Just two weeks after the justices finished releasing their opinions from the 2022-23 term, the court is now looking ahead to next term. The Supreme Court on Friday released the calendar for its October oral argument session. The justices will hear just six cases over five days between Oct. 2 and Oct. 11. The session will, however, include several high-profile cases, such as the challenge to a purported racial gerrymander in South Carolina’s congressional map and a challenge to the constitutionality of the law providing funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The justices will hear argument in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association on Oct. 3, the second day of the session. The case began as a challenge by the payday-lending industry to a CFPB rule that barred lenders from trying to withdraw payments from borrowers’ bank accounts after two unsuccessful attempts due to lack of funds in the accounts.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit struck down the rule. It explained that the CFPB was receiving its funding directly from the Federal Reserve, which collects fees from member banks, rather than through money allocated to it by Congress through the normal appropriations process. And that, the court of appeals reasoned, violates the Constitution’s appropriations clause, which directs that “[n]o Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”
The CFPB asked the justices to take up the case, warning that the 5th Circuit’s ruling “calls into question virtually every action the CFPB has taken in the 12 years since it was created,” and the justices agreed to do so in February.
In Alexander v. South Carolina Conference of the NAACP, the justices will consider a challenge to the congressional redistricting map that South Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature enacted after the 2020 census. A three-judge panel ruled earlier this year that the state’s 1st congressional district, which is now represented by Republican Nancy Mace, was an unconstitutional gerrymander because the legislators had deliberately moved tens of thousands of Black voters to a different district in order to make the district a safe seat for Republicans. The panel ordered the state to draw a new map.
The legislators appealed to the Supreme Court, telling the justices that that they had focused on politics, rather than race, in drawing the district. Allowing the lower court’s decision to stand, they said, would put future legislatures in an “impossible bind.” But the challengers countered that the legislators’ reliance on race was “impermissible even if mapmakers used race as a proxy for politics.”
Here’s the full list of cases scheduled for argument in the October 2023 argument session:
Pulsifer v. United States (Oct. 2) – How should courts interpret the federal sentencing law that allows a defendant convicted of some nonviolent drug crimes to avoid what would otherwise be a mandatory minimum sentence?
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association (Oct. 3) – Whether the funding scheme for the CFPB is constitutional.
Acheson Hotels v. Laufer (Oct. 4) – Whether a civil rights “tester” can bring a lawsuit challenging a hotel’s failure to provide information about its accessibility for people with disabilities when the “tester” has no intention of actually visiting that hotel.
Murray v. UBS Securities (Oct. 10) – What showing must an employee alleging discrimination make under the whistleblower protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which bars publicly traded companies from discriminating against employees who report wrongdoing?
Great Lakes Insurance v. Raiders Retreat Realty (Oct. 10) – Whether, under federal admiralty law, a choice-of-law clause in a maritime contract can be rendered unenforceable if enforcement is contrary to the “strong public policy” of the state whose law is displaced.
Alexander v. S.C. Conference of the NAACP (Oct. 11) – Whether South Carolina’s congressional redistricting map constitutes an illegal racial gerrymander.
This post is also published on SCOTUSblog.