United States: Supreme Court Round-Up (October 2019)

Overview

The Supreme Court Round-Up previews upcoming cases, summarizes opinions, and tracks the actions of the Office of the Solicitor General. Each entry contains a description of the case, as well as a substantive analysis of the Court's actions.

October Term 2019

Cases To Be Decided

1. Kahler v. Kansas, No. 18-6135 (Kan., 410 P.3d 105; cert. granted Mar. 18, 2019; argued Oct. 7, 2019). Whether the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments permit a State to abolish the insanity defense.

2. Peter v. NantKwest, Inc., No. 18-801 (Fed. Cir., 898 F.3d 1177; cert. granted Mar. 4, 2019; argued Oct. 7, 2019). Whether the phrase "[a]ll the expenses of the proceedings" in 35 U.S.C. § 145 encompasses the personnel expenses the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office incurs when its employees, including attorneys, defend the agency in Section 145 litigation.

3. Ramos v. Louisiana, No. 18-5924 (La. Ct. App., 231 So. 3d 44; cert. granted Mar. 18, 2019; argued Oct. 7, 2019). Whether the Fourteenth Amendment fully incorporates the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a unanimous verdict.

4. Bostock v. Clayton Cty., Ga., No. 17-1618 (11th Cir., 723 F. App'x 964; cert. granted Apr. 22, 2019, consolidated with Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623 (2d Cir., 833 F.3d 100); argument scheduled Oct. 8, 2019). Whether discrimination against an employee because of sexual orientation constitutes prohibited employment discrimination "because of . . . sex" within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2.

5. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 18-107 (6th Cir., 884 F.3d 560; cert. granted Apr. 22, 2019, with the Question Presented limited by the Court; argument scheduled Oct. 8, 2019). Whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989).

6. Fin. Oversight & Mgmt. Bd. for P.R. v. Aurelius Inv., LLC, No. 18-1334, consolidated with Aurelius Inv., LLC v. Puerto Rico, No. 18-1475; Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of All Title III Debtors Other Than COFINA v. Aurelius Inv., LLC, No. 18-1496; United States v. Aurelius Inv., LLC, No. 18-1514; and Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego, Inc. v. Fin. Oversight &Mgmt. Bd. for P.R., No. 18-1521 (1st Cir., 915 F.3d 838; cert. granted June 20, 2019; argument scheduled Oct. 15, 2019). The Questions Presented are: (1) Whether the Appointments Clause governs the appointment of members of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico. (2) Whether the de facto officer doctrine allows courts to deny meaningful relief to successful separation-of-powers challengers who are suffering ongoing injury at the hands of unconstitutionally appointed principal officers.

7. Kansas v. Garcia, No. 17-834 (Kan., 401 P.3d 588, 401 P.3d 159, & 401 P.3d 155; CVSG Apr. 16, 2018; cert. supported Dec. 4, 2018; cert. granted Mar. 18, 2019, limited to Question 1 and with Question 2 directed by the Court; argument scheduled Oct. 16, 2019). The Questions Presented are: (1) Whether the Immigration Reform and Control Act ("IRCA") expressly preempts the States from using any information entered on or appended to a federal Form I-9, including common information such as name, date of birth, and Social Security number, in a prosecution of any person (citizen or alien) when that same, commonly used information also appears in non-IRCA documents, such as state tax forms, leases, and credit applications. (2) Whether IRCA impliedly preempts Kansas's prosecution of respondents.

8. Rotkiske v. Klemm, No. 18-328 (3d Cir., 890 F.3d 422; cert. granted Feb. 25, 2019; argument scheduled Oct. 16, 2019). Whether the "discovery rule" applies to toll the one-year statute of limitations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq.

9. Mathena v. Malvo, No. 18-217 (4th Cir., 893 F.3d 265; cert. granted Mar. 18, 2019; argument scheduled Oct. 16, 2019). Whether the Fourth Circuit erred in concluding that a decision of the Supreme Court (Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016)) addressing whether a new constitutional rule announced in an earlier decision (Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012)) applies retroactively on collateral review may properly be interpreted as modifying and substantively expanding the very rule whose retroactivity was in question.

10. Barton v. Barr, No. 18-725 (11th Cir., 904 F.3d 1294; cert. granted Apr. 22, 2019; argument scheduled Nov. 4, 2019). Whether a lawfully admitted permanent resident who is not seeking admission to the United States can be "render[ed] . . . inadmissible" for the purposes of the stop-time rule, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(l).

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