Supreme Court 2018–2019 Term Preview

The US Supreme Court hears the first arguments of the 2018–2019 term on October 1, 2018. With 40+ cases already on its docket and 22 of them already scheduled for argument, the Court is on track to have another busy year.

Upcoming Cases of Interest

There are several upcoming cases of interest that cover a wide variety of topics, however, no cases have been granted cert so far that deal with the more hot-button societal issues such as abortion and gun rights.

Gamble v. United States – Should the Court overrule the “separate sovereigns” exception to the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment?

Timbs v. Indiana – Civil asset forfeiture has received a lot of media coverage in the past few years and the Court will examine the issue in this case, with the question presented: Has the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause been incorporated against the states under the Fourteenth Amendment?

Royal v. Murphy – A death penalty case which involves the murder of a member of the Creek Nation Indian tribe by another tribe member. The Court will determine whether the 1866 territorial boundaries of the Creek Nation within the former Indian Territory of eastern Oklahoma constitute an “Indian reservation” today under 18 U.S.C. § 1151(a).

Gundy v. United States – In this case, the Court examines questions related to the ability of Congress to task their legislative authority over to administrative agencies and executive offices. The question presented: Does the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act’s delegation of authority to the U.S. Attorney General to issue regulations under 42 U.S.C. § 16913 violate the nondelegation doctrine?

Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania – The Court will look at whether owners must first exhaust all their options seeking compensation in state court when faced with a “takings” matter.

Nielsen v. Preap – This matter focuses on the rights of the federal government when detaining immigrants who have committed crimes, with the question presented as: Does a noncitizen released from criminal custody become exempt from mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) if, after the noncitizen is released from criminal custody, the Department of Homeland Security does not take the noncitizen into immigration custody immediately?

Herrera v. Wyoming – The Court will hear the case of a Crow Tribe member who was cited with two hunting-related misdemeanors under Wyoming law. He moved to dismiss the charges under the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution and the Laramie Treaty of 1868. He argued that the treaty gave the Crow Tribe the right to hunt off the reservation and that the treaty was still valid and thus preempted state law.

Bucklew v. Precythe – This death penalty case is an objection to Missouri’s lethal injection protocol.

Matt Ford, of the New Republic, has additional analysis of upcoming cases in his article: “What the New Supreme Court Will Decide”.

You can check out all the cases granted cert as of this date, along with detailed analysis of the facts and questions presented in them, on Oyez.  These pages are updated as the Court grants cert in new matters.

NOTE: Early on in the new term, Oyez will post opinion announcement audio and transcripts for cases heard during the 2017–2018 term. Check for this media on the Oyez’s 2017–2018 Term page.

A New Justice

As of this date, the confirmation of a new justice to the Court continues.  Judge Brett Kavanaugh, of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, has testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in connection his nomination. A full rundown of that testimony is here:

Highlights: Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, CNN Politics.

Takeaways From Day 1 of Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearings, The New York Times, September  4, 2018.

Day 2 of the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings: Leahy Brings Up Bush-Era Scandal, The New York Times, September  5, 2018.

Here’s What Happened on Day 3 of the Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings, The New York Times, September 6, 2018.

Read: Kavanaugh’s written answers to more than 1,000 Senate questions, Vox, September 13, 2018.

This is a developing news story, with testimony of Judge Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford scheduled on Thursday, September 27, 2018, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The New Term: Helpful Resources

US Supreme Court Calendars and Lists – get the latest schedule of oral arguments for the current term. (Archives of previous terms also available.)

Oral Argument Audio and Transcripts – Oyez posts the oral argument audio and transcripts on the Friday of those weeks the Court hears oral argument during the term.

Cornell’s LII Supreme Court Bulletin – A team of Cornell Law students craft Supreme Court Bulletin Previews, covering every case on the docket.  Receive objective summaries of the issues and arguments pertinent to each case, during the weeks of scheduled oral argument.  Sign up for free.


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