I started over the weekend trying to write about this opinion. I couldn’t. I was too angry. My post was just angry. This decision was ugly and awful for a lot of reasons. And the one I AM going to talk about is the one which someone tried to use saying “it’s just like Brown v. Board overturning Plessy vs. Fergusen.” No. No, it really isn’t. In case you forgot, Plessy vs. Fergusen (in 1896) proposed that “separate but equal” was allowed. Racial segregation did NOT violate the Fourteenth amendment’s equal protection clause. By the 1950’s, this had been…. let’s called it “pushed the max.” Then we get Brown vs. Board of Education which is actually a collection of cases all arguing the same thing. “The plaintiffs contend that segregated public schools are not “equal” and cannot be made “equal,” and that hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws. ” (Brown vs. Board) They covered previous cases
I missed a case being 9-0! Lange v. California. Again, this one is pretty clear-cut. A police officer turned on his lights to pull over a driver. The driver (Lange) was almost home and pulled into his garage. Lange then tried to claim the officer doing a sobriety test in his garage was a warrantless search. So the question became does the fourth amendment protect someone “fleeing” categorically justify a warrantless search? Especially a misdemeanor? The syllabus describes it thus: “The Fourth Amendment ordinarily requires that a law enforcement officer obtain a judicial warrant before entering a home without permission. But an officer may make a warrantless entry when “the exigencies of the situation,” considered in a case-specific way, create “a compelling need for official action and no time to secure a warrant.”” All of the justices voted the same, but most of the conservative men each had to give their own opinion… I wish I was kidding. Kagan (generally
So there have been 5 cases to have opinions put out in June 2021 with 9-0 (unanimous) decisions. Considering how much the media expects the court to be always and forever divided by political leaning/affiliations/appointment – what are the issues which the court stands all together on? I find these to be both relieving and enlightening. As of today (I think) these are the unanimous decisions. Some of them are “well, that seems obvious” for the decision. UNITED STATES v. COOLEY Issues: A tribal police officer has authority to detain temporarily and to search non-Indian persons traveling on public rights-of-way running through a reservation for potential violations of state or federal law. Background: Joshua James Cooley was pulled over and the tribal officer (James Saylor) who saw guns and a glass pipe and methamphetamines (all in plain view). Now, Saylor was not a federal or state officer and there was a question if he could stop and hold non-Indian people.
I am still playing “catch-up” on May and this week I’m seeing the Supreme Court put out opinions – and some of the headlines I’m reading are making me want to drop important chores (like dishes) to the wayside and find out how some of these judges are leaning and WHY. I know, I’m a nerd. So I am bookmarking the SCOTUS opinions page (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinion/20 if you’re curious) and I am going to read and blog about at least some of the cases. I’ve already heard some commentary on the Van Buren v. United States case, but I am curious about the opinions – because Gorsuch, Barret, and Kavanaugh all sided with Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagen. I will probably blog Sanchez v. Mayorkas and Garland v. Ming Dai together because they both deal with immigration (that’s about all I know, I’ve only read the abstracts). This isn’t my area of expertise, so we’ll see when I read them if they