2009 term United States Supreme Court opinions of John Roberts

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The table below lists all opinions filed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts during the 2009 term of the Supreme Court of the United States, which began October 5, 2009 and concluded October 3, 2010. This was the fifth term of Roberts' tenure on the Court. File-Official roberts CJ cropped.jpg
John Roberts 2009 term statistics
Majority or Plurality
Concurrence/dissent Total = 19
Bench opinions = 15 Opinions relating to orders = 2 In-chambers opinions = 2
Unanimous decisions: 0 Most joined by: Scalia (11) Least joined by: Breyer (3)
Type Case Citation Issues Joined by Other opinions

Virginia v. Harris 558 U.S. ___ (2009)

Fourth Amendment  • investigative stops  • drunk driving Scalia
Roberts dissented from the Court's denial of certioriari. The Virginia Supreme Court had ruled that a police officer violated the Fourth Amendment when he stopped a driver reported to be drunk and driving dangerously, because the officer did not first independently verify that he was driving dangerously. Roberts questioned the wisdom of this rule given the imminent danger posed by drunk driving, characterizing the effect of the decision as "to grant drunk drivers 'one free swerve' before they can be pulled over by the police." Roberts noted that lower courts had split on the issue of when and whether the Fourth Amendment required independent verification. "Maybe the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court was correct," he wrote, "and the Fourth Amendment bars police from acting on anonymous tips of drunk driving unless they can verify each tip. If so, then the dangerous consequences of this rule are unavoidable. But the police should have every legitimate tool at their disposal for getting drunk drivers off the road. I would grant certioriari to determine if this is one of them."

Beard v. Kindler 558 U.S. ___ (2009)

Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor

South Carolina v. North Carolina 558 U.S. ___ (2010)

Thomas, Ginsburg, Sotomayor

Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n 558 U.S. ___ (2010)

First Amendment  • free speech  • campaign finance reform  • corporate speech

Hemi Group, LLC v. City of New York 559 U.S. ___ (2010)

Scalia, Thomas, Alito; Ginsburg (in part)

Machado v. Holder 559 U.S. ___ (2010)

Scalia, Thomas, Alito
Roberts dissented from the Court's summary granting of certiorari, vacatur of the lower Court's opinion, and remand of the case.

Jackson v. District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics 559 U.S. ___ (2010)

Same-sex marriage
Roberts denied an application for a stay of the D.C. Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in Washington, D.C. effective March 3, 2010.

United States v. Stevens 559 U.S. ___ (2010)

Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor

Conkright v. Frommert 559 U.S. ___ (2010)

Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito

Salazar v. Buono 559 U.S. ___ (2010)

First Amendment  • Establishment Clause

Renico v. Lett 559 U.S. ___ (2010)

Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito

Graham v. Florida 560 U.S. ___ (2010)


Robertson v. United States ex rel. Watson 560 U.S. ___ (2010)

Scalia, Kennedy, Sotomayor
Roberts dissented from the Court's per curiam dismissal of the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.

Alabama v. North Carolina 560 U.S. ___ (2010)


Dolan v. United States 560 U.S. ___ (2010)

Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project 561 U.S. ___ (2010)

Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito

Doe v. Reed 561 U.S. ___ (2010)

Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor

Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Bd. 561 U.S. ___ (2010)

Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito

Lux v. Rodrigues 561 U.S. ___ (2010)

Roberts denied an application for an injunction.