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Monday, January 23, 2006 

High Court Activity

A few decisions came down today from the highest court in the land. A decision came down today in Wisconsin Right to Life v FEC, which was argued only last week. It was a unanimous per curiam decision (meaning that it's the Court's totally, not of one justice (Breyer probably wrote it)) that sent the case back to the lower court. The Court said that they would allow "as-applied" challenges to the McCain-Feingold law, and that the lower court had to examine the case in that respect. Basically, the Court is going to allow fact/situation-based attacks on the law (Ex: the law is constitutional, but not when the law is applied in my situation).

What's it all mean? Well, the Court got to kick this can a little further down the road. The Court seems to be willing to examine the facts very closely in these instances. That's likely to be a good sign for people like me who would love to see this law chipped (or hacked) away at by the Court. That means that the Court will be knee deep in looking at these ads and figuring out what applies and what doesn't apply.

The Court also handed down an opinion in Central Virginia Community College v Katz. It's a bankruptcy case. That's an area that I have no expertise in at all, so I've got nothing for you on the substance. Stuart Benjamin at Volokh has an interesting observation about the vote though. It was a 5-4 decision with O'Connor joining the liberals in a majority. Benjamin notes...
I highlight this because some might have been inclined to assume that justices on the losing side of a 5-4 with O'Connor in the majority would strategically delay the completion of their dissent so that they could, with any luck, get a different result with Alito. After all, that's what we would expect legislators to do.
Our justices acting honorably. Maybe the Senate Judiciary Committee could learn a thing or two from them.

Oh and Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia have still voted the same way so far this term. Just in case you were interested...

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  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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