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This Week’s SCOTUS Sketches

The Supreme Court heard arguments in four cases this week ( Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ), three of which I sketched.

Tuesday’s argument in Dalmazzi v. United States was a fairly esoteric, at least to me, discussion on military judges serving simultaneously on two courts. The question of whether the Supreme Court even has jurisdiction over executive branch military courts was also raised.

First up on Wednesday was Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, about overtime pay for service advisors at car dealerships. Exciting, I know. But one thing did make it a bit more interesting to draw, a pair of sign-language interpreters were present for the swearing in of members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association. Members of that bar were also able to follow the arguments on handheld devices.

More lively and interesting was Wednesday’s second case, and the last argument of the January sitting, McCoy v. Louisiana, in which death row inmate Robert McCoy argues that he should get a new trial because his own lawyer told jurors he was guilty.

Fourth Amendment Day

The justices heard arguments today in two cases arising from warrantless searches. The first, Byrd v. United States, looks at whether an unapproved driver of a rental car has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The second case, Collins v. Virginia, brings us to the word of the day, “curtilage”, as in do the police need a warrant to look under the tarp concealing the motorcycle parked on your curtilage?

To get the flavor of today’s arguments check out Mark Walsh’s “view” from the courtroom.

Original Jurisdiction Day

Despite the frigid temperature this morning people lined up for a seat to hear arguments involving water rights. The Supreme Court acts as a kind of trial court for disputes between the States in what are called original jurisdiction cases because they originate here instead of coming from the lower courts.

The cases heard today were Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado and Florida v. Georgia.