2011 term United States Supreme Court opinions of Clarence Thomas

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The 2011 term of the Supreme Court of the United States began October 3, 2011, and concluded September 30, 2012. This was the twenty-first term of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas's tenure on the Court. Clarence Thomas official SCOTUS portrait.jpg
Clarence Thomas 2011 term statistics
6
Majority or Plurality
6
Concurrence
0
Other
5
Dissent
1
Concurrence/dissent Total = 18
Bench opinions = 17 Opinions relating to orders = 1 In-chambers opinions = 0
Unanimous opinions: 1 Most joined by: Scalia (7) Least joined by: Ginsburg (2)
Type Case Citation Issues Joined by Other opinions
401



Utah Highway Patrol v. American Atheists, Inc. • [full text] 565 U.S. ___ (2011)

First Amendment  • Establishment Clause  • religious displays on government property
Thomas dissented from the Court's denial of certiorari, in a case in which the placement on public land of large crosses to commemorate the deaths of highway patrol officers was ruled unconstitutional. Thomas criticized the lack of clarity and indeterminacy of the Court's tests for whether such a display violated the First Amendment, and noted what he saw as the confusion and contradictions this caused in lower court rulings. "It is difficult to imagine an area of the law more in need of clarity," Thomas wrote, urging the Court to address this problem even if it did not adopt his view that the Establishment Clause only applied to the Federal Government and only prohibited "actual legal coercion."
402



Smith v. Cain 565 U.S. ___ (2012)

Due Process Clause  • Brady disclosure  • materiality of witness impeachment evidence
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Roberts
203



Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC 565 U.S. ___ (2012)

Americans with Disabilities Act  • First Amendment  • ministerial exception to employment discrimination laws
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Roberts
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Alito
104



Pacific Operators Offshore, LLP v. Valladolid 565 U.S. ___ (2012)

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act  • Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act  • coverage of injury occurring on land Roberts, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan
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Scalia
205



Perry v. New Hampshire 565 U.S. ___ (2012)

Due Process Clause  • eyewitness identification made under suggestible circumstances
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Ginsburg
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Sotomayor
206



Perry v. Perez • [full text] 565 U.S. ___ (2012)

Voting Rights Act of 1965  • preclearance  • redistricting
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per curiam
Thomas concurred in the Court's vacatur and remand of a District Court's interim redistricting map for Texas, a state that was subject to preclearance requirements for state redistricting plans under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. While the Court's decision was based upon the District Court's departures from the state's plan that were not based upon legal flaws or other clear standards, Thomas instead believed that section 5 was unconstitutional. Texas should, therefore, have been able to implement its proposed redistricting map for the 2012 election, unless and until there was a finding against it under the alleged violations of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or the U.S. Constitution.
107



Kawashima v. Holder 565 U.S. ___ (2012)

immigration law  • conviction for false tax return as basis for deportation Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, Sotomayor
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Ginsburg
108



Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp. 565 U.S. ___ (2012)

Locomotive Inspection Act  • injury from asbestos exposure  • state law claims for defective design and failure to warn  • federal preemption Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, Kagan
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Kagan
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Sotomayor
209



Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Md. 566 U.S. ___ (2012)

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993  • self-care provision  • Fourteenth Amendment  • abrogation of state sovereign immunity
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Kennedy
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Scalia
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Ginsburg
110



Kappos v. Hyatt 566 U.S. ___ (2012)

patent law  • introduction of new evidence in challenge to denial of patent application Unanimous
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Sotomayor
211



Wood v. Milyard 566 U.S. ___ (2012)

habeas corpus  • court of appeals raising sua sponte deliberately forfeited statute of limitation defense Scalia
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Ginsburg
112



Reichle v. Howards 566 U.S. ___ (2012)

First Amendment  • retaliatory arrest  • qualified immunity  • Secret Service Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, Sotomayor
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Ginsburg
113



Elgin v. Department of Treasury 567 U.S. ___ (2012)

Civil Service Reform Act of 1978  • Merit Systems Protection Board  • jurisdiction over constitutional claims by federal employees Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor
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Alito
214



Williams v. Illinois 567 U.S. ___ (2012)

Sixth Amendment  • Confrontation Clause  • expert testimony
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Alito
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Breyer
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Kagan
315



Arizona v. United States 567 U.S. ___ (2012)

immigration  • federal preemption  • Arizona SB 1070
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Kennedy
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Scalia
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Alito
416



Miller v. Alabama 567 U.S. ___ (2012)

Eighth Amendment  • Cruel and Unusual Punishment  • sentencing of juveniles to life without parole Scalia
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Kagan
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Breyer
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Roberts
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Alito
417



National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius 567 U.S. ___ (2012)

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  • individual mandate  • Anti-Injunction Act  • Commerce Clause  • Necessary and Proper Clause  • Medicaid expansion  • coercive conditions on federal spending
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Roberts
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Ginsburg
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Thomas
Signed jointly with Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito.
418



National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius 567 U.S. ___ (2012)

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  • individual mandate  • Commerce Clause  •
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Roberts
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Ginsburg
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Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito
In addition to the four-justice, jointly-authored dissent, Thomas filed a separate dissent.

References