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Order and Opinion Links

Lyle has details from the Court on a number of orders and opinions in the post below this one.

Here is the orders list.

The Court granted our petition in No. 04-66, Tum v. Barber Foods, which is consolidated with No. 03-1238, IBP v. Alvarez. (We had recommended the consolidation.) The cases principally involve the compensation of workers for “walking and waiting time” and the question of when the workday starts. Here are the petition and reply. Here is the Solicitor General’s brief, filed at the invitation of the Court, in the parallel Alvarez case.

Lyle notes below that the Court granted the federal government’s assisted suicide petition, No. 04-623, Ashcroft v. Oregon.

The Court also granted No. 04-698, Schaffer v. Weast, involving the burden of proof in IDEA cases.

The Court did not act on the petitions for certiorari challenging the appointment of Judge Pryor. Those cases will be considered again this Friday. That suggests that one of the Justices is writing a dissent from the denial of certiorari.

Here are the opinions in Smith v. Massachusetts: syllabus; majority; dissent. In sum, the Court reverses 5-4 (per Scalia), holding that a defendant is subject to double jeopardy when a trial judge formally rules that there is insufficient evidence to prove the offense, but subsequently reverses that order before the case goes to the jury. The ruling amounts to a “midtrial acquittal.” The line-up is unusual: Majority: Scalia, Stevens, O’Connor, Souter and Thomas. Dissent: Ginsburg (writing), Rehnquist, Kennedy, and Breyer.

Here is the opinion in Stewart v. Dutra Construction. In sum, the Court reverses (per Thomas, poor guy), holding that a dredge is a “vessel” under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic helped the winning side in this case.