Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Busy January for the Supreme Court

    Since the start of the new year the United States Supreme Court has been busy. Through today, the Court has issued five full rulings in January. 
    In Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. United States, the Court ruled that the wages paid medical residents are subject to Social Security withholding. The opinion can be found here.
    In Ransom v. FIA Card Services, the Court determined when a debtor in bankruptcy can deduct from his disposable income certain automobile expenses. The opinion can be found here.
    In two habeas corpus cases, Harrington v. Richter and Premo v. Moore, the Court reversed determinations by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granting the writ in favor of state inmates. The cases address when a federal habeas court can determine that a state court ruling is an unreasonable application of federal constitutional law. Harrington can be found here, and Premo can be found here.
    Finally, in National Aeronautics and Space Administration v. Nelson the Court ruled that even assuming there is a constitutional privacy interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters ("informational privacy"), NASA did not violate that privacy interest with the detailed background questionnaire required of the employees of private government contractors.