On Friday the Court granted two new cases from its January 23 Conference. Lyle covered those orders here. On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect additional orders from the January 23 Conference, as well as one or more opinions in argued cases at 10:00. We will be live-blogging here.
The petition of the day is:
Issue: (1) Whether a government policy expressly excluding “religious worship services” from a broadly open forum violates the Free Exercise Clause and Establishment Clause; and (2) whether a government policy expressly excluding “religious worship services” from a broadly open forum violates the Free Speech Clause.
The Supreme Court agreed on Friday afternoon to hear the appeal of three Oklahoma death-row inmates who are challenging the three-drug protocol the state now uses for executions. The Court on January 15 had refused, by a five-to-four vote, to grant delays of four inmates’ executions, and one of them was put to death that night. The other three remain in the case.
Even while agreeing to hear the case, the Justices took no action — at least not immediately — to put off any of the execution dates for the three still involved. The next such date is next Thursday.
The Court, in a separate order, agreed to clarify when an agent of a foreign government may be sued in U.S. courts for an overseas incident involving an official agency of the foreign state. That case is OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs, involving a California woman who was injured in an accident in Austria involving the railroad owned by the Austrian government. The woman lost both legs in the accident. Continue reading »
Oyez has posted audio recordings of this week’s oral arguments.
The Court heard arguments this week in:
The Court was not in session yesterday, but coverage of and commentary on the Court’s actions this week continue. On Wednesday, the Court heard oral arguments in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, in which it is considering whether the Fair Housing Act provides a cause of action based on disparate impact. I covered the arguments in Plain English for this blog, with other coverage from Sam Hananel of the Associated Press (via Yahoo! News); commentary comes from Garrett Epps in The Atlantic, Elizabeth Warren in The Washington Post, Steven Mazie in The Economist (registration or subscription required), Mark Joseph Stern of Slate, Zachary Roth at MSNBC, and the editorial boards of The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News. Continue reading »
The petition of the day is:
Issue: Whether, when a court of appeals issues a general remand for resentencing, the district court may conduct resentencing de novo.
On Wednesday January 28, at 4 p.m., the Supreme Court Institute, The American Civil Liberties Union – Georgetown Law, and the Georgetown Law Federalist Society will co-host a mid-term preview, featuring panelists Kannon Shanmugam, Melissa Arbus Sherry, Jeff Wall, and Tom Goldstein, and moderated by Amy Howe. Please R.S.V.P. by early next week to firstname.lastname@example.org
The event will be held in Bernard P. McDonough Hall Room 201. 600 New Jersey Ave. NW, in Washington, DC.
John Elwood reviews Monday’s relisted cases.
If the past week is any guide, 2015 is going to be a year of incredible efficiency for the Roberts Court. The Justices cleared out an enormous number of relists this week. Most of 2015’s first relists are already yesterday’s news – and we still have a full week of January yet to go.
We begin, as usual, with the old business. We at Relist Watch are predisposed never to lead with the lede, but sometimes it is best just to yield to the inevitable — as the Court itself seems to have done with our first group of former relists. We suspected the Justices relisted all four of the Sixth Circuit’s same-sex-marriage cases to keep a poker face about their preferred vehicle for addressing the issue. Instead, they simply granted all four cases after one relist: Obergefell v. Hodges, 14-556 (Ohio), Tanco v. Haslam, 14-562 (Tennessee), DeBoer v. Snyder, 14-571 (Michigan), and Bourke v. Beshear, 14-574 (Kentucky). Continue reading »
Yesterday the Supreme Court did something that it didn’t get to do in two other recent cases involving the Fair Housing Act: it heard oral arguments. As I noted in my preview of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, the previous two cases had settled before the oral argument. The reason? Civil rights groups were worried that the conservative Justices on the Roberts Court would rule that the Fair Housing Act does not allow lawsuits based on “disparate impact” – that is, an allegation that a law or policy has a discriminatory effect, even though the discrimination was not on purpose. The ability to bring such claims is important, they believe, because these days lawmakers and landlords rarely tell people that they intend to discriminate; discrimination is much more subtle, and it’s easier to prove that an action has a discriminatory effect. Many businesses, landlords, and lawmakers want the Court to rule that disparate-impact claims are not allowed under the FHA for much the same reason: why should we face lawsuits, they ask, if we have good intentions and didn’t mean to discriminate but our actions just so happen to disproportionately affect minorities? Continue reading »
At its Conference on January 23, 2015, the Court will consider petitions seeking review of issues such as judicial immunity under Section 1983, a general appeal waiver in a challenge to a restitution order, and the interpretation of the term “habitual residence” in the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
This edition of “Petitions to watch” features petitions raising issues that Tom has determined to have a reasonable chance of being granted, although we post them here without consideration of whether they present appropriate vehicles in which to decide those issues. Our policy is to include and disclose all cases in which Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, represents either a party or an amicus in the case, with the exception of the rare cases in which Goldstein & Russell represents the respondent(s) but does not appear on the briefs in the case.