Issue: (1) Whether, assuming arguendo that a plaintiff can state a cognizable constitutional claim under either the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment with respect to a child’s removal, the qualified immunity question as to a caseworker who removed a child in an investigation mandated by New York Social Services Law § 424 should be whether a reasonable jury could conclude that the child was not at imminent risk of harm or whether a reasonable caseworker in that particular caseworker’s position could have concluded that the child was; (2) whether, assuming arguendo that a plaintiff can state a cognizable constitutional claim under either the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment with respect to a child’s removal, a caseworker is entitled to qualified immunity from suit where five judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agree that there was an absence of clearly established statutory or constitutional rules of which the caseworker should have been aware when he secured a warrant to search a home and removed children at the direction of his superior; and (3) whether, after removing children from a home under the belief that they were abused, and, thereafter, a state court adjudicates a parent to have been so abusive of his children as to deny him further custody, the parent and the children can sue the caseworker who rescued children from further abuse on either substantive or procedural due process grounds.
The Court issued orders from its April 22 Conference on Monday. It granted review in two cases. On Tuesday the Court released its opinion in Heffernan v. City of Paterson. The Court also heard oral arguments on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The calendar for the April sitting is available here. On Friday the Justices will meet for their April 29 Conference; our list of "petitions to watch" for that Conference is available here.
United States v. Texas Whether the Obama administration has the authority to issue its new deferred-action policy for undocumented immigrants, whether the states have standing to challenge the policy at all, whether DHS was required to notify the public about the proposed policy and provide opportunity for the public to weigh in on it, and whether the policy violates the Constitution’s “Take Care Clause,” which requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Zubik v. Burwell Does the availability of a regulatory method for nonprofit religious employers to comply with the HHS contraceptive mandate eliminate the substantial burden on religious exercise in violation of RFRA that the Court recognized in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.?
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Whether, when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health - or any other valid interest.
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins Whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute.
Deere & Co. v. New Hampshire Whether the Contract Clause prohibited the New Hampshire legislature from retroactively voiding petitioners’ private contracts, in the name of “leveling the playing field” between the parties to those contracts.
Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc. v. New Hampshire (1) Whether a court deciding a Contract Clause case may use “rational speculation” review to uphold retroactive application of a law substantially impairing private contracts based on legislative findings that are contradicted by undisputed evidence; (2) whether a court deciding an Equal Protection case may rely upon legislative findings to hold that a classification has a rational basis when the findings are contradicted by undisputed evidence, and (3) whether a statute requiring disputes between a manufacturer and its dealers to be submitted to a state administrative agency for adjudication violates the Supremacy Clause as to disputes subject to arbitration under the manufacturer’s dealer contracts.
Wells Fargo & Co. v. City of Miami (1) Whether the term “aggrieved” in the Fair Housing Act imposes a zone-of-interests requirement more stringent than the injury-in-fact requirement of Article III; and (2) whether the City is an “aggrieved person” under the Fair Housing Act.
On April 14, Justice Stephen Breyer spoke at Columbia University with Lee Bollinger and Merit Janow about global interdependence and his new book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities.
Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.
Sigma Delta Chi
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi deadline reporting award for online coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
National Press Club Award
Awarded the National Press Club's Breaking News Award for coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
Silver Gavel Award
Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.
American Gavel Award
Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system.
Awarded the Webby Award for excellence on the internet.