With all the decisions from October Term 2018 now released, the Supreme Court began to look ahead to the fall today, releasing its oral argument calendar for October. The justices will tackle one of the highest-profile issues of the term almost immediately, when they hear oral argument in a trio of cases involving whether federal employment-discrimination laws apply to LGBT employees.
During the second week of the October sitting, the justices will hear oral argument in a group of cases involving the constitutionality of appointments to the financial oversight board created to get Puerto Rico back on its feet. The court only announced on June 20 that it would review these cases, but they have been expedited for oral argument. The justices will close out the sitting with the oral argument in the case of Lee Boyd Malvo, who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for his role in the notorious wave of sniper shootings in the Washington, D.C., area in 2002.
The justices will hear oral argument in 14 cases in the October sitting. However, because some of those cases are consolidated, they will hear just nine hours of argument, including two relatively rare afternoon arguments. The sitting (which normally comprises six days) will have just four days: October 14 is a legal holiday – Columbus Day – and there are also no arguments on October 9, presumably (although the calendar does not say so explicitly) in observance of Yom Kippur.
Kahler v. Kansas (Oct. 7): Whether the Constitution allows a state to abolish the insanity defense.
Peter v. NantKwest (Oct. 7): Whether an unsuccessful patent applicant who wants a federal district court to review the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s denial of his patent must pay the expenses for USPTO employees, including attorneys.
Ramos v. Louisiana (Oct. 7): Whether the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a unanimous jury applies to the states.
Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and Altitude Express v. Zarda (consolidated for one hour of oral argument) (Oct. 8): Whether the federal ban on employment discrimination “because of sex” applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC (Oct. 8): Whether federal employment discrimination laws prohibit discrimination against transgender people.
Financial Oversight Board v. Aurelius Investment, consolidated with Aurelius Investment v. Puerto Rico, Official Committee of Debtors v. Aurelius Investment, United States v. Aurelius Investment and UTIER v. Financial Oversight Board (Oct. 15): Challenge to the constitutionality of appointments to Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board.
Kansas v. Garcia (Oct. 16): Whether federal immigration laws trump a state prosecution for identity theft.
Rotkiske v. Klemm (Oct. 16): Whether the statute of limitations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is paused until the plaintiff discovers the basis for his lawsuit.
Mathena v. Malvo (Oct. 16): Whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v. Alabama, holding that the Constitution’s bar on cruel and unusual punishment prohibits mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles, applies only when life-without-parole sentences are mandatory.
This post was also published on SCOTUSblog.