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This Week on First Street: Supreme Court Orders and More

By Robyn Hagan Cain on December 12, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It was a big morning for Supreme Court orders with four granted cases to be heard in three oral arguments, two issued opinions, one hot-button immigration case ... and a partridge in a pear tree.

Let's start with what will surely be the second-most talked-about case of the year: the Arizona immigration law challenge.

The Court has granted certiorari in Arizona v. U.S., questioning the constitutionality of Arizona S.B. 1070. While no date has been set for oral arguments, the Justices will consider whether federal immigration laws preclude Arizona's attempt at cooperative law enforcement and facially preempt four provisions of S.B. 1070.

Justice Kagan did not take part in the consideration of the petition.

The Nine also agreed to hear a sovereign immunity case regarding Indian trust lands in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak and Salazar v. Patchak, consolidated, and a bankruptcy case, RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank.

In addition to Supreme Court orders, we have two unanimous opinions today.

First, Justice Kagan wrote for the Court in Judulang v. Holder finding that the Board of Immigration Appeals' policy for deciding when resident aliens may apply to the Attorney General for relief from deportation under a now-repealed provision of the immigration laws was arbitrary and capricious.

The decision stays the deportation of Joel Judulang, a permanent resident from the Philippines. The government refused to permit Judulang to apply for an exception from deportation proceedings after Judulang pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was subsequently arrested for theft, reports the Associated Press.

In the second case, Hardy v. Cross, the Court issued a per curiam opinion reversing a Seventh Circuit decision in a habeas corpus appeal. The Seventh Circuit had previously overturned Irving Cross' conviction on Confrontation Clause grounds, finding that the state could not use prior testimony from a key witness against Cross during retrial because the prosecution had not made a good faith effort to locate the witness.

The Court found that the Seventh Circuit should have given deference to the trial court decision under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act because the trial court had reached a reasonable decision.

Today's orders should be the last set of Supreme Court orders for 2011, but we'll keep you updated with news on briefs, oral argument schedules, and miscellaneous orders as we count down the remaining days of 2011, and help you prepare for the nudity-and-expletive-filled fun of FCC v. Fox when the oral arguments resume in January.

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