At the Supremes: Laughs, opinions, and lively debate

Today was as busy day inside the Supreme Court building. 

But before we get to the news of the day, here is a quick update on The Funniest Justice tally. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is now on the board! Ginsburg made the crowd in the courtroom laugh not once, but twice today. Now only the ever-silent Justice Clarence Thomas has yet to make a funny comment – or any comment – this term. On Thursday DC Dicta will give a complete update on exactly how many laughs each justice has earned so far this term. (Here’s a hint: Scalia’s still way ahead).

In other Supreme news, the Court issued its first two full opinions of the term, which were both unanimously decided:

In Logan v. United States, No. 06-6911, an opinion penned by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held that the “civil rights restored” exclusion of the provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s sentence-enhancement provision does not apply in cases where a defendant’s civil rights were never lost.

The Court also ruled in CSX Transportation v. State Board of Equalization, No. 06-1287, that railroad carriers may challenge formulas used by the state to valuate railroad property under a federal statute that bars states from discriminating against out-of-state carriers. That opinion was authored by Chief Justices John G. Roberts, Jr.

The opinions should be up on the Court’s website sometime today, and when they are, you’ll be able to find them here.

The court also heard lively oral arguments in the cases of Riegel v. Medtronic and and Snyder v. Lousiana. DC Dicta will have more on those later.

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