Major Supreme Court Decisions (And Where to Find Them) | FREE WHITEWATER
FREE WHITEWATER

Major Supreme Court Decisions (And Where to Find Them)

There were two major United States Supreme Court decisions handed down today, on partisan gerrymandering and on a possible citizenship question for the 2020 census form.

There will be significant commentary – some informed, some not – about these decisions, but it’s worth reading them in full.  Like most decisions, they’re lengthy, yet always worth reviewing directly. (I’ll dig into them as soon as I can.)

Two good sources for opinions (and sound commentary) are the SCOTUSblog (a private blog by lawyers writing about America’s high court) and the Legal Information Institute. Both are nationally recognized and respected sources.  (Some newspapers and a few networks offer good analysis from serious lawyers, but others rely on hacks who merely placate partisan viewers.)

Here are excerpts and links to these two decisions (one involving consolidated cases) from the reliable SCOTUSblog:

Department of Commerce v. New York

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
18-966 S.D.N.Y. Apr 23, 2019
Tr.Aud.
Jun 27, 2019 5-4 Roberts OT 2018

Holding: The Secretary did not violate the Enumeration Clause or the Census Act in deciding to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire, but the District Court was warranted in remanding the case back to the agency where the evidence tells a story that does not match the Secretary’s explanation for his decision.

Judgment: Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded, 5-4, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts on June 27, 2019. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court with respect to Parts I and II, and the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts III, IV–B, and IV–C, in which Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh joined; with respect to Part IV–A, in which Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan and Kavanaugh joined; and with respect to Part V, in which Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh joined. Justices Breyer filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Rucho v. Common Cause

Consolidated with:

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
18-422 M.D.N.C. Mar 26, 2019
Tr.Aud.
Jun 27, 2019 5-4 Roberts OT 2018

Holding: Partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.

Judgment: Vacated and remanded, 5-4, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts on June 27, 2019. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor joined.

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