Major cases to be impacted by Scalia's death

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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  2. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Read the linked article, all I saw was one man's opinion. The author didn't cite any precedents or SCOTUS rules. I may be wrong. But I assume, the late justice can't be the first to die in such a situation.
     
  3. Aaron

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    Remember the movie, The Pelican Brief?
     
  4. Squire Robertsson

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    I'm waiting for a substantive citation, not one man's opinion or a movie.
     
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  5. Crabtownboy

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    Squire, his death has quite an impact on the current court rulings. Those discussed below are just the biggest cases, not all of them by any measure.

    From: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...tion-race-labor-voting-conservative/80372440/


    Here's a look at the biggest cases pending before the court, their current status and potential outcome in the wake of Scalia's death:

    Voting rights (heard Dec. 8): The court is considering changing the way state and municipal voting districts are drawn by allowing them to be based on the number of eligible voters, rather than total population. That would render non-citizens invisible in the count, along with children, prisoners, some ex-felons and some people with intellectual disabilities. The result: more rural, mostly white districts.

    During oral argument in December, it seemed the conservative justices might have five votes to move away from using total population. But they couldn't come up with a practical alternative, making it a long shot that the status quo -- using total population -- is reversed. For that reason, Scalia's absence may not affect the outcome.

    Affirmative action (heard Dec. 9): In a crucial test of university admissions programs that take race into consideration, the court's conservatives appeared ready in December to cut back on affirmative action. At the least, it seemed the University of Texas-Austin's program would be affected.

    Scalia played a leading role during oral argument, noting that some briefs submitted to the court suggested that African Americans may do better at "less advanced" or "slower-track" schools. "I don't think it stands to reason that it's a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible," he said. Without his vote, the school's program still could be doomed because liberal Justice Elena Kagan is recused, setting up a possible 4-3 vote.

    Labor unions (heard Jan. 11): This is the case that conservatives seemed most assured of winning, until now. During oral argument, the conservatives sharply criticized the current system in which public employees in 23 states and the District of Columbia must pay for the cost of collective bargaining, even if they disagree with union demands.

    With Kennedy leading the way, the court appeared likely to strike down that requirement, which would reverse the lower court and deal a major blow to the financial clout of public employee unions such as the California Teachers Association. Now, a tie vote looms which would uphold the system.

    Abortion (to be heard March 2): Abortion clinics in Texas are challenging a state law, upheld in lower courts, that imposes tough new restrictions on doctors and facilities. The case has shaped up to be the biggest one affecting reproductive rights since 1992.

    Now, however, it appears that if supporters of abortion rights don't win outright with the support of Kennedy or another conservative justice, a 4-4 tie upholding the Texas law would not set a new national precedent for federal courts to follow.

    Contraception (to be heard March 23): Religious non-profits such as charities, schools and hospitals are seeking an exemption from the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employers pay for contraceptives as part of standard health insurance plans. They stood a good chance of winning with Scalia on the bench.

    Now, the most likely outcome is a 4-4 tie that would leave the so-called "contraceptive mandate" in place for those non-profits.

    Immigration (to be heard in April): President Obama already had a decent chance of reversing an appeals court ruling and winning about six months to begin implementing his immigration plan, which would shield more than 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. But that was by no means a sure thing.

    Without Scalia, the president still needs the vote of at least one conservative justice to win the case. A 4-4 tie would preserve the lower court's decision.
     
  6. Squire Robertsson

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    CTB, I'm not referring to cases not yet heard. I am referring to those cases heard and decided. Which decisions have not yet been released.
     
  7. Crabtownboy

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    Squire, my understanding is that even if a vote was taken it is not considered final until it is announced. Up to the point it is considered as a draft. The reason being a justice could change their mind the day before the announcement and change the ruling. Thus anything written or voted on by Scalia is now considered null and void. There was a good segment on this on the PBS Nightly New Hour this evening. It is not available yet online.
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

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    That very well maybe. I'm waiting on substantive citations not opinions.
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    Squire, is this what you are looking for?

    From:http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown...-court-cases-could-change-with-scalias-death/


    Q. What happens to cases in which Scalia cast a vote or drafted an opinion, but no decision has been publicly announced?

    A. It may sound harsh, but Scalia’s votes and draft opinions in pending cases no longer matter. Veteran Supreme Court lawyer Roy Englert says that “the vote of a deceased justice does not count.” Nothing is final at the court until it is released publicly and, while it is rare, justices have flipped their votes and the outcomes in some cases.

    Q. What happens if there is a tie?

    A. The justices have two options. They can vote to hear the case a second time when a new colleague joins them or they can hand down a one-sentence opinion that upholds the result reached in the lower court without setting a nationwide rule. When confirmation of a new justice is expected to happen quickly, re-argument is more likely. In this political environment, the vacancy could last into 2017.

    Q. Why doesn’t the court like tie votes?

    A. A major function of the Supreme Court is to resolve disputes among lower courts and establish legal precedents for the entire country. Tie votes frustrate those goals and they essentially waste the court’s time.

    Q. How does Scalia’s death affect specific cases?

    A. It deprives conservatives of a key vote and probably will derail some anticipated conservative victories in major Supreme Court cases, including one in which labor unions appeared headed for a big defeat. Next month’s Supreme Court clash over contraceptives, religious liberty and President Barack Obama’s health care law also now seems more likely to favor the Obama administration.
     
  10. Squire Robertsson

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    The first is close. But it's still one man's opinion. It's not a citation of "chapter and verse" or of what happened in 18xx\19xx.
     
  11. Crabtownboy

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