On an eventful morning at the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued her first opinion as a justice: Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter, involving the attorney-client privilege. As is customary with first opinions, it was unanimous, though Justice Clarence Thomas filed a concurrence. The justices handed down three other opinions—Alvarez v. Smith, Union Pacific Railroad v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and Beard v. Kindler—but not the big decision that most anxiously awaited: the campaign finance case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
After the rulings were announced, the Court heard oral arguments in two closely watched cases testing the federal "honest services" fraud statute—Black v. United States and Weyhrauch v. United States. Justices from all sides of the spectrum seemed critical of the law's expansive language. Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben strenuously defended the law, but the law seemed in peril. More later on today's Court action at this blog and at nlj.com.