The Supreme Court issued one opinion and a new Order List this morning. A brief summary follows:
-Shaw v. United States: By a vote of 8-0, the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is vacated and the case remanded. Per Justice Breyer's opinion for a unanimous Court: "A federal statute makes it a crime 'knowingly [to] execut[e] a scheme . . . to defraud a financial institution,' 18 U. S. C. §1344(1), for example, a federally insured bank, 18 U. S. C. §20. The petitioner, Lawrence Shaw, was convicted of violating this provision. He argues here that the provision does not apply to him because he intended to cheat only a bank depositor, not a bank. We do not accept his arguments.... [F]or purposes of the bank fraud statute, a scheme fraudulently to obtain funds from a bank depositor’s account normally is also a scheme fraudulently to obtain property from a 'financial institution,' at least where, as here, the defendant knew that the bank held the deposits, the funds obtained came from the deposit account, and the defendant misled the bank in order to obtain those funds.... Shaw further argues that the instructions the District Court gave the jury were erroneous ... [and] could be understood as permitting the jury to find him guilty if it found no more than that his scheme was one to deceive the bank but not to 'deprive' the bank of anything of value. The parties agree, as do we, that the scheme must be one to deceive the bank and deprive it of something of value.... The parties dispute whether the jury instruction is nonetheless ambiguous or otherwise improper. We leave to the Ninth Circuit to determine whether that question was fairly presented to that court and, if so, whether the instruction is lawful, and, if not, whether any error was harmless in this case."
-Aside from a few GVRs, there were no new grants of cert.
-Justice Breyer issued a statement dissenting from denial of cert in Sireci v. Florida, again calling on the Court to reconsider the constitutionality of the death penalty (Order list pp. 9-11).