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Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

What a Line Up

Today, the Supreme Court handed down two opinions. One, Northern Ins. Co. of N.Y. v Chatham County, was a unanimous decision written by Justice Thomas. The second, Day v McDonough, was a 5-4 decision. Check out this line up though. The five-vote majority opinion authored by Justice Ginsburg was joined by Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Kennedy, Justice Souter, and Justice Alito. The dissenters were Justice Stevens, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Breyer. Stevens wrote a dissent, joined in part by Breyer. Scalia's dissent was joined by Thomas and Breyer.

The majority concluded that federal judges can correct a state's error and dismiss an inmate's appeal that misses a filing deadline. Okay, it's not the sexiest case in the world but still kind of interesting. People often look a the Justices as fitting into a neat conservative-liberal line up. That may be true on the high profile legal issues like the death penalty, abortion, and free speech, but the same doesn't go for more legalistic issues like the Habeus Rules.

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