Supreme Court Summaries

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has finished the 2012-2013 term, a number off writers are publishing their end of the year summaries of important rulings. There is so many good summaries out there, that I really don’t want to “reinvent the wheel.” I decided that a better idea was to summarize the summaries:

  • Professor Erwin Chemerinsky is the Dean of the University of California Irvine’s School of La and is an exceptionally well published author on the U.S. Constitution. He has published roughly ten articles on decisions from this year’s Court. His general summary is entitled “What we learned about SCOTUS this term” and does a nice job about discussing the political divides of the Court and the current ideological divide on the Court. This summary covers the University of Texas affirmative action case (Fisher v University of Texas), the dog sniff on the porch case (Florida v Jardines), the DNA collection case (Maryland v King), the marriage equality case (United States v Windsor and Hollingsworth v Perry), and the Voting Rights Case (Shelby County v Holder);


  • Slate has a summary designed more for ordinary folks (and not lawyers) written by Emily Bazelon, a popular news writer and fellow at Yale Law School. Her summary “Supreme Court 2013: the Year in Review” covers the general ground covered by others. She makes several interesting points, however, including fight between Justices Roberts and Scalia in City of Arlington v FCC -- an obscure case dealing with the authority of the FCC to regulate the placement of cell towers. Justice Roberts used the ruling to challenge the expanding power of the FCC which is coming with our increased methods of communication. She also made an interesting point on the gene patenting decision fro the court. Justice Thomas (writing for the majority) drew a distinction between naturally occurring DNA and synthetic DNA. The problem is that the people in the biotech industry say that the distinction is “meaningless and anachronistic.”

More analysis will be coming out very shortly and I’m still sifting through all the stuff. I will update this post as I find more good reviews.

Sixth Circuit Judge Boyce Martin Will Retire

Squires Sander’s Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog is reporting that Judge Boyce Martin, Jr. is expected to retire next month. Judge Martin is the longest serving judge currently on the Court. He came to the bench in 1979, appointed by President Carter.