Posted on June 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm by Kali Borkoski
The Court announced four opinions in argued cases this morning.
The lion’s share of attention thus far has focused on the decision in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. The Court (in an opinion by Justice Kennedy) did not address the broader First Amendment questions about the indecency regulations at issue in the case; instead, the Court issued a narrower due process ruling. It held that because the FCC had failed to provide Fox or ABC with “fair notice” that “fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent,” the FCC’s indecency standards were too vague and could not be enforced against the broadcasts at issue. Lyle’s coverage of the decision for this blog is available here. Additional reporting and analysis are also available from Greg Stohr and Todd Shields of Bloomberg Businessweek, MSNBC, The New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, Fox Business, Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, The Washington Post, Politico, Christian Science Monitor, McClatchy Newspapers, NPR’s The Two-Way blog, Atlantic Wire, Huffington Post, Wired’s Threat Level blog, the Volokh Conspiracy (and here), The Hill’s Hillicon Valley blog, Constitution Daily, Reason, and the Election Law Blog. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has coverage of the Fox decision – along with two of today’s other cases – as well.
This morning the Court also issued its opinion in Knox v. SEIU, holding that employees who decline to join their public-sector union have a First Amendment right not to be compelled, without notice and the opportunity to object, to pay special assessments for political activities. Coverage comes from CNN, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press (via The Washington Post), Forbes, the ABA Journal, UPI, Education Week’s School Law blog, the Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry blog, Point of Law, and the Purple Wisconsin. Commentary comes from Cato@Liberty, the American Spectator, and the American Prospect.
In Southern Union Co. v. United States, the Court held that a jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt any fact that increases the maximum fine for a criminal defendant. Reporting and analysis are available from Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, the Associated Press (via The Washington Post), Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
Coverage of the Court’s decision in Dorsey v. United States, in which the Court held that the Fair Sentencing Act – which reduced the disparities in the length of sentences for crack and powder cocaine offenses – applies to defendants whose crack cocaine offenses occurred before the Act went into effect but were sentenced after the Act’s effective date, is available from Lyle Denniston of this blog, Reuters, UPI, The Associated Press (via USA Today) and The Chicago Tribune. Commentary on the decision comes from the American Prospect.