I prefer to report on SCOTUS from the perspective of Political Science rather than law. My first ConLaw class was as a political science major at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst taught by Professor Dean Alfange. So my focus is always from the perspective of the Court as a political body.
I predicted based on simple political theory that Roberts would move to take the role previous relegated to Justice Kennedy. The Swing. Roberts is an institutionalist and intellectually not as conservative as he was marketed. IMO.
In any event, today was a fascinating day of SCOTUS cases. Three were filed.
1. Jam et al. v. International Finance Corp. it may relate to the legal issues in the pending secret grand jury case. It deserves a look because if it is related “Kavanaugh took no part int he consideration or decision of the case.” Kavanaugh took no part in the case. I checked and he was on on the DC Circuit panel below.
Held: The IOIA affords international organizations the same immunity from suit that foreign governments enjoy today under the FSIA. Pp. 6–15.
Key take: Seven of the eight remaining justices agreed. Breyer dissented. In an issue that may touch the Mueller grand jury case makes this significant IMO.
2. Garza v. Idaho. The case involves a competence of counsel defense to a plea waiver. I didn’t dig in but if you reduce it to simplest terms the liberals would have voted to reverse.
Key take: Roberts again joins the liberals. But NB so did Kavanaugh!!!!!!!!!
Sotomayor, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Kavanaugh, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Gorsuch, J., joined, and in which Alito, J., joined as to Parts I and II.
3. MADISON v. ALABAMA. Case examines when a person is competent to be executed.
Key take: Roberts again with the liberals. And Kavanaugh took no role in the case.
Kagan, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor, JJ., joined. Alito, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Thomas and Gorsuch, JJ., joined. Kavanaugh, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Does that mean we may be seeking a six to three spit on these criminal cases? We’ll see after Kavanaugh clears his recusal and is in every case from the start.
Here’s the LINK to the three cases on the Cornell Law School site.