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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Today’s Opinions



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The Supreme Court issued four opinions this morning. In two, the Court split over fairly traditional lines in business-related cases concerning arbitration and liability for goods damaged in a trainwreck. In a third the Court overturned the Ninth Circuit in an environmental case (no surprise there).

The big decision of the morning was in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, in which the Court upheld the constitutionality of the federal law barring the provision of “material support” to designated terrorist groups. Specifically, the case concerned the constitutionality of the provision barring “expert advice or assistance” that is “derived from scientific [or] technical … knowledge” and “personnel,” and held that this prohibition was constitutional, at least as applied to the individuals and groups at issue in this case. The vote was 6-3. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the Court.  Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor. The opinion is here.



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