June 19, 2018

SCOTUS Term Ending Soon


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Supreme Court’s term is scheduled to conclude Monday, June 25.
  • The court has already decided important cases on redistricting, religious freedom, sports gambling, the interpretation of foreign law, and binding arbitration agreements.
  • Opinions are expected to be released in cases involving internet sales taxes, the appointment of administrative law judges, the Fourth Amendment, and the legality of entry restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.

The Supreme Court’s term, which began in October, is scheduled to conclude on Monday, June 25. The court has already issued opinions in a number of key cases involving redistricting, religious freedom, sports gambling, the interpretation of foreign law, and arbitration agreements between employers and employees.

Still to come are decisions in cases involving internet sales taxes, the appointment of administrative law judges, privacy and the Fourth Amendment, mandatory public-sector union dues, and the legality of entry restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.

Here are some of the major cases from the past few weeks.

SCOTUS Wisconsin

REDISTRICTING

Yesterday, the court unanimously returned to the lower courts a challenge to Wisconsin’s state legislative maps. The plaintiffs’ claims turned on how courts can review partisan gerrymandering and whether the practice violates the constitution. The court determined that the plaintiffs did not demonstrate that they had standing to assert their claims in federal court.

 SCOTUS Gambling

FEDERALISM

In Christie v. NCAA and New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association v. NCAA, a majority of the court agreed with New Jersey that a 1992 federal statute prohibiting states from allowing gambling on sporting events violated the Constitution. Under Supreme Court precedent, the Tenth Amendment bars the federal government from ordering the states to enforce federal regulations. The court held in this case that the federal statute conflicted with the constitutional prohibition.

SCOTUS Cake

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, seven justices decided to overturn sanctions imposed by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission on a baker who refused to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. The majority determined that the commission was hostile to the baker’s religious beliefs and that its decision to reprimand him violated his rights to the free exercise of religion.

SCOTUS Foreign

FOREIGN LAW

A unanimous court ruled in Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical that federal courts are not bound to defer to a foreign government’s interpretation of its own law. In the case, a Second Circuit panel had decided that it had to adopt an interpretation of Chinese law in a statement filed by the Chinese government. The Supreme Court disagreed, determining instead that U.S. courts should come to their own conclusions on the meaning of foreign law.

SCOTUS Scale

ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS

In a 5-4 decision considering a set of three consolidated cases, the court held that arbitration agreements between employers and employees are enforceable. The majority agreed with the solicitor general that the agreements are authorized by the Federal Arbitration Act and do not conflict with the National Labor Relations Act.

Issue Tag: Judiciary