US Supreme Court issues its first opinions of the term

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Via Scotusblog, the US Supreme Court issued four authored opinions this morning.

Beard v. Kindler Vacated and remanded.  Chief Justice Roberts authored the opinion of the Court; Justice Kennedy concurred, joined by Justice Thomas.  Justice Alito took no part.  The Court holds that a state procedural rule is not automatically "inadequate" under the adequate state ground doctrine, for federal habeas corpus petitions, because the state procedural rule is discretionary rather than mandatory.  The controlling question is whether the state rule is firmly established and regularly followed.

The opinion is here

Alvarez v. Smith : Vacated and remanded as moot.  Justice Breyer authored the opinion of the Court; Justice Stevens joined in part, filing an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part (so the vote count is 8-1 on some parts).  The Court had granted certiorari on the issue of whether a state's failure to provide a speedy postseizure hearing, concerning forfeiture of movable personal property used to facilitate a drug crime, violated the federal due process clause.  The Court finds that the case is moot because the property disputes between the parties had been resolved.  The Court finds that the lower court judgment should be vacated.

The opinion is here.

Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter  Affirmed.  Justice Sotomayor delivered the opinion of the Court; Justice Thomas joined in part and filed a separate opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. The Court holds that disclosure orders about the attorney-client privilege cannot qualify for immediate appeal under the collateral order doctrine.  An erroneous order compelling disclosure can be remedied by postjudgment review.  In other situations, a party may ask for an interlocutory appeal involving a controlling question of law, a party may seek a writ of mandamus, or the party may defy a disclosure order and incur court-imposed sanctions. 

The opinion is here.

Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Brotherhood of Teamsters : Affirmed. Justice Ginsburg wrote for a unanimous Court.  The opinion deals with jurisdiction and the National Railroad Adjustment Board.  Scotusblog will have more details.

The opinion is here.



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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on December 8, 2009 9:00 AM.

Nevada Supreme Court to hear argument re: Humboldt County PD was the previous entry in this blog.

Nevada Supreme Court reverses murder conviction is the next entry in this blog.

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