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#SCOTUS, Feb. 27, 2019. Today: The cross case.
“Do not take down the cross,” a man who has been detained yelled. He added to tell the justices: “Unless they repent, they will burn in hell” for allowing abortions.
(This just happened in the basement of the Supreme Court.)
It’s a two-box day, meaning three or four decisions are coming at 10a, before the cross case arguments.
In a 5-3 decision in Madison v. Alabama, the Supreme Court says that a person cannot be executed if he or she is suffering from any mental disorder and cannot rationally understand why the court wants to execute him or her.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the more liberal justices in vacating the Alabama court decision below. Opinion by Kagan. Kavanaugh did not participate. Here is the decision: supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf… #SCOTUS
The second decision is in Garza v. Idaho, with the decision by Sotomayor reversing the Idaho Supreme Court. The decision is 6-3, with Thomas writing, joined by Alito and Gorsuch. #SCOTUS
Here's the decision in Garza, a second defendant win in a row (and a second decision in which Roberts joined the more liberal justices): supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf…
The final #SCOTUS decision today is in Jam v. International Finance Corp., with Chief Justice Roberts writing that the International Orgs Immunities Act provides the same immunities as the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
The decision is 7-1, with Breyer dissenting. Kavanaugh did not participate. supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf…
Just out of court in the cross case: #SCOTUS is divided, and struggling, and all of those words — with the case itself, its consequences, and (particularly for the two newest justices) with the future of the Lemon test.
The set-up was a tough one for Monica Miller, the humanists’ lawyer arguing against the cross — though she did well. Three lawyers argued against her: Neal Katyal, former acting SG under Obama; Mike Carvin, conservative SCOTUS litigator from Jones Day; and Jeff Wall, acting SG*.
* = Appears that Wall, the principal deputy SG, is acting SG for this case because SG Noel Francisco’s former firm is Jones Day.
Honestly hard to know where the court is going to end up here, as honestly pretty much all of the justices — Thomas didn’t speak, as is his usual practice — asked tough questions about both the specific facts of this case and the underlying doctrine (which is a mess).
Here's my report on today's #SCOTUS death penalty decision in Madison v. Alabama —> buzzfeednews.com/article/chrisg…
From the cross case, this was a particularly interesting moment — part of a long-running back-and-forth between Gorsuch and Carvin on what it was that his brief was asking to have replace the Lemon test:
Here's the full transcript: supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments…
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