SCOTUS Watch – Thursday, June 25th – UPDATED: ACA Wins! Fair Housing Wins!

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this term (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as last week we had our first Thursday opinion day and this week the court is adding Thursday and Friday.

The Thursday Liveblog will start at 9:00am Eastern with opinions at 10:00am. Friday’s Liveblog will start at 9:00am Eastern also with opinions at 10:00am. We expect the last day of opinions to be Monday, June 29th after which the court will adjourn until the Fall term.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 

All eyes turn to the court

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 8:30am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– DECIDED: 4th Circuit Affirmed! Subsidies are available on Federal Exchange as well as State Exchange!!The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the Federal District Court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– DECIDED: 5th Circuit Affirmed! Disparate Impact Survives!! An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s mis-application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

Amy Howe from SCOTUSblog on what’s left: And then there were seven: The remaining cases, in Plain English

The Justices don’t announce in advance which decisions they will issue, or how many. But given how important all seven of these cases are, we’re bound to get something good on Thursday morning. Stay tuned!

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Update from USA Today on the 11 remaining cases: Half a dozen major cases await Supreme Court rulings

WASHINGTON — The future of same-sex marriage and President Obama’s health care law hang in the balance as the Supreme Court’s 2014 term draws rapidly to a close this month. But those aren’t the only big issues on the justices’ plate.

Fair elections, racial discrimination, clean air, capital punishment: All await rulings over the next two weeks as the court completes action on 11 cases remaining this term. The next decisions will come Monday morning.

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Analysis from Al Jazeera from June 1st: Supreme Court to decide on 13 cases over next few weeks

June is the final month of the Supreme Court’s annual term before the summer recess begins. Over the next few weeks, the Court will make decisions on 13 major cases. Among the issues up for debate are same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and religious freedom.

From SCOTUSblog: October 2014 Term cases pending (oldest cases first)

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, No. 13-1371 [Arg: 1.21.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.

Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, No. 13-1314 [Arg: 3.2.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution and 2 U. S. C. § 2a(c) permit Arizona’s use of a commission to adopt congressional districts; and (2) whether the Arizona Legislature has standing to bring this suit.

King v. Burwell, No. 14-114 [Arg: 3.4.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Internal Revenue Service may permissibly promulgate regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Bank of America, N.A. v. Toledo-Cardona, No. 14-163 [Arg: 3.24.2015]

Issue(s): Whether, under Section 506(d) of the Bankruptcy Code, which provides that “[t]o the extent that a lien secures a claim against the debtor that is not an allowed secured claim, such lien is void,” a Chapter 7 debtor may “strip off” a junior mortgage lien in its entirety when the outstanding debt owed to a senior lienholder exceeds the current value of the collateral.

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-47 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-46 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

National Mining Association v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-49 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether the Environmental Protection Agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

Johnson v. U.S., No. 13-7120 [Arg: 4.20.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether mere possession of a short-barreled shotgun should be treated as a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act. (2) Whether the residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act is unconstitutionally vague.

DeBoer v. Snyder, No. 14-571 [Arg: 4.28.2015]

Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Tanco v. Haslam, No. 14-562 [Arg: 4.28.2015]

Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 [Arg: 4.28.2015 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Bourke v. Beshear, No. 14-574 [Arg: 4.28.2015]

Issue(s): 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Glossip v. Gross, No. 14-7955 [Arg: 4.29.2015 Trans.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether it is constitutionally permissible for a state to carry out an execution using a three-drug protocol where (a) there is a well-established scientific consensus that the first drug has no pain relieving properties and cannot reliably produce deep, coma-like unconsciousness, and (b) it is undisputed that there is a substantial, constitutionally unacceptable risk of pain and suffering from the administration of the second and third drugs when a prisoner is conscious; (2) whether the plurality stay standard of Baze v. Rees applies when states are not using a protocol substantially similar to the one that this Court considered in Baze; and (3) whether a prisoner must establish the availability of an alternative drug formula even if the state’s lethal-injection protocol, as properly administered, will violate the Eighth Amendment.

  8 comments for “SCOTUS Watch – Thursday, June 25th – UPDATED: ACA Wins! Fair Housing Wins!

  1. JanF
    June 25, 2015 at 5:22 am

    #waitingforLyle

    (I will not be online at exactly 10am so it will be a “delayblog” this morning. If you get word on any of the rulings, feel free to add the information in the comment threads).

  2. JanF
    June 25, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Justice Antonin Scalia gave Texas until 4pm Friday to reply to the request for the delay in enforcement of the ruling by the 5th Circuit closing most Texas abortion clinics:

    Justice Antonin Scalia, setting the stage for prompt Supreme Court action on the enforcement of a Texas abortion law, on Wednesday told Texas to reply by 4 p.m. Friday on whether that law should be put on hold temporarily. Abortion clinics and doctors in the state have asked the Court, through Scalia, to delay the law’s effect until the Justices act on an appeal they will file later.

    Any ruling will have to be made by June 30th, the end of the session. The new law goes into effect on July 1st unless a stay is issued.

  3. JanF
    June 25, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Today is the second anniversary of the Shelby County v Holder ruling that eliminated key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. By way of Smartypants, here is a part of Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent … words that carry a greater meaning in today’s not-post-racial-at-all climate:

    And race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: ‘I do not belong here’…

    The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.

    Chief Justice John Roberts deserves every bit of scorn heaped upon him by his declaration in 2013 that there is no racial bias in America any longer.

  4. JanF
    June 25, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Double-win!! Texas Housing and ACA Subsidies!!!

  5. June 25, 2015 at 10:54 am

    This is Thursday, 25 June, and I am so damn happy that the Supremes decided in favor of health care!

    Thank Goddess—or, more properly, thank all the people who worked hard to help this decision come down. Things are looking up.

    • JanF
      June 25, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Now, with the last big case, the marriage equality case, likely to establish a right to same-sex marriage, it was a pretty good court term. We needed a palate cleanser after last year which ended with the ghastly Hobby Lobby ruling.

  6. Denise Velez
    June 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Joy! Joy! Joy!

    For all those whose lives will be saved.

    Grinning from ear to ear.

    • JanF
      June 25, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      No one expected this decision today. And 6 to 3 is a BHD!!

      The Texas Housing case is also a huge win. It establishes that you don’t need to prove overt racism, just disparate outcomes. Some people think this bodes well for some of the voter id cases headed to the high court.

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