DiscoverSCOTUScastWashington v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
Washington v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

Washington v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

Update: 2018-07-30
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On June 11, 2018, the Supreme Court decided Washington v. United States, a case considering off-reservation fishing rights of multiple Native American Tribes in the State of Washington.
The 1854-1855 Stevens Treaties were a series of treaties between several Native American Tribes and the State of Washington. As part of these treaties, the Tribes relinquished land, watersheds, and offshore waters adjacent to a particular area, “Case Area,” in exchange for guaranteed off-reservation fishing rights. In 2001, twenty-one tribes and the United States complained in federal district court that the State had been building and maintaining culverts that impeded the transit of mature and juvenile salmon between the sea and their spawning grounds. In 2007, the district court issued an injunction requiring the State to correct these culverts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed.
The Supreme Court granted certiorari to address (1) whether a treaty “right of taking fish, at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations ... in common with all citizens” guaranteed “that the number of fish would always be sufficient to provide a ‘moderate living’ to the tribes”; (2) whether the district court erred in dismissing the state's equitable defenses against the federal government where the federal government signed these treaties in the 1850s, for decades told the state to design culverts a particular way, and then filed suit in 2001 claiming that the culvert design it provided violates the treaties it signed; and (3) whether the district court’s injunction violates federalism and comity principles by requiring Washington to replace hundreds of culverts, at a cost of several billion dollars, when many of the replacements will have no impact on salmon, and plaintiffs showed no clear connection between culvert replacement and tribal fisheries.
In a per curiam opinion, an equally divided Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit.
To discuss the case, we have Lance Sorenson, Olin-Darling Fellow in Constitutional Law at Stanford Law School.
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Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court decided Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, a case considering the forced subsidizing of unions by public employees, even if they choose not to join the union or strongly disagree with many positions the union takes in collective bargaining. Under Illinois law, public employees are permitted to unionize; and if a majority of employees in a particular bargaining union vote to unionize, then that union is designated as the exclusive representative of all the employees in collective bargaining, even those members who choose not to join the union. Non-members are required to pay an “agency fee,” which is a percentage of the full union dues and covers union expenses “germane” to the union’s collective bargaining activities, but cannot cover any political or ideological projects sponsored by the union. Mark Janus works at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The employees in his unit are represented by American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (“the union”). Janus did not join the union because he opposes many of its positions, including those taken in collective bargaining, but was required to pay 78.06% of full union dues as an “agency fee”--a fee resulting in a payment of $44.58 per month, and about $535 per year. Janus and two other state employees joined a lawsuit brought by the Governor of Illinois against the union in federal district court, seeking a declaration that the statutory imposition of agency fees was unconstitutional. The District Court dismissed the Governor for lack of standing, but proceeded to reject the claims of Janus and the other employees on the merits, finding their challenge foreclosed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed, but the Supreme Court granted certiorari to reconsider whether public-sector agency-fee arrangements are constitutional. By a vote of 5-4, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Seventh Circuit and remanded the case. In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court overruled Abood and held that state extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment; thus states and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees. Justice Alito’s majority opinion was joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Gorsuch. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Kagan also filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. To discuss the case, we have Raymond LaJeunesse, Vice President & Legal Director, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, FL - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
On June 18, 2018, the Supreme Court decided Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, FL, a case involving a claim of retaliatory arrest in violation of the First Amendment. Fane Lozman moved to Riviera Beach, FL in 2006, where he lived on a floating home in the Riviera Beach Marina--a part of the city designated for redevelopment under the City’s new redevelopment plan that would use eminent domain to revitalize the waterfront. After hearing news of the plan, Lozman became an “outspoken critic,” and filed suit against the City in June 2006 after a special City Council emergency meeting to push through the redevelopment plan before the Governor of Florida signed a bill into law that would prohibit the use of eminent domain for private development. Later at a public City Council meeting in November 2006, Lozman began to discuss the arrest of a former county official during the public comments portion of the meeting. He was interrupted by a member of the City Council, who, after exchanging words with Lozman, called a city police officer to dismiss Lozman from the podium. Lozman refused to leave the podium without finishing his comments, the police officer warned him that he would be arrested if he did not comply, and, upon the continuance of his comments, Lozman was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence (charges later dismissed). In 2008, Lozman filed suit in federal district court against the City of Riviera Beach, claiming that his arrest had constituted unlawful retaliation by the City due to Lozman’s earlier opposition to the redevelopment plan. The jury found that the arrest had been supported by probable cause, which the District Court concluded must defeat Lozman’s First Amendment claim of retaliatory arrest. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed that judgment, but the Supreme Court then granted certiorari to address whether the existence of probable cause defeats a First Amendment claim for retaliatory arrest. By a vote of 8-1, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Eleventh Circuit and remanded the case. In an opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that the existence of probable cause for Lozman’s arrest for disrupting a city council meeting did not bar his First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim under the circumstances of this case. Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion was joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Gorsuch. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion. To discuss the case, we have Lisa Soronen, Executive Director of the State & Local Legal Center.
Washington v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
On June 11, 2018, the Supreme Court decided Washington v. United States, a case considering off-reservation fishing rights of multiple Native American Tribes in the State of Washington. The 1854-1855 Stevens Treaties were a series of treaties between several Native American Tribes and the State of Washington. As part of these treaties, the Tribes relinquished land, watersheds, and offshore waters adjacent to a particular area, “Case Area,” in exchange for guaranteed off-reservation fishing rights. In 2001, twenty-one tribes and the United States complained in federal district court that the State had been building and maintaining culverts that impeded the transit of mature and juvenile salmon between the sea and their spawning grounds. In 2007, the district court issued an injunction requiring the State to correct these culverts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to address (1) whether a treaty “right of taking fish, at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations ... in common with all citizens” guaranteed “that the number of fish would always be sufficient to provide a ‘moderate living’ to the tribes”; (2) whether the district court erred in dismissing the state's equitable defenses against the federal government where the federal government signed these treaties in the 1850s, for decades told the state to design culverts a particular way, and then filed suit in 2001 claiming that the culvert design it provided violates the treaties it signed; and (3) whether the district court’s injunction violates federalism and comity principles by requiring Washington to replace hundreds of culverts, at a cost of several billion dollars, when many of the replacements will have no impact on salmon, and plaintiffs showed no clear connection between culvert replacement and tribal fisheries. In a per curiam opinion, an equally divided Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit. To discuss the case, we have Lance Sorenson, Olin-Darling Fellow in Constitutional Law at Stanford Law School.
Gill v. Whitford - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
On June 18, 2018, the Supreme Court decided Gill v. Whitford, a case considering claims of partisan gerrymandering. In Wisconsin’s 2010 elections, Republicans won the governorship and acquired control of the state senate. In 2011, pursuant to the state constitution’s requirement that the legislature must redraw the boundaries of its districts following each census, the Wisconsin legislature adopted a redistricting plan, Act 43, for state legislative districts. With Act 43 in effect Republicans expanded their legislative control in subsequent elections, reportedly winning 60 of 99 seats in the State Assembly with 48.6% of the statewide two-party vote in 2012, and 63 of 99 seats with 52% of the statewide two-party vote in 2014. In 2015 twelve Wisconsin voters sued in federal court, alleging that Act 43 constituted a statewide partisan gerrymander in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Defendants’ motions to dismiss and for summary judgment were denied, and following trial a divided three-judge district court panel invalidated Act 43 statewide. Act 43, the majority concluded, impermissibly burdened the representational rights of Democratic voters by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats even when Republicans were in an electoral minority. The court enjoined further use of Act 43 and ordered that a remedial redistricting plan be enacted, but the United States Supreme Court stayed that judgment pending resolution of this appeal. By a vote of 9-0, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court and remanded the case for a new trial. In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that the plaintiffs--Wisconsin Democratic voters who rested their claim of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering on statewide injury--had failed to demonstrate Article III standing. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the court, in which Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justices Thomas and Gorsuch joined except as to Part III. Justice Kagan filed a concurring opinion in which Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, which was joined by Justice Gorsuch. To discuss the case, we have David Casazza, Associate at Gibson Dunn.
McCoy v. Louisiana - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court decided McCoy v. Louisiana, a case considering whether defense counsel may--against the defendant’s express wishes--concede his client’s guilt in an effort to avoid the death penalty. In 2008, Robert McCoy was indicted on three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the mother, stepfather, and son of his estranged wife. McCoy pleaded not guilty, maintaining that he was out of state at the time of the murder. In 2010, his relationship with the court-appointed public defender broke down, and in March 2010 Larry English became McCoy’s defense attorney. English concluded that the evidence against McCoy was overwhelming and told McCoy that he would concede McCoy’s guilt in an effort to avoid the death penalty; McCoy adamantly opposed English’s strategy. At trial, English nevertheless indicated repeatedly to the jury that McCoy had caused the victims’ deaths and pleaded for mercy. McCoy protested unsuccessfully to the trial judge and was permitted to testify to his innocence, but was ultimately convicted and sentenced to death. The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that defense counsel had authority to concede guilt over McCoy’s objection as a strategy to avoid a death sentence. In light of a division of opinion among state courts of last resort on whether it is unconstitutional to allow defense counsel to concede guilt over the defendant’s intransigent and unambiguous objection, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari. By a vote of 6-3, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Louisiana Supreme Court and remanded the case for a new trial. In an opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held that the Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the fundamental objective of his defense and insist that counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel’s experience-based view is that confessing guilt offers the defendant the best chance to avoid the death penalty. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court, which was joined by the Chief Justice, and Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch. To discuss the case, we have Jay Schweikert, Policy Analyst with the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice.
Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court decided Murphy v. NCAA, a case involving a conflict between state-authorized sports gambling and a federal statute: the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). PASPA prohibits state-sanctioned gambling with respect to amateur and professional sporting events. Among other things, the statute allows sports leagues whose events are the subject of betting schemes to bring an action to enjoin any gambling. PASPA did except certain states from its prohibitions, including New Jersey--but only if New Jersey established its sports gambling scheme within one year of PASPA’s enactment. New Jersey did not do so, and in fact prohibited sports gambling until a 2011 referendum amended the state constitution to allow it. Thereafter, New Jersey enacted the 2012 Sports Wagering Act, which created a government-regulated sports betting scheme. Invoking PASPA, five sports leagues sued to enjoin the 2012 law. New Jersey countered that PASPA was unconstitutional under the federal anti-commandeering doctrine. The District Court deemed PASPA constitutional and enjoined implementation of the wagering law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. In 2014, New Jersey enacted a new gambling law which repealed certain restrictions on “the placements and acceptance of wagers” on sporting events so long as those events did not involve New Jersey collegiate teams (or other in-state collegiate sporting events). New Jersey contended that this law was admissible under PASPA because it did not actively authorize sports-betting. Once again sports leagues sued to enjoin the law as a violation of PASPA, and prevailed in federal district court. The Third Circuit, sitting en banc, again affirmed, holding that PASPA did not commandeer New Jersey in a way that ran afoul of the federal Constitution. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to address whether a federal statute that prohibits modification or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of the states. By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Third Circuit. In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held that the provisions of PAPSA that prohibit state authorization and licensing of sports gambling schemes violate the Constitution’s anticommandeering rule, and cannot be severed from the remainder of the statute, which collapses as a result. Justice Alito’s majority opinion was joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Kagan, and Gorsuch. Justice Breyer joined to all except as to Part VI-B. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion. Justice Breyer filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined, and in which Justice Breyer joined in part. To discuss the case, we have Elbert Lin, Partner at Hunton & Williams, LLP.
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Washington v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

Washington v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

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