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Details on today’s orders and opinions

This morning the Court issued orders from the May 17 Conference.   It granted one new case, Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, which presents the question whether Amnesty International lacks standing to seek prospective relief when it proffered no evidence that the United States would imminently acquire its international communications using 50 U.S.C. 1881a-authorized surveillance and did not show that an injunction prohibiting Section 1881a-authorized surveillance would likely redress its purported injuries. The Court did not call for the views of the Solicitor General in any new cases.

The Court also announced three opinions this morning. 

Justice Kagan announced the first opinion of the day, in Holder v. Gutierrez and Holder v. Sawyers, for a unanimous Court. The Court reversed the decision of the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case for further consideration.  It held that the position of the Board of Immigration Appeals that an alien seeking cancellation of removal must individually satisfy the requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a) – lawful permanent resident status for at least five years and at least seven years of continuous residence in the United States after a lawful admission – rather than relying on a parent’s years of continuous residence or lawful permanent resident status – is based on a permissible construction of the statute.

Justice Alito announced the second opinion of the day, in Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan. By a vote of six to three, the Court reversed the decision of the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case.  It held that because the ordinary meaning of “interpreter” is someone who translates orally from one language to another, the category “compensation of interpreters” in 28 U.S.C. § 1920(6), which includes that category among the costs that may be awarded to prevailing parties in federal court lawsuits, does not include the cost of document translation. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor.

Justice Ginsburg announced the final opinion of the day for a unanimous Court in Astrue v. Capato. The Court reversed the decision of the Third Circuit and remanded the case.  The Social Security Administration interprets the Social Security Act to allow children conceived after their father’s death to qualify for Social Security survivors benefits only if they could inherit from their father under state intestacy law.  That reading, the Court held, is better attuned to the statute’s text and its design to benefit primarily those supported by the deceased wage earner in his or her lifetime.  Moreover, even if the SSA’s longstanding interpretation is not the only reasonable one, it is at least a permissible construction entitled to deference under Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

Recommended Citation: Kali Borkoski, Details on today’s orders and opinions, SCOTUSblog (May. 21, 2012, 11:28 AM),