* A unanimous Ninth Circuit panel has held that federal statute prohibiting the possession of firearms by an alien unlawfully present in the United States withstands constitutional scrutiny and is a valid exercise of Congress’s authority. It is important to note that the fact that the statute was federal is important, because the federal government has the exclusive power to regulate immigration. A similar state statute would probably be unconstitutional on federalism grounds. The argument that the Second Amendment right extended to all persons regardless of citizenship status wasn't frivolous, as most of the protections of the Bill of Rights apply to all persons without regard to citizenship status, but the Second Amendment's reference to a "well regulated" militia means that reasonable regulation of Second Amendment rights is allowed and this regulation was found to be a reasonable one.
* The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Federal Arbitration Act allows the determination of whether a dispute is subject to arbitration in a contract to be allocated to an arbitrator in an arbitration clause and that no exception that that rule exists even if the claim that the dispute is subject to arbitration is clearly groundless. This opinion for a unanimous court in Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc. is one of the first from Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. This continues a long line of case in which arbitration clauses have been upheld in the face of low court efforts to narrow their scope and effect.
* U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas delivered an opinion for a unanimous Court in Culbertson v. Berryhill, holding that the 25% of recovery statutory cap on attorneys' fees in Social Security benefits cases applies to two different reasons that attorneys' fees can be awarded by statute separately, rather than capping the combined total of two kind of attorneys' fees that can be awarded under the statute. This effectively doubles the maximum amount of attorneys' fees that may be awarded in Social Security benefits litigation. This technical decision is contrary to prevailing wisdom about how the cap applied (and is probably also contrary to legislative intent), and flows from poor drafting in the statute. The cap is quite restrictive, making these cases unattractive to lawyers and the new rule will make such cases more attractive to lawyers, but at the cost of leaving beneficiaries with a reduced share of already modest benefits in many cases.