Good morning, everyone! Welcome to our live blog.
We are expecting orders from last week's conference in a few minutes.
Will we get something in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the challenge by a Colorado cake artist who believes that compelling him to create a cake for same-sex marriage celebrations violates his religious beliefs? It has been relisted several times, so we may know soon.
First is in 16-499, Jesner v Arab Bank
Question is whether Alien Tort Statute, which gives district courts jurisdiction over civil cases by noncitizens for torts committed in violation of the law of nations categorically forecloses corporate liability
Second is in 16-6795, Ayestas v. Davis.
Complicated death penalty habeas case
Don't appear to be any CVSGs
Court did not act on Masterpiece Cakeshop
That's everything of interest from the orders list.
Now we are waiting for opinion(s) at 10:00.
Not sure what opinions we will get today. There's still one case left undecided from the October sitting, Manrique v. United States, and Thomas is the only justice without an opinion from that sitting.
There are three cases left from November and two from December.
Roberts has written four opinions so far, followed by Kennedy and Sotomayor with three each and the rest with two each.
Last week we had a question about the length of time it takes for the court to deliver an opinion after hearing oral argument. Amy said it can vary dramatically from three weeks to many months, depending on who is writing, how long the opinion is, and whether/how the court is divided.
Of the 20 argued cases the court has decided so far this term, four have been decided within two months. They were all unanimous, with an average opinion length of 13.5 pages. Sotomayor wrote two of them.
Bravo-Fernandez v. United States, by Ginsburg, 8-0, 19 pages (1 month, 25 days)
Samsung Electronics v. Apple, by Sotomayor, 8-0, 9 pages (1 month, 26 days)
State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, by Kennedy, 8-0, 10 pages (1 month, 5 days)
Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation, by Sotomayor, 8-0, 16 pages (1 month, 10 days)
Six took over four months. None were unanimous, with an average opinion length of about 19 pages. Roberts wrote two of them.
Buck v. Davis, by Roberts, 6-2, 26 pages (4 months, 17 days)
Manuel v. City of Joliet, by Kagan, 6-2, 15 pages (5 months, 16 days)
Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, by Kennedy, 5-3, 21 pages (4 months, 26 days)
Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, by Thomas, 6-2, 17 pages (4 months, 22 days)
SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, by Alito, 7-1, 16 pages (4 months, 20 days)
National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc., by Roberts, 6-2, 20 pages (4 months, 14 days)
There are five cases that have been pending for at least four months since argument.
Manrique v. United States (since October 11)
Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International (since November 2)
Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami (since November 8)
Sessions v. Morales-Santana (since November 9)
Jennings v. Rodriguez (since November 30)
Five-minute buzzer just sounded.
Looks like one box of opinions today, although of course we don't know how many or which ones.
Last week Sotomayor wrote a concurring opinion in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, which Alito joined. One reader asked if this was the first time they concurred together like this.
I found two earlier examples, but I'm happy to be alerted to other instances in case a reader knows one I missed.
Tapia v. United States (10-5400) – A 9-0 Kagan decision in which Sotomayor filed a concurring opinion joined by Alito.
Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee (15-446) – An 6-2 Breyer decision in which Alito filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part joined by Sotomayor.
Amy is lining up for the opinion(s).
First opinion, there will be more
9th circuit decision vacated and remanded
By Justice Sotomayor, but CJ is reading it for her.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act allows EEOC to issue a subpoena to get evidence from an employer. The statute authorizes district court to issue order to enforce subpoena. QUestion is standard of review of district court order to enforce or quash subpoena.
Should it be de novo or for abuse of discretion
Ninth Circuit said de novo; today court says abuse of discretion.
Second decision is Dean v US
By Roberts. Unanimous. Eight pages long
Court reverses 8th circuit and sends case back.
IT is a separate offense to use or possess a firearm in connection with drug trafficking crimes. If you do so, there's a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for first conviction, 25 years for second
The sentences are in addition to and consecutive to whatever you get for the underlying offense.
Question was whether when judge is deciding sentence for underlying offense, he or she can consider whether you are going to serve the mandatory minimums for possessing a firearm as well.
Supreme Court says sentencing court can consider it.
In McLane, 6 of 7 justices joined Sotomayor's opinion in full; Ginsburg concurred in part and dissented in part, agreeing that abuse of discretion is usually right standard, but would still affirm 9th circuit's judgment in this case.
Okay, thank you very much, everyone. The justices will have their next conference on April 13. The April sitting will begin on April 17.
We're signing off for now.