Yesterday the Court issued one decision, ruling for the landowner in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States. In an opinion by the Chief Justice, the Court held that land exchanged with or transferred to the owners of private property under an 1875 law once again became their property when the railroad that ran across the property has been abandoned. Lyle Denniston reported on the decision for this blog; other coverage and commentary come from Jeremy P. Jacobs for Greenwire, Daniel Fisher of Forbes, and Trevor Burrus at Cato at Liberty. Continue reading »
Six Californians asked the Supreme Court on Monday to block a city ordinance banning gun ammunition-holders (“magazines”) that contain more than ten bullets, while that limit is being tested in an appeal in federal courts. The application in Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale (docket 13A918) can be read here; the filing includes lower court orders.
Sunnyvale, with a population of about 150,000, is a Silicon Valley community near San Jose; it is home mainly to high-tech companies and defense contractors. At issue in the case is a city ordinance adopted last November by city voters with more than a sixty-six-percent majority.
UPDATED Tuesday 8:50 a.m. The Ninth Circuit has now cancelled the April 9 hearing date for the Nevada case It will be rescheduled.
UPDATED 6:12 p.m. In a case involving Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday set April 9 as the date for oral argument in that case. Lawyers who are involved in the Tenth Circuit’s case in support of Utah’s ban, which is set for argument on April 10, had asked the Ninth Circuit not to set the Nevada case for hearing close to that date. The Nevada case is Sevcik v. Sandoval (docket 12-17668).
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed on Monday to follow an expedited schedule in reviewing the constitutionality of Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, which has been struck down by a federal judge in Norfolk. Under the schedule, briefing will be completed by April 30, and oral argument will be held in the public session set for May 12 to 15.
The Supreme Court’s current fascination with the law governing group lawsuits — that is, class-action claims — led it on Monday to add another test case, this time in a dispute left over from the financial downturn that began in 2008. The issue is the time limit to sue for false claims in the offer or sale of securities.
The Court added to its docket for rulings at its next Term the case of Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS Inc. – a case growing out of the massive collapse of securities that were backed by home mortgage loans.
At considerable potential cost to the federal government, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that land swapped with, or transferred to private owners under an 1875 law became their property in full again once a railroad that ran across the property has been abandoned. The decision turned mainly upon an argument that the government had made to the Court seventy-two years ago and won — an argument that now was turned against it.
If some of the land governed by this case, formerly lying beneath railroad tracks, has been turned into bike and hiking trails for the public’s use, the government faces claims for compensation to private owners, sums that the government has said may run into hundreds of millions of dollars. Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted that prospect as she dissented alone from the eight-to-one ruling in the case of Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States.
We will be live blogging this morning as orders and opinions are issued. Please click this link to be taken to the live blog page.
- Noting the fiftieth anniversary (yesterday) of the Court’s landmark decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic urges “[e]very person who writes online or otherwise about public officials . . . to bow his or her head today in a silent moment of gratitude for a single United States Supreme Court decision issued 50 years ago today. It means simply that you can make an honest mistake when writing about a public figure and won’t likely get sued.” Continue reading »
The petition of the day is:
Issue: Whether an individual may be held personally liable for a corporation’s violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act merely because the individual had general control over corporate affairs, but exercised no personal responsibility over the conduct that caused the violation.