Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Keeping score

In this week's opinions, the Supreme Court

1. Somewhat cracked down on affirmative action, in the Fisher case (7-1 vote),

2. Somewhat made it more difficult to employee plaintiffs to win in Title VII cases, in the Nassar case (5-4), and the Vance case (5-4),

3. Somewhat made it more difficult to sue drug manufacturers for bad products, in the Bartlett case (5-4),

4. Somewhat struck down the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County case (5-4),

5. Somewhat cracked down on impact fees, in the Koontz case (5-4),

6. Somewhat cracked down on the Indian Child Welfare Act in the Baby Girl case (5-4),

7. Cracked down on DOMA, in the Windsor case (5-4),

8. Punted on Proposition 8 in the California case (5-4),

9. Overturned an extortion conviction in the Sekhar case (9-0).

What do all these cases have in common? I have no idea, other than that Justice Kennedy wins again. Probably the right won more than it lost - the impact fee case, the voting rights case, the products liability case, the Title VII cases, and the affirmative action cases sound like big victories for the right. Perhaps the experts will explain it all this weekend at the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, which you can watch live on C-SPAN on Saturday morning. The conference is at the Greenbrier as in 2011.

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