The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning issued more orders from the justices’ private conference last week. On Friday the justices agreed to decide whether the Biden administration must continue to enforce the Trump-era program known as the “remain in Mexico” policy, and on Tuesday they added another high-profile case, involving a website designer who seeks a religious exemption from a Colorado law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ customers. The justices also agreed to tackle a case involving veterans’ benefits, and they added a dispute between states over uncashed and abandoned financial instruments to their docket for next term.
In Arellano v. McDonough, the justices agreed to decide whether the one-year filing deadline for veterans to submit disability claims after they are discharged can be extended for good cause, or whether veterans who miss that deadline forfeit retroactive disability benefits dating back to the date on which they were discharged. The question comes to the court in the case of Adolfo Arellano, a U.S. Navy veteran who suffered from severe mental health issues linked to trauma that he suffered during his service on an aircraft carrier. When he finally applied for disability benefits, two decades after he was discharged, he was awarded full benefits – but only as of the date of his application.
In Delaware v. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the justices will hear oral argument next term in a dispute between several states over the fate of unclaimed or uncashed checks issued by MoneyGram Payments Systems. MoneyGram returns unclaimed checks to Delaware, where it is headquartered, but other states argued that the checks are “money orders” or “similar written instruments” and, under federal law, should go to the states where they were purchased. Delaware filed a case directly in the Supreme Court to resolve the question; the court appointed a special master, who concluded that federal law does apply to MoneyGram’s checks. Delaware disagreed with the special master’s conclusions, and now the justices will weigh in.
The Supreme Court also called for the views of the U.S. solicitor general in three cases:
- Musta v. Mendota Heights Dental and Bierback v. Digger’s Polaris, involving whether the federal Controlled Substances Act preempts an order under a state workers’ compensation law requiring an employer to reimburse an injured employee for the cost of medical marijuana used to treat a work-related injury.
- Apple v. Qualcomm Inc., involving whether a licensee has a right to sue to challenge the validity of a patent covered by a license agreement that covers multiple patents.
There is no deadline for the solicitor general to file her brief. The justices will hold another private conference on Friday, Feb. 25.
This post is also published on SCOTUSblog.