US Supreme Court – October, 2018 Oral Arguments & New Cases

The new term has begun at the Court. In the month of October, the Court heard oral arguments in over fifteen matters and granted cert in four new cases.

Click on the links below to listen to the oral arguments, and learn more about the issues involved in these cases before the Court.

October, 2018 Oral Arguments

Weyerhaeuser Company v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service (10/1/2018)
(1) Does the Endangered Species Act prohibit designation of privately owned land as unoccupied critical habitat that is neither habitat nor essential to species conservation? (2) Is an agency determination not to exclude an area from critical habitat due to the economic impact of designation subject to judicial review?

Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido (10/1/2018)
Under the ADEA, does the same twenty-employee minimum that applies to private employers also apply to political subdivisions of a state, as the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits have held, or does the ADEA apply instead to all state political subdivisions of any size, as the Ninth Circuit held in this case?

Madison v. Alabama (10/2/2018)
1. Does the Eighth Amendment and the Court’s jurisprudence prohibit a state from executing a prisoner whose mental disability leaves him with no memory of the commission of the capital offense?
2. Does the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment preclude a state from executing a prisoner who suffers from severe cognitive dysfunction such that he cannot remember the crime for which he was convicted or understand the circumstances of his scheduled execution?

Gundy v. United States (10/2/2018)
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?

New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira (10/3/2018)
1. In a dispute over the whether a contract falls within the exemptions in Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), must a court determine whether the FAA applies, or is that for the arbitrator to decide?
2. Does the Section 1 of the FAA, which exempts “contracts of employment” in certain industries, apply to agreements that purport to establish an independent-contractor relationship?

Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania (10/3/2018)
1. Should the Court affirm or abrogate its holding in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, which requires property owners to exhaust state court remedies before bringing federal Takings Clause claims?
2. Does the ripeness doctrine established in Williamson County apply to takings claims that assert that a law is unconstitutional on its face?

United States v. Stitt (10/9/2018)
Is the crime of residential burglary under Arkansas law, or aggravated burglary under Tennessee law, the same as or narrower than “general burglary” such that convictions for those crimes serve as predicate crimes for the purpose of the enhanced sentencing provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984?

Stokeling v. United States (10/9/2018)
Is a state robbery offense that includes “as an element” the common law requirement of overcoming “victim resistance” categorically a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(b)(i), when that offense has been specifically interpreted by state appellate courts to require only slight force to overcome resistance?

Nielsen v. Preap (10/10/2018)
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?

Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. Devries (10/10/2018)
Can products liability defendants be held liable under maritime law for injuries caused by products that they did not make, sell, or distribute?

Henry Schein Inc. v. Archer and White Sales Inc. (10/29/2018)
Does the Federal Arbitration Act permit a court to decline to enforce an agreement delegating questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator if the court concludes the claim of arbitrability is “wholly groundless”?

Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela (10/29/2018)
Does the Federal Arbitration Agreement foreclose a state-law interpretation of an arbitration agreement that would authorize class arbitration based solely on general language commonly used in arbitration agreements?

Washington State Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc. (10/30/2018)
Does the Yakama Treaty of 1855 create a right for tribal members to avoid state taxes on off-reservation commercial activities that make use of public highways?

Garza v. Idaho (10/30/2018)
Is a criminal defendant’s counsel presumptively ineffective if counsel declines to file an appeal of a conviction because the defendant already waived the right to appeal in his plea?

Frank v. Gaos (10/31/2018)
Does a cy pres award of class action proceeds that provides no direct relief to class members support class certification and comport with the requirement that a settlement binding class members must be “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” and if so, in what circumstances?

Jam v. International Finance Corp. (10/31/2018)
Does the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA) give international organizations the immunity that foreign governments enjoyed at the time the law was passed, or the immunity that foreign governments have at present, as described in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976?

Cert Granted, October 2018

Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck (10/12/2018)
A case in which the Court will resolve a circuit split as to whether private operators of public access channels are state actors subject to constitutional liability.

United States v. Haymond (10/26/2018)
A case in which the Court will decide whether the Tenth Circuit erred in holding that 18 U.S.C. § 3583(k), which imposes a mandatory minimum punishment on a criminal defendant upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant engaged in certain criminal conduct while under supervised release, violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service (10/26/2018)
A case in which the Court will decide whether the government is a “person” under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and thereby able to institute review proceedings under the Act.

Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC (10/26/2018)
A case in which the Court will resolve a circuit split as to whether in bankruptcy proceedings, the debtor’s rejection of a license agreement, which would constitute a breach of contract, terminates rights of the licensee that would have survived outside the bankruptcy context.