Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice’s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice.
- A federal court in DC rejected a coalition of Alabama conservative groups’ claim that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional in an opinion by conservative George W. Bush appointee Judge John Bates.
- Meanwhile, a Republican judge in the same court seems poised to strike down graphic new cigarette labels that are required under FDA regulations which go into effect next year.
- The National Review gives aid and comfort to Rick Perry’s absurd suggestion that Social Security is unconstitutional.
- Fulton County, Georgia reaches an agreement to address its illegal prison overcrowding.
- Judge Richard Posner has faint praise for the Supreme Court: “One shouldn’t exaggerate the quality of judges and justices. Law isn’t the calling of geniuses. The Supreme Court today is composed of competent lawyers, and one should probably leave it at that.”
- And, finally, on the day after Georgia killed a potentially innocent man, a reminder of what Justice Scalia had to say the last time Troy Davis was before the Supreme Court:
This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.