For the first time since 1996, the Supreme Court’s term has officially extended into the month of July. The Court decided five cases this week, touching on abortion, free speech, religious liberty, administrative agencies, and copyright law. It also added four cases to next term’s docket, one of which concerns the release of grand jury materials from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Here’s a recap of the Court’s busy week.
This week was relatively quiet, especially as the Court nears the end of its term. The Justices decided just two cases: Liu v. SEC (an arcane securities law case) and DHS v. Thuraissigiam (challenging asylum denials in court). They didn’t grant any new cases. Court-watchers enjoyed a brief lull after the tumultuous Title VII and DACA decisions last week, but that lull won’t last long. We’re the unguarded tree in the photo above, facing an impending deluge of 13 major decisions to be handed down over the next few weeks. So as we await the Court’s decisions in matters concerning abortion, Trump’s tax returns, religious liberty, Obamacare, free speech, and the Electoral College (among others), there’s just one thing to say: I hope you enjoyed the calm before the storm.
At the outset, this week looked as if it’d be a quiet one; no opinions were expected, and oral arguments wrapped up a few weeks ago. Even this week’s orders list turned out as unremarkable as any. But a series of emergency, coronavirus-related petitions wound up in the Court’s hands. All told, the Court issued rulings on four such petitions, culminating in a 1:00am, Saturday morning decision to reject a California church’s assertion that the state’s stay-at-home orders discriminate against houses of worship (a decision made on a 5:4 vote). So while Court-watchers expected this to be the last “dead-week” before the Court’s term concludes in July, it turned out to be anything but.
Another very quiet week for the Justices: no decisions, no oral arguments, a few miscellaneous orders, and just one cert grant in a securities-law case. But have no fear—with the November sitting beginning next week, the Supreme (Court) machine will soon awaken from its quiet idle and roar into its normal, high gear. For now, here’s a short rundown of the little drummings of action this week at 1 First St. NE.
After the furor of the first two weeks of the Court’s term, the week of October 21 was markedly more placid. The Justices did not hear oral argument in any merits cases and predictably did not issue any decisions yet in argued cases. We do have the first opinion of the term, but it’s only an opinion relating to one of the Court’s orders on Monday. On a separate note, while the Justices didn’t garner many headlines in the courtroom, Justice Ginsburg grabbed the spotlight on Wednesday night for being awarded a very prestigious prize by the Berggruen Institute. So after a quiet week for the Justices (or for eight of them, at least), here’s your quick brief for the week of October 21.
Following the three decisions it issued last week, the Court issued another three decisions this week, in addition to granting a case for next term. On Monday, at 9:30am EDT, the Court released Orders from last Thursday’s private conference, including one grant of certiorari and two dissenting opinions relating to denials of certiorari. Then, at 10:00am EDT, the Court released its decision in three argued cases: one involving the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, one concerning the effect of Wyoming’s statehood on the 1868 Treaty between the federal government and the Crow Tribe, and one about drug-preemption cases concerning the interaction between pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration. After a quiet Tuesday and Wednesday, the Court met for its weekly private conference on Thursday, before releasing on Friday stays on lower-court decisions in partisan gerrymandering cases. Here is your brief for the week of May 20.
Today marked the first day of what is likely to be the last week the Court releases opinions from argued cases. First, beginning at 9:30am EDT, the Court announced the seven petitions that were granted certiorari for next term. These are as follows: Sudan v. Harrison, Washington Dept. of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Dawson v. Steager, Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, Biestek v. Berryhill, Helsinn Healthcare v. Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc.Read More »