February argument calendar consists of immigration, voting-rights instances

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Argument analysis: Justices sympathetic to faith-based foster-care agency in anti-discrimination dispute

Posted Thu December 31st 2020 at 1:30 pm by Amy Howe

The Supreme Court on Thursday released the calendar for its February argument session, which begins on February 22, 2021. Like the argumentation calendar for January 2021, the meeting is relatively easy: It is planned to have eight hours of arguments over six days. but with the very real prospect of two cases being removed from the calendar if President-elect Joe Biden changes the controversial guidelines at the heart of the dispute after taking office next month.

The judges scheduled a hearing in Trump vs. Sierra Club, the longstanding dispute over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall, on February 22, the first day of the session. A week later, on March 1st (which is considered part of the February session), the judges are scheduled to hold an oral hearing at Wolf v. Listen to the Innovation Law Lab, a challenge to the Trump administration’s policy to stay in Mexico that the Department of Homeland Security seeks to bring back immigrants seeking asylum to Mexico while awaiting an asylum trial in U.S. immigration courts. Biden has pledged to end both the construction of the wall and the policy of staying in Mexico, although it is not clear when he will do so. Perhaps as an allusion to the possibility that the oral arguments could be canceled in both cases, both cases were scheduled on the same day as another argument – the only two days of the argument meeting with two arguments.

On March 2, the judges will be hearing a major suffrage battle from Arizona. In both the Brnovich v Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v Democratic National Committee cases, which have been consolidated for an hour of hearing, the court will weigh the legality of an Arizona policy that requires voters to cast their ballot in the districts to whom they are assigned, as well as a challenge to a state law that prohibits “ballot picking”, ie the collection and return of postal ballot papers by third parties. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting, prevents the state from eliminating these practices because racial minorities disproportionately use voting and vote outside their constituency.

The other cases scheduled for the February reasoning session are:

Florida v Georgia (February 22): Long-running dispute over the sharing of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.

Rosen v. Dai & Rosen v. Alcaraz-Enriquez (February 23) (consolidated for one hour of oral hearing): Whether an appellate court can assume that an immigrant’s testimony is credible if an immigration judge or the immigration appeals board did not specifically determine that he was not believable.

Lange v. California (Feb. 24): Whether the exception to the general warrant requirement for police officers pursuing a suspect applies when police are pursuing a suspect they believe has committed a crime.

US v Arthrex, Smith & Nephew v Arthrex & Arthrex v Smith & Nephew (March 1) (consolidated for one hour of oral hearing): Whether to appoint and approve administrative patent judges by the Senate; and if so what the cure should be.

Carr v Saul & Davis v Saul (March 3) (consolidated for an hour of hearing): Whether or not someone who has not questioned the legitimacy of appointing an administrative judge with the Social Security Agency can argue for the first time in federal court.

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to SCOTUSblog in various capacities, is among the counsel on an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Lumber Coalition in the Arthrex cases. The author of this article is not associated with the firm.]

This article was originally published by Howe on the Court.

Posted in Florida v Georgia, Barr v Dai, Barr v Alcaraz-Enriquez, Wolf v Innovation Law Lab, Brnovich v Democratic National Committee, Arizona Republican Party v Democratic National Committee, US v Arthrex Inc., Arthrex Inc. v Smith & Nephew Inc ., Trump versus Sierra Club, Lange versus California, Smith & Nephew Inc. versus Arthrex Inc., Carr versus Saul, Davis versus Saul, Featured, Merits Cases

Recommended citation:
Amy Howe, February Argument Calendar Covers Immigration, Suffrage,
SCOTUSblog (December 31, 2020, 1:30 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/12/february-argument-calendar-includes-immigration-voting-rights-cases/