Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the following cases of interest to the business community:
Immigration Law—Validity of Executive Orders Limiting Entry of Foreign Nationals
Trump v. Int'l Refugee Assistance Project, No.
Trump v. Hawaii, No. 16-1540
Executive Order No. 13780 suspends the entry of nationals from six foreign countries for a 90-day period. A variety of lawsuits have been filed to challenge whether the Executive Order violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause (by targeting predominantly Muslim nations) or the Immigration and Nationality Act. To date, two federal courts of appeals have approved injunctions staying the enforcement of the Executive Order.
Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari and modified the injunctions. In particular, the Court limited the stay of the entry prohibitions to foreign nationals who claim a bona fide relationship with a United States person (e.g., a close relative)or an institution (e.g., a university or an employer). The Administrative may therefore begin to enforce the Executive Order as against those individuals lacking such a relationship. Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch indicated that they would have dissolved the injunctions entirely.
These consolidated actions will be set for oral argument when the Court returns from its summer recess in October.
First Amendment—Applicability to Public Accommodations Laws
Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111
Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits businesses that sell goods to the public from discriminating based on sexual orientation. Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether application of that act to a Christian baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple's wedding violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. This case has been closely watched and will be expected to generate considerable attention when it is argued and decided next Term.
Dodd-Frank Act—Reach of "Whistleblower" Provision
Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, No. 16-1276
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 prohibits retaliation against "whistleblowers" who "mak[e] disclosures that are required or protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002" and other securities laws. The Dodd-Frank Act defines a "whistleblower" as an "individual who provides ... information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the [Securities and Exchange] Commission." Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve a split among the courts of appeals as to whether the Dodd-Frank Act's anti-retaliation provision applies to individuals who have not reported alleged misconduct to the Securities and Exchange Commission but have filed internal reports under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or other securities laws.
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