UGH. So the Supreme Court put out decisions a while back and I am too exhausted to read them. Reading SCOTUS opinions takes a lot of brain power and I have been trying for weeks to read the ones I care about. And I just can’t. It isn’t something I can stop and start and between a 13-month old, working from home, and the ambient stress of the world right now… I read a few paragraphs and realize I’m zoned out.
So I gave in and just read some summaries.
I tried to understand Barton v. Barr, but even the “plain text” articles I found made my brain hurt. I mean honestly, when I originally read up on the case I had to Google a LOT of the language and terms and even then I couldn’t say with entire confidence I understood the issues.
Allen v. Cooper was better. I think it helps with the court is 9-0 on a decision honestly. The Copyright Alliance summed it up for me perfectly “Frederick Allen was entitled to sue the State of North Carolina for allegedly infringing his copyrights.” (https://copyrightalliance.org/copyright-law/copyright-cases/allen-v-cooper/). So a state isn’t immune to being sued for violating copyright. Good. I think.
County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund was also interesting because it was 6-3 decision. I think it’s important to point out SIX justices (the 4 “liberal” justices were joined by 2 “conservative” justices on this vote. I actually am mildly disgusted at the 3 who voted against it because how could they. I read SCOTUSblog for their opinion analysis (https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/04/opinion-analysis-opinion-analysis-the-justices-purpose-full-reading-of-the-clean-water-act/)
I don’t know how I feel that Breyer, in the majority opinion, apparently upheld the purpose of legislation as well as language. I worry this is a slippery slope (just consider the eye-spraining rhetoric around “purpose” in discussions regarding the first, second, and ninth amendments). But he did add a test on “time and distance” for the cases which are not obvious. Though I really hope this summary isn’t too idealistic, “What emerges from all this is a vision of Congress, the executive branch, the courts and the states working together to protect the waters of the United States while keeping the program within manageable bounds.”