[JURIST] The United States Supreme Court [official website] handed down two decisions Monday. In Branch v. Smith [decision syllabus], the Court ruled in a complicated split decision that a federal court can redraw electoral boundaries when state redistricting procedures fail, and that federal judges correctly blocked a Mississippi state court redistricting plan that had favored Democrats. Justice Scalia wrote the Opinion [text], with a Concurrence by Justice Kennedy [concurrence text], a Concurrence by Justice Stevens [concurrence text], and Justice O'Connor and Justice Thomas [concurrence text] concurring in part and dissenting in part.
In Archer v. Warner [decision syllabus], the Court held that a debt for money promised in a settlement agreement accompanied by the release of underlying tort claims can amount to a debt for money obtained by fraud, not dischargeable in bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C. s. 523(a)(2)(A). Justice Breyer wrote the Opinion [text], with a Dissent [text] by Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Stevens.