Bench Memos

Today’s Rulings

Relying once again on the live blogging at SCOTUSblog, I am passing along quick word on today’s Supreme Court rulings:

1. Horne v. Flores; 5-4; Alito majority (reversing ruling on injunction against Arizona for failing to provide sufficient funding for non-English speaking school children); Breyer reading his dissent.

2. Atlantic Sounding Co.  v. Townsend (affirming award of punitive damages for seaman); 5-4, with unusual alignment; majority opinion by Thomas; dissent by Alito (joined by Chief, Scalia, and Kennedy).

[Because the opinions are announced in reverse order of seniority of the authoring judge, it is clear that there will be no majority opinions today from Justices Ginsburg or Breyer.]

3. Safford United School District #1 v. Redding (Fourth Amendment/strip search); apparently 6-3, with majority opinion by Souter; partial dissents by Stevens, Ginsburg, and Thomas (another unusual alignment).

4. Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (confrontation clause):  Another unusual alignment.  5-4, with Scalia majority opinion, and Kennedy dissent, joined by Roberts, Breyer, and Alito.

That’s it for the day.  Next (and almost surely all three remaining) The three remaining rulings (including in the much-watched Ricci case) will be issued on Monday.