From the title of this post, you can tell there was quite a bit of activity on today’s orders list.
Due to my own poor planning (mental note: do not ask for extensions of time that end on the Friday after a SCOTX conference), I can’t run through all the details today.
The headliner will be the Court’s (final) resolution of the Severance v. Patterson Open Beaches Act case. After granting rehearing, and after a detour to the Fifth Circuit to address mootness and back, the Court has adhered to its original holding that public easements do not “roll” onto private beachfront land. The Court issued a new round of opinions (five in total, spread among the eight Justices sitting on the case).
The most unusual disposition was in Ganim v. Alattar, No. 10-0592, a case about the statute of frauds. I wrote before about the Court’s grant of rehearing, and in particular an amicus brief suggesting that the issue in Ganim might be problematic for the Court’s resolution of pending cases about the Episcopal Church. The Court must have agreed that the underlying problem in Ganim, which had originally been decided without oral argument as a per curium, was more complex than it had recognized. Today, the Court withdrew its opinion in Ganim and simply dismissed the petition as having been improvidently granted. (You can read the withdrawn opinion here.)
The Court also issued opinions in three other cases and chose six new cases for oral argument this fall.
Until I can post more about them, I’ll refer you to the very helpful summaries that the Court’s public-information officer, Osler McCarthy, has emailed out today (which you can see here).