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Argument: November 6, 2018 Decision: April 1, 2019 Petitioner Brief: Russell Bucklew Respondent Brief: Anne Precythe, et al. Court below: 8th Circuit Bucklew cannot avoid the state’s standard execution method because of his unique medical condition The State of Missouri convicted Russell Bucklew of murder and sentenced him to death. Bucklew challenged the state’s standard lethal injection method because he claimed the procedure could cause him extreme pain. Bucklew suffers from a medical condition that…
The scoop on the new challenge to the Affordable Care Act In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, a law to provide affordable healthcare for Americans. Since the passage of the ACA (aka Obamacare), the number of Americans with health insurance has increased by 20 million. Obamacare was passed over objections from conservatives who have led a number of legal challenges against it. The most hopeful early attempt to bring down the healthcare bill…
Argument: October 30, 2018 Decision: March 19, 2019 Petitioner Brief: Washington State Department of Licensing Respondent Brief: Cougar Den, Inc.   Court below: Supreme Court of Washington Washington State tried to tax a Yakama fuel trucker, but the United States waived that right by treaty. How do we adapt centuries-old treaties to modern contexts? In this case, the Supreme Court evaluated an Indian treaty from 1855 and sided with the Yakama Tribe on how to…
Argument: October 30, 2018 Decision: March 19, 2019 Petitioner Brief: Washington State Department of Licensing Respondent Brief: Cougar Den, Inc. Court below: Supreme Court of Washington Washington State tried to tax a Yakama fuel trucker, but the United States waived that right by treaty. How do we adapt centuries-old treaties to modern contexts? In this case, the Supreme Court evaluated an Indian treaty from 1855 and sided with the Yakama Tribe on how to interpret…
Argument: October 31, 2018 Decision: March 20, 2019 Petitioners’ Briefs: Theodore H. Frank, et al. Respondents’ Briefs: Paloma Gaos, et al. Google LLC Court below: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Supreme Court returns questionable class action settlement case without addressing the merits. In this class action case against Google, the plaintiffs claimed Google illegally transferred their browser data to websites that turned up in search results. The class was so large, however, that when the…
Argument: March 27, 2019 Petitioner Brief: James L. Kisor Respondent Brief: Brief of respondent Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Court below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit The Supreme Court is considering overruling longstanding precedent on agency deference Congress makes laws. Agencies interpret them. And because agencies are the substantive experts, agencies get to interpret laws with a degree of flexibility. Here’s an example. Congress passes a law relating to healthcare.…
What is political gerrymandering? Simply put, it’s a sly method that state officials may use to draw district lines so they can influence election results. State legislators control the process of allocating people into voting districts (“districting”). When you look at the map of the Congressional districts in a state, you will see the results of their efforts. Districting can influence the outcomes of elections because determining which voters are in which districts can alter…
Argument: January 07, 2019 Decision: March 20, 2019 Petitioner Brief: Dennis Obduskey Respondent Brief: McCarthy & Holthus LLP, et al. Courts below: 10th Circuit Courts of Appeals Supreme Court rules law firms engaging only in “nonjudicial” foreclosures escape the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Dennis Obduskey got a home loan in 2007 and defaulted within a short time. By 2009, Wells Fargo owned the servicing rights and hired a law firm, McCarthy & Holthus, to…
Argument: March 18, 2019 Petitioner Brief: Cochise Consultancy, Inc. and The Parsons Corporation Respondent Brief: United States of America ex rel. Billy Joe Hunt filed. Court below: 11th Circuit Whistleblower asks the Court to consider his claim timely Billy Joe Hunt worked in Iraq for a government contractor. He learned of an alleged kickback scheme in which Cochise Consultancy paid bribes to get awarded a U.S. contract to clean up excess munitions left by enemy troops.…
Argument: March 18, 2019 Brief of Appellants: Virginia House of Delegates, et al. Brief of Appellees: Golden Bethune-Hill, et al. Lower court: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Did Virginia draw the voting districts in line with federal laws? This case started with voting maps that the Virginia House of Delegates drew after the 2010 census. Virginia was — and still is — required to make sure that new voting districts do…