Supreme Court Opinions Issued This Morning in Graham v. Florida, U.S. v. Comstock, and Abbott v. Abbott

This morning the United States Supreme Court issued three opinions.

In Graham v. Florida, the Court held that the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause does not permit a juvenile offender to be sentenced to life in prison without the opportunity for parole for a nonhomicide crime.

Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion, joined by Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. Chief Justice Roberts concurred only in the judgment. Justice Stevens filed a concurring opinion, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Scalia and in part by Justice Alito, who also filed a dissent. The opinions in Graham v. Florida are available here.

In U.S. v. Comstock, the Court upheld 18 U.S.C. ยง 4248, which allows a federal district court to order the civil commitment of a mentally ill, sexually dangerous prisoner after the date he would otherwise be released.

Justice Breyer delivered the opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor. Justices Kennedy and Alito filed concurring opinions. Justice Thomas dissented, joined in part by Justice Scalia. The opinion in U.S. v. Comstock is available here.

In Abbott v. Abbott, the Court held that a parent has a right of custody under the Hague Convention by reason of that parent’s ne exeat right, which is the authority to veto the other parent’s decision to leave the child’s country of residence.

Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion and was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Ginsburg, Alito, and Sotomayor. Justice Stevens dissented, joined by Justices Thomas and Breyer. The opinion in Abbott v. Abbott is available here.