Supreme Court opens 2012 term
Supreme Court opens 2012 term
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[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] opened its 2012 term on Monday with the release of an order list [PDF] dealing with a number of petitions for certiorari and granting orders in some cases that they have not yet decided to hear. Notably, the court ordered a response petition in Liberty University v. Geithner [docket; JURIST report], which could portend a rehearing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [JURIST backgrounder].

The court asked the Solicitor General for a brief in Arzoumanian v. Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft AG [docket; case materials], a case that concerns Armenian-Americans’ ability to file claims for life insurance policies their deceased Armenian family members bought before the Armenian genocide [backgrounder], committed during World War 1. The policies were never paid out by the German insurance company. The Turkish government does not recognize the genocide and has consistently filed amicus briefs in the case to dispute those allegations.

The court gave summary dispositions in two redistricting cases, allowing both redistricting maps to stand in Radogno v. Illinois Board of Elections and Backus v. South Carolina [Justia backgrounders].

The court denied certiorari in three high profile cases. In Corbett v. United States [docket; Reason backgrounder] the court declined to consider whether body scans conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website] violate the Fourth Amendment [text]. The court also denied certiorari in Wyoming v. Dept. of Agriculture and Colorado Mining Association v. Dept. of Agriculture [JURIST report], allowing the “roadless rule” [JURIST news archive] to stand, which prevents road-building and commercial timber harvesting on expanses of roadless areas around the country, primarily the National Forests. The court also let stand a US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decision [opinion] that will compel the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) [advocacy website] to release its donor list, under a Maine campaign disclosure law. NOM is one of the most prolific advocates against same-sex marriage.

Finally, in Sibley v. Supreme Court of the United States [docket], the court granted an automatic affirmation of a DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Supreme Court has judicial immunity in the lawsuit. The court lacked a quorum in the case, as every justice except Justice Elena Kagan was implicated in the original suit, which stems back to 2006. Attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley [WP profile] sued the Supreme Court and three US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit judges for treason and violating his right to a fair tribunal, because they did not recuse themselves on a previous suit where he had declared all of them defendants.