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Monday, June 26, 2006 

So Much to Read

The Supreme Court has made my night very, very busy. As predicted, the Court handed down five opinions today. The Vermont campaign finance case, Randall v Sorrell, was one of them. I have been eagerly awaiting this one. I didn't expect the Court to give me a nice, crisp opinion. Campaign finance cases are always a bit of a mess. But this one... this one is going to take a machete to hack through. Take a look at the caption...
Breyer, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which Roberts, C. J., joined, and in which Alito, J., joined as to all but Parts II-B-–1 and II-–B-–2. Alito, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Kennedy, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Scalia, J., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Souter, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Ginsburg, J., joined, and in which Stevens, J., joined as to Parts II and III.
I did manage to check the news reports about the cases today at work, so I know that the law was struck down 6-3.

I dislike these campaign contribution laws, because I think that they are infringements on the First Amendment. I also take perverse pleasure in the fact that this was a campaign reform law trumpeted by then-Governor Howard Dean. Apparently, Dean was very upset when he heard that the Court was hearing this case...

Has anyone seen the kitten since the decision came down?

Anyway, I'm also looking forward to reading the 5-4 Kansas v Marsh decision. This is one of the famous (or infamous) "Alito makes the difference" cases. His vote and the Chief's vote to uphold the Kansas death penalty law should bring lots of comfort to the lethal injection enthusiasts out there.

The weirdest line up today was in US v Gonzales-Lopez, a 5-4 Sixth Amendment decision where Justice Scalia joined the liberals. The dissent was written by Justice Alito. I guess this is yet another nail in the Scalito coffin, huh? Prof. Althouse sums it up nicely, "Let's say it again: Alito is not Scalito."

I was wrong about the Court's schedule. The next day for opinions will be Wednesday, not Thursday. It is possible that there will be opinions on Thursday, but the Chief might be trying to finish off the term as soon as possible. Luckily, I have the day off on Wednesday, so I won't be so behind in my Con Law.

EDIT: It looks like the Chief will announce when the term will end on Wednesday, so we will probably have two more days of opinions.

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  • 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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