The Supreme Court Report 2005-06

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Document Type



This article reviews the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court for the 2005-2006 term focusing on decisions of particular relevance to state and local government. The Court's 2005-06 Term began with much speculation as one, then a second new Justice joined the Court. After the close of the 2004-05 Term, the Court suffered the loss of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who succumbed to the thyroid cancer that had plagued him during that Term. President Bush ultimately replaced him with Judge John G. Roberts, who began the new Term and authored his fi rst opinion, the traditional 9-0 opinion of a new Justice, in a death penalty case, United States v. Holmes. The Term began with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor still sitting, although she had announced her retirement from the Court even before the death of Justice Rehnquist. O'Connor's replacement, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., ultimately joined the Court replacing her with a Justice who was not seen as the moderate force O'Connor had been. O'Connor did participate in the parental notification abortion case, the Court's first in five years, a case that was slated to determine the continuing viability of O'Connor's "undue burden" standard and expected to give conservatives an opportunity to replace that standard with one more to their liking. That did not happen this Term, however, and, in that case, like in many others this Term, the fears that the new Court, with its new Bush appointees, would take a sharp right turn did not yet materialize.

Publication Title

Urban Lawyer