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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Today’s Rulings



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The Supreme Court will be issuing rulings today at 10 a.m. (My guess is that the Court will issue rulings in two of the remaining four cases.) I will update this post to provide quick news, and perhaps a comment or two, on the results. (For the initial news, I will be relying on SCOTUSblog’s live blogging.) I will reserve any extended commentary for later posts.

Updates:

Noel Canning (recess appointments)—Breyer opinion; Obama’s recess appointments unlawful. Narrow ruling: There was no recess. Scalia (joined by Chief, Thomas, Alito) concurred in judgment, on much broader grounds. Opinion here.

Breyer: (1) Recess-appointment authority can be exercised during any recess, intrasession or intersession. (2) Senate is in session when it says it is and is able to transact business. Three days is too short to count as a recess.

Scalia concurrence in judgment: Recess-appointment authority can be exercised only during intersession recesses and only with respect to offices that become vacant during recess.

McCullen (First Amendment challenge to a Massachusetts statute that creates a no-speech zone within 35 feet of an abortion clinic)—Opinion by Chief strikes down statute. Victory for pro-life protesters, but how broad? Court unanimous on result. Separate opinions concurring in judgment by Scalia (with Kennedy and Thomas) and Alito.

That’s it for today. Public-sector unions have their worst nightmare: Alito is the probable author of forthcoming opinion in Harris v. Quinn. I’d bet on Chief as author of Hobby Lobby. (That would give him as many opinion assignments as Scalia, Kennedy, and Sotomayor.)



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