Issue: (1) Whether the Court should modify Mickens v. Taylor to apply the automatic reversal rule in Holloway v. Arkansas where (a) the prosecution advises a trial court that the appointment of a particular lawyer in a capital case to represent multiple defendants may create a conflict of interest; (b) the appointed lawyer informs the court that he is financially unable to appoint capitally certified counsel for each of the co-defendants; (c) the court acknowledges these conflicts of interest, but delegates resolution of them to the same lawyer; (d) the conflicted attorney then advocates in a manner intended to prevent death sentences for the co-defendants; and (e) the trial court declines to intervene; and (2) whether the Louisiana Supreme Court’s opinion finding no "actual conflict" in this case demonstrates the need for this Court to address the split in the Circuit Courts concerning the standard for determining whether "an actual conflict of interest adversely affected [a] lawyer’s performance" and thereby settle an important question of federal constitutional law.
The Court is now in recess. The next sitting will begin on February 22. The calendar for that sitting 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.
Evenwel v. Abbott Does the "one-person, one-vote" principle require states to use voter population, as opposed to total population, when drawing state legislative districts?
Apple, Inc. v. United States Whether vertical conduct by a disruptive market entrant, aimed at securing suppliers for a new retail platform, should be condemned as per se illegal under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, rather than analyzed under the rule of reason, because such vertical activity also had the alleged effect of facilitating horizontal collusion among the suppliers.
American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA Whether the Third Circuit erred by deferring to EPA’s interpretation of the words “total maximum daily load” to permit EPA to impose a complex regulatory scheme that does much more than cap daily levels of total pollutant loading and that displaces powers reserved to the states.
Frew v. Traylor (1) Whether, in interpreting the provisions of a consent decree, and in deciding whether those provisions should be dissolved, a court should consider the purpose for which the provisions were adopted; and (2) whether, in interpreting the provisions of a consent decree, and in deciding whether those provisions should be dissolved, a court should give weight to the interpretation of the provisions by the judge who originally approved them.
Isom v. Indiana Whether the determination that aggravating circumstances outweigh mitigating circumstances must be made by a unanimous jury, beyond a reasonable doubt.
On December 17, Justice Stephen Breyer spoke about global interdependence and his new book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities, with the CUNY School of Law’s Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice.
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.