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Arizona Redistricting Opinion and DUI Argument

On Wednesday the Supreme Court released three opinions, two of which made news, one of which – Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission – I sketched. I would’ve sketched the opinion in Bank Markazi v Peterson, that upheld a law directing Iranian assets to go to victims of terrorism, except I really couldn’t see much of Justice Ginsburg’s tiny figure hunched behind the bench as she delivered the opinion.

Sketches of the argument in Birchfield v. North Dakota, actually three cases concerning state laws that make it a crime to refuse a warrantless blood-alcohol test when stopped for DUI, are below.

Motor Voter, Right to Silence and More

For a day without a real blockbuster it turned out to be an unusually busy one for me.

Among the Supreme Court decisions today was one that overturned an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. In an opinion announced by Justice Scalia the Court found that the federal Motor Voter law preempts Arizona’s law.

In another opinion, this one from Justice Alito, the Court said that if you want to  preserve your right to remain silent you’ve got to speak up.

I also finished a couple sketches I had started earlier, the Great Hall . . . . . . . and General Suter, the Clerk of the Court, calling up admissions to the bar.

This Land Is (Not) Your Land

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Things just kept getting better for Arizona governor Jan Brewer, in the right foreground above, and the state’s mean-spirited anti-immigration law, SB 1070, especially when the Chief Justice cut off Solicitor General Verrilli before he could even begin his argument saying, “No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it?” Which, of course, is the elephant in the room.

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When Verrilli later in his argument sought to illustrate the harrasment of legal Latinos by citing population percentages Scalia interjected, “Sounds like racial profiling to me”.

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The lawyer for Arizona, Paul Clement, on the other hand faced moderate questions from the Justices as he sought to soften the edges of a harsh law.

Dahlia Lithwick’s story here.