.
Justice Alito will have another opinion. They issue their decisions in order of reverse seniority, which is why I said that we won't hear from Kagan today.
We also will not hear any more from Sotomayor.
Ohio v. Clark was argued in early March, as part of the February sitting.
The way to look at the first decision is that there is a majority on the Court that is protective of capital defendants' ability to prove that they are intellectually disabled and can't be executed. The majority doesn't want procedural obstacles to get in the way of courts deciding that issue.
The second decision narrows the scope of the Confrontation Clause and brings some greater clarity to the law in this area. The statement in that case wasn't prepared with an eye towards creating evidence for a criminal case. So the defendant doesn't have a constitutional right to cross-examine the speaker.
Decision of the Ninth Circuit is reversed. Vote is 5-4.
Justice Kennedy and Thomas each concur;Sotomayor dissents, joined by RBG, Breyer, and Kagan.
Holding: Any federal constitutional error that may have occurred by excluding Ayala's attorney from part of the Batson hearing was harmless.
Davis v. Ayala was argued on March 3, as part of the February sitting. So when all of the dust has settled, we should know a lot more about who is writing which cases in February.
The next opinion could be from anyone from Justice Breyer on up to the Chief Justice. (With Ginsburg, Thomas, Kennedy, and Scalia in the middle.)
Here's Lyle. License plate case.