Supreme Court Update 062112

The Supreme Court announced decisions in four cases this morning.

Southern Union Company v. United States – The Court extended the reasoning of its prior case, Apprendi v. New Jersey, to the imposition of criminal fines. Thus, a jury must make the determination of facts warranting the imposition of a fine.

Knox v. SEIU – The Court held that the First Amendment protects non-union employees by requiring public-sector unions: 1) to get affirmative consent before using funds for general electioneering purposes; and, 2) to give a fresh notice whenever new dues increases are imposed.

Dorsey v. United States and Hill v. United States – The Court applies the lower mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine offenses under the Fair Sentencing Act to defendants who were convicted before the Act went into effect but sentenced after it.

Federal Communications Commission v. Fox – The Court held that because the FCC had not given broadcasters sufficient notice of certain indecency proscriptions – fleeting expletives and momentary nudity – the FCC’s standards were unconstitutionally vague.

More decisions will be announced on Monday, June 25, 2012.

Supreme Court Decisions Remaining This Term

With today’s decisions, there are five cases yet to be decided this term.

scotus update 062112