2006 term per curiam opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States

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The Supreme Court of the United States handed down eight per curiam opinions during its 2006 term, which began October 2, 2006 and concluded September 30, 2007.[1]

Because per curiam decisions are issued from the Court as an institution, these opinions all lack the attribution of authorship or joining votes to specific justices. All justices on the Court at the time the decision was handed down are assumed to have participated and concurred unless otherwise noted.

Court membershipEdit

Chief Justice: John Roberts

Associate Justices: John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito

Purcell v. GonzalezEdit

Full caption:Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Recorder, et al. v. Maria v. Gonzalez, et al.
Citations:549 U.S. 1; 2006 U.S. LEXIS 8000
Prior history:Injunction denied, No. 06-1268, D. Ariz. Sept. 11, 2006; injunction granted, 9th Cir.
Full text of the opinion:official slip opinion

549 U.S. 1
Decided October 20, 2006.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.

Stevens filed a concurring opinion.

Burton v. StewartEdit

Full caption:Lonnie Lee Burton v. Belinda Stewart, Superintendent, Stafford Creek Corrections Center
Citations:549 U.S. 147
Prior history:Petition denied, sub nom., Burton v. Walter, W.D. Wash.; affirmed, 21 Fed. Appx. 632 (9th Cir. 2001); cert. denied, 535 U.S. 1060 (2002); second petition denied, sub nom., Burton v. Waddington, W.D. Wash.; affirmed, 142 Fed. Appx. 297 (9th Cir. 2005)
Full text of the opinion:official slip opinion

549 U.S. 147
Decided January 9, 2007.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.

Lance v. CoffmanEdit

Full caption:Keith Lance v. Mike Coffman, Colorado Secretary of State
Citations:549 U.S. 437
Prior history:Dismissed, sub nom., Lance v. Dennis, 379 F. Supp. 2d 1117 D. Colo. (2005); vacated, remanded, 546 U.S. 459 (2006); dismissed in part, 444 F. Supp. 2d 1149 (D. Colo. 2006)
Full text of the opinion:official slip opinion

549 U.S. 437
Decided March 5, 2007.
District Court for the District of Colorado vacated in part and remanded, affirmed in part.

Roper v. WeaverEdit

Full caption:Don Roper, Superintendent, Potosi Correction Center, Petitioner v. William Weaver
Citations:550 U.S. 598
Prior history:Sentence vacated, sub nom. Weaver v. Bowersox, 438 F.3d 832 (8th Cir. 2006)
Full text of the opinion:official slip opinion

550 U.S. 598
Decided May 21, 2007.
Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Dismissed.

The Court dismissed certiorari as improvidently granted, writing that it was "now aware of circumstances that persuade us that dismissal of the writ is the appropriate manner in which to dispose of this case." The Court had granted review to decide whether the Court of Appeals had correctly applied the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) in setting aside Weaver's capital sentence that he challenged by a petition of habeas corpus. Upon review, the Court discovered that Weaver only filed the current habeas petition after the enactment of AEDPA because the District Court had erroneously dismissed Weaver's first petition. As two other petitioners were "virtually identically situated" to Weaver yet not governed by AEDPA's stricter standards, the Court dismissed so a different legal standard would not apply to Weaver's case simply because the District Court had committed an error.

Roberts filed an opinion concurring in the dismissal, stating that he did not agree with all of the reasons given in the Court's per curiam opinion, but that he agreed with the disposition. Scalia filed a dissent, which Thomas and Alito joined.

Los Angeles County v. RetteleEdit

Full caption:Los Angeles County, California, et al. v. Max Rettele et al.
Citations:550 U.S. 609; 2007 U.S LEXIS 5900
Prior history:Summary judgment for defendants; reversed, 186 Fed. Appx. 765 (9th Cir. 2006); rehearing en banc denied
Full text of the opinion:official slip opinion

550 U.S. 609
Decided May 21, 2007.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed.

The Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures was not violated when officers execute a valid warrant and act in a reasonable manner, even though the individual in the home they searched was engaging in private, non-criminal activity.

The District Court had granted summary judgment in favor of the County of Los Angeles. The Ninth Circuit reversed, concluding that the deputies violated the Fourth Amendment and were not entitled to qualified immunity, because a reasonable deputy would have stopped the search upon discovering that the respondents were of a different race than the suspects and because a reasonable deputy would not have ordered respondents, who were unclothed, from their bed.

The Court reversed, stating that because the Fourth Amendment allows warrants to issue based on probable cause, "a standard well short of absolute certainty. Valid warrants will issue to search the innocent, and people like Rettele and Sadler unfortunately bear the cost. Officers executing search warrants on occasion enter a house when residents are engaged in private activity; and the resulting frustration, embarrassment, and humiliation may be real, as was true here. When officers execute a valid warrant and act in a reasonable manner to protect themselves from harm, however, the Fourth Amendment is not violated."

Justice Stevens filed a concurring opinion, which Justice Ginsburg joined. Justice Souter would have denied certiorari.

Erickson v. PardusEdit

Full caption:William Erickson v. Barry J. Pardus, et al.
Citations:551 U.S. 89
Prior history:Dismissed, D. Colo.; affirmed, 198 Fed. Appx. 694 (10th Cir. 2006)
Full text of the opinion:official slip opinion

551 U.S. 89
Decided June 4, 2007.
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.

Scalia noted, without separate opinion, that he would deny certiorari. Thomas filed a dissent.


  1. ^ Descriptions of two decisions have been omitted. Toledo-Flores v. United States, 549 U.S. 69 (2006) is a one-line dismissal of certiorari as improvidently granted. In Claiborne v. United States, 551 U.S. 87 (2007), the Court vacated the lower court's judgment as moot, upon being notified that the petitioner had died.


  • "2006 Term Opinions of the Court". Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved March 20, 2010..