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SCOTUS watch: Decision week for Obamacare, Arizona immigration law, and more; Update: Part of Arizona immigration law upheld; Obamacare decision coming Thursday

By Doug Powers  •  June 25, 2012 09:25 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

(Scroll down for updates)

This week (possibly today) we should find out the fate of some hotly contested laws that we’ve talked about here for a long time. Drudge’s siren is warming up in the bullpen.

The “biggies” are of course Obamacare and the Arizona immigration law, but there are also a few more. SCOTUSBlog has a rundown of the remaining cases. Decisions are on the way this week (possibly this morning) regarding Obamacare and the Arizona immigration law, but here are some others:

First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards

Argued on November 28, 2011

Plain English Issue: Whether lawsuits under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which allows homebuyers to sue banks and title companies when they pay kickbacks for the closing of a mortgage loan, are constitutional if the kickback does not affect the price or quality of the services provided?

United States v. Alvarez
Argued on February 22, 2012

Plain English Issue: Whether a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about receiving military medals or honors violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to free speech.

Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs

Argued separately on March 20, 2012

Plain English Issue: Whether a sentence of life without parole for someone who was convicted of murder when he was fourteen violates the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

It’s unclear which decisions will be released today. I have a feeling the Obamacare announcement won’t come until later in the week, but we’ll see. There are actually three separate Obamacare lawsuits which, lumped together, question the constitutionality of the mandate, whether the rest of Obamacare can remain in effect if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional, and if Congress has the authority to withhold federal Medicaid funding from states that aren’t compliant with the law.

I’ll post updates as decisions are released. If SCOTUS totally punks everybody and releases no decisions today, my backup plan is that we try to guess what those deep fat fryers were doing on White House grounds.

Update: Some decisions coming down now… from the SCOTUSBlog live blog:

The Court holds that the Eighth Amendment forbids a scheme of life in prison without possibility of parole for juveniles.

Also, in a case I think I forgot to mention above, SCOTUS reversed the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling that Citizens United doesn’t apply to Montana state law (PDF). First Amendment wins again.

Arizona immigration law ruling coming down now. Ninth Circuit “reversed in part and affirmed in part.” Reuters sums it up:

Not much of a defeat, however. Here’s that ruling (PDF). The “key part” that was upheld, from my understanding, is the requirement that law enforcement check the immigration status of people they are detaining. The Court struck down other parts of the law. However, “On net, the #SB1070 decision is a significant win for the Obama Administration. It got almost everything it wanted.”

SCOTUSBlog is reporting there will be no ruling on Obamacare today. That will come on Thursday at 10 a.m.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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