Details on today’s orders and opinions
on Apr 2, 2012 at 10:33 am
This morning the Court granted two new cases. In Moncrieffe v. Holder, the Court will consider deportations for minor marijuana offenses, while in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States it will consider whether purposefully flooding land is a Fifth Amendment taking. Justice Kagan is recused from the latter case. [Disclosure: The law firm of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents the petitioner in Moncrieffe.]
The Court also invited the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States in two cases. In Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, the Court will consider the application of the dormant Commerce Clause to interstate water compacts, while in Bowman v. Monsanto Co. (case page forthcoming) the Court will consider the scope of patent exhaustion in patented seeds. The complete order list is here.
In addition to orders, the Court announced opinions in three cases.
Justice Alito announced the opinion in Rehberg v. Paulk for a unanimous Court. The Court affirmed the Eleventh Circuit, holding that a witness in a grand jury proceeding is entitled to the same absolute immunity from suit under Section 1983 as a witness who testifies at trial.
Justice Kennedy announced the second opinion of the day, in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders. By a vote of five to four, the Court affirmed the Third Circuit, holding that because the search procedures at the county jails struck a reasonable balance between inmate privacy and the needs of institutions, the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments do not require the framework and rules Florence proposes. The Chief Justice and Justices Scalia and Alito joined the opinion in full, while Justice Thomas joined as to all but Part IV. The Chief Justice and Justice Alito filed concurring opinions. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Lyle’s analysis of the decision is here. [Disclosure: The law firm of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents the petitioner in Florence.]