December 18, 2013

Three opinions — including high-profile, affirmative-action-related decision — filing tomorrow

The Supreme Court tomorrow will file opinions in three cases, all argued in October at U.C. Berkeley or the court’s San Francisco courtroom.

One decision that will likely get media attention is the opinion in Sander v. State Bar of California.

The issues in Sander as stated on the court’s website are:  (1) What ground, if any, exists for finding that the information sought by plaintiffs is information that is subject to public disclosure?  (2) What is the effect, if any, of the representation of confidentiality made by the State Bar to the individuals from whom the information was collected?  (3) Does the form in which the requested information is regularly maintained affect whether the State Bar must provide the requested information?

However, as noted, Sander is not just any public-records/privacy case.  The plaintiff is a UCLA law professor who wants the bar to disclose demographic information for his academic research on discrepancies in bar passage rates among racial and ethnic groups.

The court will also issue opinions in (1) Beeman v. Anthem Prescription Management, LLC, where the court will answer this question from an en banc Ninth Circuit panel: Does California Civil Code section 2527 – a statute requiring drug claims processors to generate studies about pharmacy pricing, summarize the results, and disseminate the information to their clients — compel speech in violation of article I, section 2, of the California Constitution?, and (2) People v. Williams, an automatic direct appeal from an August 2003 judgment of death.

All three opinions can be viewed online tomorrow beginning at 10:00 a.m.

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