2006 term per curiam opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States

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The Supreme Court of the United States handed down eight per curiam opinions during its 2006 term, which began on October 2, 2006 and concluded September 30, 2007.[1]

Because per curiam decisions are issued from the Court as an institution, these opinions all lack the attribution of authorship or joining votes to specific justices. All justices on the Court at the time the decision was handed down are assumed to have participated and concurred unless otherwise noted.

Court membership[edit]

Chief Justice: John Roberts

Associate Justices: John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito

Purcell v. Gonzalez[edit]

549 U.S. 1

Decided October 20, 2006

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.

Stevens filed a concurring opinion.

Full case name: Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Recorder, et al. v. Maria v. Gonzalez, et al.
Citations: 549 U.S. 1; 2006 U.S. LEXIS 8000
Prior history: Injunction denied, No. 06-1268, D. Ariz. Sept. 11, 2006; injunction granted, 9th Cir.
Full text of the Court's decision (.pdf)

Burton v. Stewart[edit]

549 U.S. 147

Decided January 9, 2007

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.

Full case name: Lonnie Lee Burton v. Belinda Stewart, Superintendent, Stafford Creek Corrections Center
Citations: 549 U.S. 147
Prior history: Petition denied, sub nom., Burton v. Walter, W.D. Wash.; affirmed, 21 Fed. Appx. 632 (9th Cir. 2001); cert. denied, 535 U.S. 1060 (2002); second petition denied, sub nom., Burton v. Waddington, W.D. Wash.; affirmed, 142 Fed. Appx. 297 (9th Cir. 2005)
Full text of the Court's decision (.pdf)

Lance v. Coffman[edit]

549 U.S. 437

Decided March 5, 2007

District Court for the District of Colorado vacated in part and remanded, affirmed in part.

Full case name: Keith Lance v. Mike Coffman, Colorado Secretary of State
Citations: 549 U.S. 437
Prior history: Dismissed, sub nom., Lance v. Dennis, 379 F. Supp. 2d 1117 D. Colo. (2005); vacated, remanded, 546 U.S. 459 (2006); dismissed in part, 444 F. Supp. 2d 1149 (D. Colo. 2006)
Full text of the Court's decision (.pdf)

Roper v. Weaver[edit]

550 U.S. 598

Decided May 21, 2007

Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Dismissed.

The Court dismissed certiorari as improvidently granted, writing that it was "now aware of circumstances that persuade us that dismissal of the writ is the appropriate manner in which to dispose of this case." The Court had granted review to decide whether the Court of Appeals had correctly applied the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) in setting aside Weaver's capital sentence that he challenged by a petition of habeas corpus. Upon review, the Court discovered that Weaver only filed the current habeas petition after the enactment of AEDPA because the District Court had erroneously dismissed Weaver's first petition. As two other petitioners were "virtually identically situated" to Weaver yet not governed by AEDPA's stricter standards, the Court dismissed so a different legal standard would not apply to Weaver's case simply because the District Court had committed an error.

Roberts filed an opinion concurring in the dismissal, stating that he did not agree with all of the reasons given in the Court's per curiam opinion, but that he agreed with the disposition. Scalia filed a dissent, which Thomas and Alito joined.

Full case name: Don Roper, Superintendent, Potosi Correction Center, Petitioner v. William Weaver
Citations: 550 U.S. 598
Prior history: Sentence vacated, sub nom. Weaver v. Bowersox, 438 F.3d 832 (8th Cir. 2006)
Full text of the Court's decision (.pdf)

Los Angeles County v. Rettele[edit]

550 U.S. 609

Decided May 21, 2007

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed.

The Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures was not violated when officers execute a valid warrant and act in a reasonable manner, even though the individual in the home they searched was engaging in private, non-criminal activity.

The District Court had granted summary judgment in favor of the County of Los Angeles. The Ninth Circuit reversed, concluding that the deputies violated the Fourth Amendment and were not entitled to qualified immunity, because a reasonable deputy would have stopped the search upon discovering that the respondents were of a different race than the suspects and because a reasonable deputy would not have ordered respondents, who were unclothed, from their bed.

The Court reversed, stating that because the Fourth Amendment allows warrants to issue based on probable cause, "a standard well short of absolute certainty. Valid warrants will issue to search the innocent, and people like Rettele and Sadler unfortunately bear the cost. Officers executing search warrants on occasion enter a house when residents are engaged in private activity; and the resulting frustration, embarrassment, and humiliation may be real, as was true here. When officers execute a valid warrant and act in a reasonable manner to protect themselves from harm, however, the Fourth Amendment is not violated."

Stevens filed a concurring opinion, which Ginsberg joined. Souter would have denied certiorari.

Full case name: Los Angeles County, California, et al. v. Max Rettele et al.
Citations: 550 U.S. 609; 2007 U.S LEXIS 5900
Prior history: Summary judgment for defendants; reversed, 186 Fed. Appx. 765 (9th Cir. 2006); rehearing en banc denied
Full text of the Court's decision (.pdf)

Erickson v. Pardus[edit]

551 U.S. 89

Decided June 4, 2007

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.

Scalia noted, without separate opinion, that he would deny certiorari. Thomas filed a dissent.

Full case name: William Erickson v. Barry J. Pardus, et al.
Citations: 551 U.S. 89
Prior history: Dismissed, D. Colo.; affirmed, 198 Fed. Appx. 694 (10th Cir. 2006)
Full text of the Court's decision (.pdf)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Descriptions of two decisions have been omitted. Toledo-Flores v. United States, 549 U.S. 69 (2006) is a one-line dismissal of certiorari as improvidently granted. In Claiborne v. United States, 551 U.S. 87 (2007), the Court vacated the lower court's judgment as moot, upon being notified that the petitioner had died.

References[edit]