The Supreme Court continued to clear out the underbrush of its remaining rulings for the term, while saving the marquee decisions on health care reform and immigration for next week.
In spite of a fresh round of rumors that the Court would issue the health care rulings this morning, the justices announced four less-anticipated opinions: FCC v. Fox Television Stations, deciding narrowly that television networks were given inadequate notice about the Federal Communications Commission's broadcast indecency standards; Dorsey v. United States, applying new lower mandatory minimum sentences on cocaine crimes to a broader range of offenders; Southern Union v. United States, which extends Apprendi v. New Jersey standards to criminal fines as well as prison sentences; and Knox v. SEIU, ruling against labor unions on the notice that non-members must be given when unions levy a special assessment. The union case prompted Justice Stephen Breyer to read from his dissent -- the third time this term a justice has dissented from the bench.
With six decisions (if the health care cases are counted as one) left to hand down before the Court recesses for the summer, it is likely to add another decision day to supplement Monday, which is currently the only sitting scheduled for next week. The Court is likely to announce today or tomorrow which day or days it will hand down opinions next week in addition to Monday.