April 24, 2018

April SCOTUS Update


  • This is the final week of Supreme Court arguments for the term.
  • Key cases this term have involved issues such as public sector union dues, the First Amendment, and redistricting.
  • The court’s April hearing schedule includes cases on internet sales taxes, the appointment of administrative law judges, whether U.S. courts have to defer to foreign governments’ interpretation of their laws, and the legality of entry restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.

The Supreme Court is set to hear its final cases of the term this week. The term began in October and is scheduled to conclude at the end of June.

The court this term has heard key cases on mandatory public sector union dues, the First Amendment, privacy, and redistricting. It has already issued a number of opinions, including one holding that a guilty plea does not preclude a constitutional challenge to the statute of conviction and another determining that immigration law does not require detained immigrants to have periodic bond hearings during their detention. Just today, the court released an opinion upholding certain patent review procedures at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Last week, the court heard arguments about whether states can collect sales taxes from internet retailers that have no physical presence in the state. This week, it considers cases dealing with the appointment of administrative law judges, entry restrictions imposed by the Trump administration, and whether U.S. courts must defer to foreign governments’ interpretation of their laws.

 SCOTUS_April Update


On April 17, the court heard arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair. The case deals with the constitutionality of a South Dakota law that taxes sales by internet retailers with no physical presence in the state. The state is asking the court to overrule a 1992 precedent requiring that a remote seller have a physical presence in a state before the state can tax it. The Trump administration has argued the South Dakota law is constitutional.

SCOTUS_April Update


On April 23, in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, the court heard a challenge to the appointment of SEC administrative law judges. The petitioners in the case contend that SEC administrative law judges are “Officers of the United States” covered by the appointments clause of the constitution. They argue that, because the judges were not appointed by the president, the current system of hiring administrative law judges is unconstitutional.

SCOTUS_April Update


On April 24, the court heard arguments on whether a foreign government’s interpretation of its own law is binding on U.S. courts. In the case, Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical, the petitioners are challenging a decision by a Second Circuit panel that it was bound to adopt an interpretation of Chinese law in a statement filed by the Chinese government. Courts in other circuits have held that U.S. courts should independently determine the meaning of foreign law.

SCOTUS_April Update


On April 25, in Trump v. Hawaii, the court is expected to consider the legality of the September 2017 presidential proclamation continuing entry restrictions on nationals of certain countries. The Trump administration is seeking to overturn a Ninth Circuit opinion that blocked some of the restrictions from taking effect. The administration contends that the injunction is overbroad, that courts do not have power to consider the respondents’ claims, that the proclamation does not violate the establishment clause of the Constitution, and that the restriction is authorized by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Issue Tag: Judiciary