5 “Disrespectful Dissents” This Term – Scalia had 4, Sotomayor had 1

June 29th, 2015

Commenter JusticeVC notes that this term there were 5 disrespectful dissents–that is a dissent not preceded by “respectfully.”

Justice Scalia had four.

Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama:

By playing along with appellants’ choose-your-own-adventure style of litigation, willingly turning back the page every time a strategic decision leads to a dead-end, the Court discourages careful litigation and punishes defendants who are denied both notice and repose. The consequences of this unprincipled decision will reverberate far beyond the narrow circumstances presented in this case.

Accordingly, I dissent.

Zivotofsky v. Kerry:

Under the Constitution they approved, Congress may require Zivotofsky’s passport and birth report to record his birthplace as Israel, even if that requirement clashes with the President’s preference for neutrality about the status of Jerusalem.

I dissent.

Los Angels v. Patel:

Nevertheless, the Court today concludes that Los Ange- les’s ordinance is “unreasonable” inasmuch as it permits police to flip through a guest register to ensure it is being filled out without first providing an opportunity for the motel operator to seek judicial review. Because I believe that such a limited inspection of a guest register is emi- nently reasonable under the circumstances presented, I dissent.

But in fairness to Nino, he also repsectfully dissents at the end.

Because I believe that the limited warrantless searches authorized by Los Angeles’s ordinance are reasonable under the circumstances, I respectfully dissent. 

King v. Burwell:

Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medi- caid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by liti- gants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence. And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.

I dissent.

As JustinVC notes, Nino’s Obergefell dissents was most certainly not respectful, but he didn’t close with the conventional “I dissent.”

Justice Sotomayor had one with Glossip v. Gross:

The contortions necessary to save this particular lethal injection protocol are not worth the price. I dissent.