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Six Grants and an Unsigned Ruling

By Robyn Hagan Cain on September 25, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Supreme Court issued orders this morning — at its new, earlier time — announcing six new cases for the 2012 term.

If you can't wait for this year's opinions to begin rolling out, you're in luck: The Court also issued an unsigned opinion upholding West Virginia's congressional redistricting plan, Reuters reports.

First, let's discuss the decision.

Plaintiffs in the redistricting case, Tennant v. Jefferson County Commission, claimed that West Virginia's 2011 congressional redistricting plan violated the "one person, one vote" principle. A three-judge district court panel agreed, declaring the plan "null and void" and enjoining West Virginia's Secretary of State from implementing it.

The state defendants appealed directly to the Supreme Court, which found that the district court misapplied the Karcher v. Daggett standard for evaluating such challenges, and failed to afford appropriate deference to West Virginia's reasonable exercise of its political judgment.

The Court reversed the district court, noting that it was not essential that a state draw districts with "precise mathematical equality" so long as small variations serve legitimate objectives, Reuters reports.

Now, on to the grants. The six new cases for the term are:

There are several interesting grants out of this group.

Levin v. U.S. and Millbrook v. U.S. are unusual grants because neither appellant is currently represented by counsel. Kim Lee Millbrook, a Pennsylvania inmate, wrote his petition in pencil. The other petitioner, Steven Alan Levin, may still be waiting to hear about the disposition of his petition; he doesn't have a telephone, The Associated Press reports.

Missouri v. McNeely will definitely pique DUI defense attorneys' interest. In that case, the Court will decide whether an officer can obtain a nonconsensual and warrantless blood sample from a drunk driver under the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement, SCOTUSblog reports. Considering the number of DUI attorneys across the country, we're guessing this case could be the most-amicus-briefs award winner for the 2012 term.

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