Yesterday, SCOTUS announced a unanimous decision against law enforcement searching personal phones without a warrant. That unanimous decision was a rarity.
So we thought.
Two more decisions were announced today. The first was a suit against Obama’s ‘recess’ appointments to the NRLB. The suit contents the appointments were illegal because Congress was not in recess. The Executive, Obama, cannot decide if/when Congress is in recess. Only Congress, the legislative branch, can make that decision. Obama lost 9-0. Another unanimous decision by SCOTUS.
Supreme Court strikes down Obama recess appointments
By JOSH GERSTEIN and JOHN BRESNAHAN | 6/26/14 10:19 AM EDT Updated: 6/26/14 10:39 AM EDT
In a rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court struck down three of his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board as unconstitutional.
The decision gives the Senate broad power to thwart future recess appointments, but did not go as far as some conservatives hoped to undercut the president’s ability to fill vacant executive branch posts and judicial slots.
The court ruled 9-0 that Obama’s appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate was not truly in recess when he made them during a three-day break in pro forma meetings of the Senate.
You can read the entire column here.
The second decision was McCullen v. Coakley. The Massachusetts state government passed a law prohibiting abortion protesters within 35 feet of an abortion facility and expressly banning them from public sidewalks and other public areas. The Court struck down the Massachusetts law, again on a 9-0 vote, as violating the 1st Amendment by prohibiting protests on public property.
U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Mass. Abortion Buffer Zone Law
June 26, 2014 11:30 AM
WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) – The United States Supreme Court has struck down the Massachusetts buffer zone law that excluded protesters outside abortion clinics.
The unanimous decision released Thursday morning overturns the state law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside the clinics, saying it violates the First Amendment rights of protesters.
Chief Justice John Roberts said authorities have less intrusive ways to deal with problems outside the clinics.
While the court was unanimous in the outcome, Roberts joined with the four liberal justices to strike down the buffer zone on narrow grounds.
In a separate opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia criticized Roberts’ opinion for carrying forward “this court’s practice of giving abortion-rights advocates a pass when it comes to suppressing the free-speech rights of their opponents.”
Liberal and conservative justices alike expressed misgivings about the law during arguments at the high court back in January.
This is the third unanimous decision released in two days. The old adage, “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, thrice is a conspiracy.” Some across the country would like to believe the latter, that the liberals on the Court have realized that Obama will not last forever and their fortunes lies elsewhere—they are no longer dependent on Obama.
Another opinion is that the easy decisions are being announced first and the more contentious will be released tomorrow, or next week. They also believe that the unanimous decisions just aren’t all that rare as many believe.
At the Supreme Court, an uptick in unanimity