Posted on January 11, 2012 at 11:24 am by Kali Borkoski
The Court issued three opinions in argued cases this morning.
Justice Ginsburg announced the first opinion of the day, in Perry v. New Hampshire. By a vote of eight to one, the Court affirmed the decision of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, holding that the Due Process Clause does not require an inquiry into the reliability of an eyewitness identification when the identification was not procured under unnecessarily suggestive circumstances by law enforcement. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion; Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion.
Justice Thomas announced the second opinion, for a unanimous Court, in Pacific Operators v. Valladolid. The Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case for further consideration by the Benefits Review Board. The Court held that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act extends coverage for injury occurring as the result of operations conducted on the outer continental shelf to an employee who can establish a substantial nexus between his injury and his employer’s extractive operations on the shelf. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, joined by Justice Alito.
The third and final opinion for today was in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, which the Chief Justice announced for a unanimous Court. The Court reversed the decision of the Sixth Circuit. It held that the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment bar suits brought on behalf of ministers against their churches, claiming termination in violation of employment discrimination laws. Moreover, because the respondent in this case was a minister within the meaning of the ministerial exception, the First Amendment requires dismissal of her employment discrimination suit against her religious employer. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Alito also filed a concurring opinion, which was joined by Justice Kagan.