Yesterday was another busy day at the Court, with opinions announced in five argued cases, and oral arguments in two more.

In Chaidez v. United States, the Court held that Padilla v. Kentucky, in which the Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires defense attorneys to inform criminal defendants of the deportation risks of guilty pleas, does not apply retroactively to cases already final on direct review.  Adam Liptak of The New York Times has coverage of the decision, as do David G. Savage of The Los Angeles Times, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, Lawrence Hurley and Jonathan Stempel of Reuters, and The Associated Press. Kent Scheidegger of Crime and Consequences argues that the opinions show that Justice Kagan, but not Justice Sotomayor, understands the rule of Teague v. Lane, which restricts the retroactive application of new rules after the judgment has become final. And Joseph Ax of Reuters reports on several New York state court decisions that have been invalidated by yesterday’s ruling.  

In Evans v. Michigan, the Court decided that the Double Jeopardy Clause bars a retrial after a court-ordered acquittal, even when that acquittal was erroneous. David Shepardson of The Detroit News has coverage, as do Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal, Jonathan Stempel of Reuters, and The Associated Press.  At Crime and Consequences, Bill Otis argues that both Justice Sotomayor’s majority opinion and Justice Alito’s solo dissent were wrong, and that retrial should have been allowed because the defendant invited the error at trial.

In Johnson v. Williams, the Court unanimously decided that when a state court rules against a defendant in an opinion that rejects some of the defendant’s claims but does not expressly address a federal claim, a federal habeas court must presume, subject to rebuttal, that the federal claim was adjudicated on the merits. Lyle reports on the opinion for this blog, with further coverage from Kevin Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers (via the Miami Herald).

In Henderson v. United States, the Court held that whether or not a legal question is settled at the time of trial, an error is “plain” within the meaning of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 52(b) so long as it was plain at the time of appellate review. Chris Green of The Originalism Blog offers some perspectives from the early nineteenth century on the issue raised by the case.

In the last opinion of the day, the Court unanimously held in Gunn v. Minton that exclusive federal jurisdiction over “any case arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents,” under 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a), does not deprive the state courts of subject matter jurisdiction over a state law claim alleging legal malpractice in a patent case. Lawrence Hurley of Reuters and Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal (via The American Lawyer) have coverage, while Dennis Crouch of Patently-O has analysis of the opinion.

The Court also heard oral argument in two cases yesterday. In McBurney v. Young, the Court is considering whether the Privileges and Immunities Clause and the Dormant Commerce Clause prevent a state from offering lesser rights of access to public information to citizens of other states than it offers to its own citizens. Lyle has a recap of the argument for this blog, while Adam Liptak of The New York Times has coverage, as do Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, Brad Heath of USA Today, Josh Gerstein of Politico, and Jesse J. Holland of The Associated Press.

In PPL Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Court is considering how to determine when U.S. corporations should receive tax credits for the foreign taxes that they pay. Daniel Fisher of Forbes has coverage of the case, as do Patrick Temple-West of Reuters and Siobhan Hughes of MarketWatch. Kali has posted transcripts of both arguments on this blog.

Other coverage yesterday focused on whether the administration will weigh in with an amicus brief in favor of the challenge to Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry. Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed reports that President Obama declined to comment in an interview on Wednesday, while Julie Pace of The Associated Press reports on the administration’s deliberations on the issue, and Greg Sargent of The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog argues that the president can make history by supporting the challenge.

Tuesday’s grant of cert. in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission continues to attract coverage, with T.W. Farnam of The Washington Post arguing that the case could be “the new Citizens United,” and at The Daily Beast Adam Winkler reports that “some people are already referring to it as ‘Citizens United II.'” Jacob Sullum of Reason has further coverage, while Bill Araiza of PrawfsBlawg looks back at the late Chief Justice Rehnquist’s evolution on campaign finance issues. To The Point has coverage of the campaign finance and voting rights cases before the Court this term. (h/t Rick Hasen)

The challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder also continues to draw coverage, with Linda Greenhouse devoting her Opinionator column in The New York Times to an explanation of how the Act is now “hanging by a thread,” and Sahil Kapur of TalkingPointsMemo predicting that at oral argument next week, “proponents of the law will be facing five very skeptical justices.” Richard Wolf of USA Today has further coverage of the case.


  • Amy has analysis of Tuesday’s decision in Chafin v. Chafin, in which the Court decided that the return of a child to a foreign country pursuant to an order under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction does not render an appeal of that order moot, for this blog.
  • Daniel Fisher of Forbes reports that ten of the fifteen opinions released so far this term have been decided by votes of nine to zero, and he argues that “if the last two years have shown anything, it’s that the justices are professionals and stubbornly refuse to behave the pundits expect them to.”
  • Ilya Shapiro of Cato at Liberty comments on Tuesday’s decision in Bailey v. United States, in which the Court decided that police officers preparing to execute a search warrant cannot detain recent occupants of the premises to be searched a mile away from those premises.
  • Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports on Tuesday’s denial of cert. in National Association of Optometrists and Opticians v. Harris.



Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Cormac Early, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 21, 2013, 9:20 AM),