SCOTUS begins October sitting for 2021-2022 term

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began its first argument sitting of the 2021-2022 term on Oct. 4. The court will hear arguments in person for the first time since March 2020. Argument audio will be streamed live to the public.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh will participate remotely, due to testing positive for coronavirus on Sept. 30.

This week, SCOTUS will hear arguments in five cases for a total of five hours of oral argument. Click the links below to learn more about these cases:

Oct. 4

  1. Mississippi v. Tennessee concerns a dispute between Mississippi and Tennessee involving an aquifer’s groundwater. The case comes under the court’s original jurisdiction as it is a dispute among states, meaning SCOTUS is the first court to hear the case.
  2. Wooden v. United States concerns the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and how predicate offenses are considered and classified under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). A predicate offense is a crime that may be considered a component of a larger crime.

Oct. 5

  1. Brown v. Davenport concerns a circuit split over the standard necessary to grant federal habeas relief to a person held in state custody. A writ of habeas corpus is used in federal courts to determine if an individual’s imprisonment is lawful. A circuit split occurs when two or more U.S. circuit courts issue rulings with opposite interpretations of federal law.
  2. Hemphill v. New York concerns a criminal defendant’s constitutional right to be confronted by the witnesses against him.

Oct. 6

  1. United States v. Zubaydah concerns the state-secrets privilege, an evidentiary rule that allows the government to withhold information if disclosure would harm national security. 

Next week, SCOTUS will hear four hours of oral argument in four cases.

To date, the court has agreed to hear 39 cases this term. Two cases were dismissed after they were granted. Nine cases have not yet been scheduled for argument.

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