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U.S. Supreme Court releases March argument calendar

The U.S. Supreme Court has released its March argument calendar for the 2019-2020 term. The court will hear 11 hours of oral argument in 14 cases between March 23 and April 1.

As of January 2020, the court had agreed to hear 73 cases and had issued decisions in four cases during its 2019-2020 term. Between 2007 and 2018, SCOTUS released opinions in 850 cases, averaging between 70 and 90 cases per year.

March 23, 2020
• United States v. Briggs (consolidated with United States v. Collins)
• United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.

March 24, 2020
• Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc.
• FNU Tanzin v. Tanvir

March 25, 2020
• Carney v. Adams
• USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International

March 30, 2020
• Torres v. Madrid
• Pereida v. Barr

March 31, 2020
• Trump v. Mazars USA (consolidated with Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG)
• Trump v. Vance

April 1, 2020
• Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru (consolidated with St. James School v. Biel)

Click here to read more.

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Justice Neil Gorsuch argues against nationwide injunctions

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, wrote a concurring opinion to a recent case arguing that lower courts often abuse their judicial powers when they issue nationwide injunctions. Gorsuch ended his opinion saying he hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would resolve questions about the rise of nationwide injunctions.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s January 27 order granted the stay of an injunction that had blocked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing a new rule. The rule allows the federal government to deny immigrants a visa or a green card if they rely on government services.

In his opinion concurring in the decision, Justice Gorsuch argued that “universal injunctions tend to force judges into making rushed, high-stakes, low-information decisions.” He also claimed that when a court orders “the government to take (or not take) some action with respect to those who are strangers to the suit, it is hard to see how the court could still be acting in the judicial role of resolving cases and controversies.”

Gorsuch further argued that a judicial system that produces frequent nationwide injunctions might prevent any new federal policy from going into effect. He wrote, “If a single successful challenge is enough to stay the challenged rule across the country, the government’s hope of implementing any new policy could face the long odds of a straight sweep, parlaying a 94-to-0 win in the district courts into a 12-to-0 victory in the courts of appeal. A single loss and the policy goes on ice.”

Learn more about Neil Gorsuch or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Additional reading:

Article III, United States Constitution

Click here to read the U.S. Supreme Court order.


U.S. Supreme Court allows DHS to enforce public charge rule

The U.S. Supreme Court on January 27 voted 5-4 to allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin enforcing a rule that authorizes the federal government to deny immigrants a visa or a green card if they rely on government assistance.

DHS issued the final rule detailing how federal agencies determine the inadmissibility of immigrants likely to become public charges (e.g. dependent on government assistance) in August 2019. Five federal judges later issued injunctions blocking the rule from taking effect. Appellate courts lifted three of the injunctions in December 2019, but a nationwide injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and a statewide injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois remained in effect.

DHS requested that the U.S. Supreme Court stay the nationwide injunction issued by Judge George B. Daniels of the Southern District of New York. In his October 2019 order, Daniels held that the plaintiffs in State of New York et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al. would likely prevail in their claim that DHS promulgated the rule in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and that they would suffer irreparable harm under the new policy.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted the request for a stay. Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh ruled in favor of the stay while Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. In a concurring opinion filed with the order, Gorsuch urged lower courts to curtail the practice of issuing nationwide injunctions, arguing in part that the broad orders impact individuals who are not parties to the cases at hand.

The decision allows the rule to take effect nationwide pending a final decision in State of New York et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al. The statewide injunction blocking the rule in Illinois remained in effect as of January 29.

Click here to learn more about the Administrative Procedure Act.
Click here to learn more about administrative state rulemaking.

Additional reading:
George Daniels
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Department of Homeland Security
Final rule

Link here to view the public charge final rule.

Link here to view the October 2019 injunction.

Link here to view the U.S. Supreme Court order.



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