Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Supremes lying low

The U.S. Supreme Court began its term on Monday, and based on the cases accepted so far, it's looking like a less controversial term than last year -- nibbling around the edges of ambiguities in prior decisions rather than taking on core constitutional issues. This Register editorial suggests the election and a desire not to call too much attention to the court during the remaining campaign season as a possible reason, and I suspect it is at least a contributing factor.

Nonetheless, a few cases are likely to attract some attention: a quasi-religious outfit called Summum that wants to erect a stone monument with it's Seven Aphorisms in a city park in Utah that has a Ten Commandments monument, a case that will decide whether a union that charges "agency" fees to non-members can use the money to help other unions recruit, and a challenge to the absurd fine the FCC issued for incidental f-bombs during awards ceremonies. My thanks to John Eastman, dean of Chapman University's Law School for advice and counsel on this one.

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