Supreme Court 2011 Term

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The Supreme Court 2011 Term began in October 2011 and ended in June 2012. Only about 75 cases were heard by the Court this Term, many of which related to criminal procedure or business disputes.

Key cases include:

  • the Anti-Injunction Act did not prevent the courts from reviewing the constitutionality of ObamaCare at this time
  • by a 5-4 vote, "The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress's power under the Commerce Clause. ... In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes ...."
  • because the individual mandate was upheld, there was no need to consider whether it needs to be severed from the remainder
  • the Court held for the States against compelling them to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare
  • a challenge to the Arizona illegal alien law
  • by a 6-3 vote, the Stolen Valor Act is held to be unconstitutional
  • by a 5-4 vote, a mandatory prison sentence of life without parole for a crime committed by a 14-year-old was ruled unconstitutional
  • whether criminal defendants have a constitutional right to cross-examine the person who tested the DNA upon which the prosecution relies
  • constitutionality of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
  • constitutionality of a fine against Fox for bad words on television (FCC v. Fox)
  • whether non-union public employees can be required to contribute to political funds for the union (Knox v. SEIU)
  • constitutionality of criminal fines despite a lack of a finding by a jury of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (Southern Union Company v. United States)
  • whether the Fair Sentencing Act applies to everyone sentenced after the passage of the federal statute (Dorsey v. United States)
  • by a 9-0 vote, the Court upheld the ministerial exception to employment law that enables a religious institution to fire employees in "minister"-like positions (including teachers) without being subjected to anti-discrimination and other labor laws
  • a patent case
  • by a 5-4 decision, the Court remanded a case concerning administration by California of its Medicaid program
  • by a 9-0 vote, absolute immunity was extended to a witness in a grand jury proceeding, in a lawsuit brought under Section 1983