On Monday morning the Court is once again scheduled to sit to release opinions in argued cases (as well as orders from its June 21 Conference).  Counting the health care cases as one “case,” and the juvenile life-without-parole cases as one “case” too, this week the Court will decide five argued cases, issuing between six and eight opinions.  The Court could also issue one or more “summary reversals,” for example in the Montana campaign finance case or the Comcast class action case.

Although Monday is the last day on which the Court is currently scheduled to release decisions, it almost certainly will add one or two additional decision days:  Wednesday and/or Thursday.  When we have more details on the schedule, we’ll post it.

Here – after the jump – are the “Plain English” questions at issue in each of the outstanding cases.     

First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards

Argued on November 28, 2011

Plain English Issue: Whether lawsuits under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which allows homebuyers to sue banks and title companies when they pay kickbacks for the closing of a mortgage loan, are constitutional if the kickback does not affect the price or quality of the services provided?

United States v. Alvarez

Argued on February 22, 2012

Plain English Issue: Whether a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about receiving military medals or honors violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to free speech.

Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs

Argued separately on March 20, 2012

Plain English Issue: Whether a sentence of life without parole for someone who was convicted of murder when he was fourteen violates the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The health care cases:

Argued March 26-28, 2012

Plain English Issue: (1) Whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to require virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty; and (2) whether the Anti-Injunction Act, which prohibits taxpayers from filing a lawsuit to challenge a tax until the tax goes into effect and they are required to pay it, prohibits a challenge to the Act’s provision requiring virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty until after the provision goes into effect in 2014.

Plain English Issue: (1) Whether Congress can require states to choose between complying with provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or losing federal funding for the Medicaid program; and (2) whether, if the Court concludes that the provision of the Act requiring virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional, the rest of the Act can remain in effect or must also be invalidated.

Plain English Issue: (1) Whether Congress can require states to choose between complying with provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or losing federal funding for the Medicaid program; and (2) whether, if the Court concludes that the provision of the Act requiring virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional, the rest of the Act can remain in effect or must also be invalidated.

Arizona v. United States

Argued April 25, 2012

Plain English Issue: Whether an Arizona law that, among other things, requires police officers to check the immigration status of anyone whom they arrest, allows police to stop and arrest anyone whom they believe to be an illegal immigrant, makes it a crime for someone to be in the state without valid immigration papers, and makes it a crime to apply for or hold a job in Arizona without proper papers, is invalid because it is trumped by federal immigration laws.


 

Posted in Plain English / Cases Made Simple

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, The remaining merits cases as of June 23: In Plain English, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 23, 2012, 9:06 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/06/the-remaining-merits-cases-as-of-june-23-in-plain-english/