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Today’s orders and opinions

No grants or calls for the views of the Solicitor General today.  The full order list is here.  Notably, the Court denies the petition in the No Child Left Behind Act case Pontiac School District v. Duncan (09-852).

The Court issued opinions in three argued cases:

In Krupski v. Costa Crociere (09-337), the Court reverses and remands, in an opinion by Justice Sotomayor.  The vote is unanimous, with Justice Scalia concurring in part and in the judgment.

  • Holding: The determination of whether a party who makes a mistake in identifying the other party being sued may still file their claim in a timely manner depends upon what the party to be added to the case knew or should have known about the dispute.

In Hamilton v. Lanning (08-998), the Court affirms in an 8-1 opinion by Justice Alito, with Justice Scalia dissenting alone.  [Disclosure: Akin Gump and Howe & Russell represented the respondent in this case.]

  • Holding: The proper way to determine whether a Chapter 13 debtor’s income is above the median is to use the “forward-looking approach.”

In Barber v. Thomas (09-5201), the Court affirms on a 6-3 vote.  Justice Breyer writes the opinion, while Justice Kennedy dissents, joined by Justices Stevens and Ginsburg.

  • Holding: The federal Bureau of Prisons’ method for calculating inmates’ good-time credits is upheld.

The Court also certified a question to the Montana Supreme Court in this per curiam opinion in United States v. Juvenile Male (09-940), saying that the answer “will help determine whether this case presents a live case or controversy” and reserving all proceedings in the case pending the state supreme court’s response.

  • Question: Is respondent’s duty to remain registered as a sex offender under Montana law contingent upon the validity of the conditions of his now-expired federal juvenile-supervision order that required him to register as a sex offender, or is the duty an independent requirement of Montana law that is unaffected by the validity or invalidity of the federal juvenile-supervision conditions?

The full texts of the opinions appear below, along with the briefs in Juvenile Male.


Title: United States v. Juvenile Male
Docket: 09-940
Issue: Whether application of the registration and notification provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act to a juvenile who was adjudicated delinquent under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act before SORNA’s enactment violates the ex post facto clause of the Constitution.

No. 09-337, Krupski v. Costa Crociere

No. 08-998, Hamilton v. Lanning

No. 09-5201, Barber v. Thomas

No. 09-940, United States v. Juvenile Male