October 3, 2017

The Court is Back in Session

  • The Supreme Court term began on Monday, October 2.
  • This will be the first full term with Justice Neil Gorsuch on the court.
  • The court is set to hear significant cases on labor, redistricting, privacy rights, and the First Amendment.

The new Supreme Court term began on Monday, with the court hearing two oral arguments. This will be the first full term with Justice Neil Gorsuch. During the term, which is scheduled to conclude at the end of June, the court plans to hear several significant cases. 


On Monday, the court heard arguments in three consolidated cases on whether the National Labor Relations Act bars employers from enforcing arbitration agreements between employers and employees for labor-law claims. The employers and the U.S. solicitor general contend that the agreements are authorized by the Federal Arbitration Act and do not conflict with the NLRA.

Later this term, in Janus v. AFSCME, the court will consider whether the First Amendment precludes public-sector unions from imposing mandatory dues. The court split 4-4 on the issue last year before Justice Gorsuch was confirmed.


In Gill v. Whitford, the Supreme Court this morning heard arguments on how courts can review partisan gerrymandering and whether the practice violates the constitution. A lower court found that Wisconsin’s legislative maps represented unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. 


The court, in Carpenter v. United States, is set to consider whether a warrantless review of mobile-phone call-location records violates Fourth Amendment prohibitions of unreasonable searches. The Sixth Circuit held that the person making a call did not have a privacy interest in the call-tracking information.

first amendment

In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the court will hear a challenge to Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, which was used to sanction a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. The baker and the U.S. solicitor general contend that requiring the baker to create the cake violates his First Amendment rights.

Issue Tag: Judiciary