American Judges Association



Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 49, Issue 4 (2013)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


T his issue features our annual review of the past Term’s decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Our regular contributors, Professor Todd Pettys, of the University of Iowa College of Law, and Professor Charles Weisselberg, of Berkeley Law, review the civil and criminal decisions in separate articles. Once again, they have concentrated on the issues most of concern to judges in state courts, which represents the majority of the American Judges Association’s membership.

As both professors note, the big decisions this Term came on the civil side, so we start with Professor Pettys review of those cases—including the striking down of key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act and the Voting Rights Act. Other civil cases included ones determining how far a city can go in giving or withholding land use permits before being required to pay for the property; one limiting the ability of lawyers to use personal information from state motor-vehicle databases to solicit clients; and another ruling (added to three in the prior Term) reversing a state court that had failed to enforce arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act. Professor Pettys also reviews cases being heard in the October 2013 Term.