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Details on today’s opinions

The court issued two opinions this morning and dismissed the writ of certiorari in one case as improvidently granted:

Astra USA v. Santa Clara (09-1273) – In a unanimous opinion by Justice Ginsburg (with Justice Kagan recused), the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit.  It held that operators of public health hospitals, private clinics, and community health centers do not have a right under federal law to sue drug companies for alleged overpricing of drugs they sell for outpatient treatment.

Connick v. Thompson (09-571) – In a five-four opinion by Justice Thomas that was joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy, Scalia, and Alito, the Court reversed the Fifth Circuit.  The Court addressed the burden of proof for failure to train claims under Section 1983 against local governments.  It held that a local government decision not to train employees about their duties under Brady v. Maryland may rise to an actionable policy, but the failure to train must reflect a deliberate indifference to the rights of persons. A pattern of similar constitutional violations by untrained employees is ordinarily necessary to demonstrate deliberate indifference.

Justice Scalia joined the majority opinion and also wrote a concurrence, joined by Justice Alito, responding to the dissent. Justice Ginsburg dissented, joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.  Justice Ginsburg read from her dissent from the bench.

Tolentino v. New York (09-1156) – In a per curiam opinion, the Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.

Recommended Citation: Adam Schlossman, Details on today’s opinions, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 29, 2011, 9:54 AM),