Thursday, June 26, 2003
Last day on the Supreme CourtHow Appealing has all the links. First case of note is Lawrence v. Texas. In this 6/3 judgement the Texas anti-sodomy law was struck down on the grounds that the law impermissably violates the liberty of consenting adults. Interestingly, it did not strike down the law because it only applied to homosexuals, but was phrased in such a way to protect all private consensual acts. They threw some language in there about power-disparity and such, but seemingly as an afterthought. The decision is basicaly what Sen. Santorum feared would happen. My libertarian tendancies agree with the holding, but I'm worried Santorum might have been right too.
The next case was Nike v. Kasky. Nike has long been subject to allegations that it's overseas factory workers operate under abusive sweatshop conditions. In an effort to counter the claim, Nike commissioned several investigations, wrote letters to the editor, and letter to prominent people. Kasky filed suit in California claiming Nike's acitons amounted to false advertising, while Nike claimed they were protected under the First Amendment. The trial and appeals courts agreed with Nike, but the California Supreme Court stated that the campaign had substantial elements of commercial speech, and thsu was not fully protected by the 1st. Nike appealed and it was granted by the Supreme Court. Now, though, in what looks like a 6/3 decision, the court reversed its action granting review, mostly because the case had not reached a final conclusion at the state level. It seems they'll grant the case at a later date after it had been fully decided in Cali.
Georgia v. Ashcroft (6/3) dealt with a State redistricting plan, basicaly sendig the case back to a lower court for re-review. Stogner v. California (5/4) held that reopening the prosecution of an individual after extending the statute of limitations on a crime constituted an Ex Post Facto violation. Wiggins v. Smith (7/2) held that the failure of counsel to fully examine a convicted murderer's deprived and abusive background constitutes reason for a retrial.
All in all, not a good day for Rhenquist and Scalia, who found themselves on the wrong side of every case besides Georgia and Nike, the two least substantive cases. O'Conner, Kennedey, and Souter, as usual, kept jumping sides back and forth.
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