SCOTUS accepts first cases for its 2022-2023 term

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) accepted three cases for argument during its October 2022-2023 term on Jan. 24. These are the first cases SCOTUS has granted for its next term scheduled to begin on Oct. 3.

Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard (consolidated with Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina) concerns the legality of institutions of higher education using race as a factor in admissions decisions. The questions presented to the court in the case are: “1. Should this Court overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), and hold that institutions of higher education cannot use race as a factor in admissions? 2. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act bans race-based admissions that, if done by a public university, would violate the Equal Protection Clause. Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244, 276 n.23 (2003). Is Harvard violating Title VI by penalizing Asian-American applicants, engaging in racial balancing, overemphasizing race, and rejecting workable race neutral alternatives?” The case originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission concerns whether federal courts have the authority to review constitutional challenges to the structure of the Federal Trade Commission before plaintiffs raise such challenges during agency adjudication proceedings. The court was asked to consider the following question: “Whether Congress impliedly stripped federal district courts of jurisdiction over constitutional challenges to the Federal Trade Commission’s structure, procedures, and existence by granting the courts of appeals jurisdiction to ‘affirm, enforce, modify, or set aside’ the Commission’s cease-and-desist orders.”

Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency concerns how to interpret the Clean Water Act to decide what land falls within the EPA’s wetland regulatory jurisdiction. The question presented in Sackett asks: “Whether the Ninth Circuit set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are ‘Waters of the United States’ under the Clean Water Act.”

Both Axon and Sacket came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Last week, SCOTUS accepted one additional case for its current term. The court granted Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta on Jan. 21. The case concerns state authority in Indian Country and the scope of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020).

To date, the court has accepted three cases for its 2022-2023 term. The court has agreed to hear 65 cases during its current 2021-2022 term and so far has issued decisions in eight of those cases.

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