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Sam Heldman


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Monday, April 07, 2003
Today's Opinions

The Court today handed down No. 01-1289, State Farm Mut. Auto. v. Campbell. In an opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Court REVERSED. Both Sam and I predicted AFFIRM.

The Court also decided No. 02-215, Pacificare Health Systems v. Book. Both Sam and I correctly predicted that the Court would REVERSE, which it did in an opinion by Justice Scalia.

Finally, in the cross burning case, No. 01-1107, Virginia v. Black, the Court in an opinion by Justice O'Connor, AFFIRMED in part, vacated in part, and remanded. Sam and I predicted AFFIRM. I presume that the Court affirmed the part about the cross-burning law being unconstitutional.

Update: It turns out, as everyone knows by now, that the Court acutally upheld the constitutionality of a law banning cross burning with intent to intimidate. The Court affirmed the dismissal of one of the respondents, whose jury had been informed that it could find the intent based on the cross burning itself, and remanded for an authoritative determination of the presumption of intent jury instruction. Even so, I am counting this as a correct prediction. The court did affirm at least one dismissal, and did not reverse any.