Monday, February 26, 2007

Supreme Court Prognostication Tally: One-for-One

After the Supreme Court's Philip Morris USA v. Williams opinion last week, I'm one-for-one in my September 2006 prognostication of a handful (alas, only three ;)) of especially close Supreme Court cases for the year. In Philip Morris, the Court struck down an Oregon jury's $79 million punitive damages award against the cigarette manufacturer, holding 5-4 that the award was a taking of the company's property without due process.

Money on the remaining two not yet decided by the Court, in Gonzales v. Carhart, regarding the constitutionality of Congress’s Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, is for the Court to affirm the lower courts by a 5-4 vote and strike down the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (this is close, though, and will depend on C.J. Roberts' position); and in Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, regarding the constitutionality of a school districts' requirement that schools enroll between 15-50% African-American students, is for the Court to uphold the district's plan (this too is close, though, and will hinge on where Justices Kennedy, Alito and Roberts line up).

Stay tuned....

By: Michael Anthony Lawrence