On a memorable morning at the Supreme Court, the justices said farewell to Justice John Paul Stevens on his final day before retiring, noted the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s husband Martin, and issued landmark opinions expanding Second Amendment rights, disallowing the Bilski business methods patent, and striking down a part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Court also denied review in seven petitions filed by tobacco companies and the U.S. government challenging different parts of a lower court ruling holding tobacco companies liable under federal racketeering laws for decades of deception about the dangers of cigarettes.
Ginsburg, whose husband died Sunday, was on the bench as usual as Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. opened the session by saying he had the “very sad duty” of reporting that Martin Ginsburg, a tax law expert and teacher, had died. Roberts spoke of Ginsburg’s “sharp wit and engaging charm,” and said Martin Ginsburg had become friends with all the justices.
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