The Daily Brew: SCOTUS update: 46 opinions issued this term, 18 cases remain

Welcome to the Wednesday, June 16, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. SCOTUS update: 46 opinions issued this term, 18 cases remain
  2. Local Roundup
  3. Federal Register update

SCOTUS update: 46 opinions issued this term, 18 cases remain

The U.S. Supreme Court is winding down its 2020-2021 term before the court’s summer recess. The court has issued 46 opinions so far. The court has not yet decided 18 cases.

Since the week of May 24, the court has issued opinions each Monday and Thursday. It last issued opinions on Monday, June 14, and is scheduled to do so next on Thursday, June 17. 

The court decided 62 cases during the 2019-2020 term. Delays from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 caused the court to release opinions into July for the first time since 1996. During the 2018-2019 term, the court decided 68 cases.

Of the undecided cases, two remain from the November sitting–Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and California v. Texas (Consolidated with Texas v. California). 

Fulton originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. In 2018, the City of Philadelphia barred religious nonprofit organization Catholic Social Services (“CSS”) from working as a foster care provider agency with the city because of CSS’s policy of rejecting same-sex couples from being foster parents. CSS sued the city, arguing its policy was protected by the First Amendment. On appeal, the 3rd Circuit found the city’s non-discrimination policy was generally applicable law and that CSS had not shown that the city targeted CSS for its religious beliefs or due to animus against religion. SCOTUS heard arguments in the case on Nov. 4, 2020.

California originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and concerns the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA established requirements for individuals to have health coverage and instituted fines for those without coverage. In 2018, 20 states filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging §5000A of the ACA and arguing the law was unconstitutional. A district court judge ruled the law was invalid. On appeal, the 5th Circuit ruled §5000A was unconstitutional and remanded the case. A group of states petitioned SCOTUS for review, arguing (1) the respondents did not have the legal right to challenge the law and (2) the law was not unconstitutional. SCOTUS heard arguments in the case on Nov. 10, 2020. 

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Local Roundup

In this week’s roundup of local elections, three of the largest cities in the U.S. by population have upcoming filing deadlines for Nov. 2, 2021, races.

Albuquerque: The city is holding elections for mayor and city council. The filing deadline for the races is on July 5. Albuquerque’s current mayor, Tim Keller, has been in office since 2017. The city is the 32nd largest in the U.S.

Cleveland:  The city is holding elections for mayor, city council, and city municipal court judge. The filing deadline is today, June 16. Cleveland’s current mayor, Frank Jackson, has been in office since 2005. The city is the 48th largest in the U.S.

St. Petersburg: The city is holding elections for mayor and city council. The filing deadline is on June 18. St. Petersburg’s current mayor, Rick Kriseman, has been in office since 2013. The city is the 77th largest in the U.S.

As of June 2021, 63 mayors in the largest 100 cities by population are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 26 are affiliated with the Republican Party, four are independents, and seven identify as nonpartisan or unaffiliated. Click here for the full list.

Federal Register update: 87 new final rules

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity. From June 7 through June 11, the Federal Register grew by 1,296 pages for a year-to-date total of 31,426 pages. At this point in Donald Trump’s (R) first year as president, the Register had grown by 26,842 pages.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 543 documents:

• 406 notices (information about federal agency activities)

• 13 presidential documents (proclamations and announcements from the Office of the President)

• 37 proposed rules (potential new agency regulations)

• 87 final rules (a federal regulation with a scheduled effective date)

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016. The Biden administration has issued 20 significant proposed rules and 12 significant final rules as of June 11.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. Click the link below to learn more.

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