The Supreme Court will kick off its November argument session with the highest-profile cases of that session: challenges to the consideration of race in the admissions process at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. That news came with the release of the November argument calendar (as well as an updated October argument calendar) on Wednesday.
The justices will hear oral argument in Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College on Oct. 31, the first day of the November session. When the court agreed in January to take up the two cases, it indicated that the cases would be argued and considered together. However, after the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer and the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who until recently served on Harvard’s board of overseers, the court announced that it would hear the cases separately, which will allow Jackson to participate in the UNC case.
The affirmative action cases are two of 13 cases scheduled for oral argument in November, for a total of 10 hours of argument. Although they are the highest-profile cases on the November argument calendar, the justices will also hear oral argument in important cases involving (among other things) the power of federal district courts and the constitutionality of a federal law designed to protect against the separation of Native American families.
The justices also released a revised calendar for the October argument session. The court moved Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway, which had originally been one of three cases scheduled for argument on Oct. 11, to Nov. 8, leaving only two cases on Oct. 11.
Here is the full list of cases scheduled for the November argument session:
Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina (Oct. 31): Whether to overrule the court’s 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, holding that the University of Michigan could consider race in its undergraduate admissions process as part of its efforts to obtain a diverse student body.
Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (Oct. 31): Whether to overrule the court’s 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, holding that the University of Michigan could consider race in its undergraduate admissions process as part of its efforts to obtain a diverse student body.
Jones v. Hendrix (Nov. 1): Whether a federal district court has the power to review a claim that a federal prisoner’s sentence is invalid based on a Supreme Court decision, issued after the denial of his petition for post-conviction review but applying retroactively, that narrowed the scope of the federal criminal law that resulted in an enhanced sentence, when he could not previously have raised that argument under the precedent in that circuit.
Cruz v. Arizona (Nov. 1): Whether the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling that a state rule of criminal procedure barred an Arizona death-row inmate from obtaining relief is an adequate and independent state-law ground for the judgment against him.
Bittner v. United States (Nov. 2): Whether the failure to file an annual report disclosing foreign bank accounts counts as a single violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, no matter how many foreign accounts a taxpayer has, or whether a violation occurs each time an individual account is not properly reported.
Axon Enterprise v. Federal Trade Commission (Nov. 7): Whether federal district courts have the power to review challenges to the constitutionality of the FTC’s structure.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Cochran (Nov. 7): Whether federal district courts have the power to consider claims challenging the constitutionality of the commission’s administrative law proceedings.
Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway (Nov. 8): Whether the Constitution’s due process clause bars a state from requiring a corporation to consent to personal jurisdiction as a condition of doing business in the state.
Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County v. Talevski (Nov. 8): Whether federal laws enacted under Congress’ spending clause power allow a plaintiff to file a federal civil rights claim for their violation.
This post is also published on SCOTUSblog.