Big Cases On The Docket Early In Supreme Court’s Approaching Term
August 26, 2013 by Sam Rolley
Last week, the Supreme Court announced its calendar of cases for the first two months of its next annual term beginning on the first Monday of October. Usually, the Court hears about 80 cases in a given year. Of the 45 the Justices have already selected for the coming year, there are a handful of standouts.
On Oct. 8, the court is scheduled to hear arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC. The case is a follow-up to the landmark Citizens United ruling and will address the Constitutionality of biennial limits on certain campaign contributions.
Next, on Oct. 15, the court will shift its focus to race in the United States. In the case Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the Justices will decide whether a State violates the Equal Protection Clause by amending its Constitution to prohibit race- and sex-based discrimination or preferential treatment.
… Schuette presents affirmative action issues in an entirely different context. The case involves a challenge to Proposal 2, an amendment to the Michigan Constitution, approved by voters in 2006, that banned affirmative action in the state. The statewide ban was challenged by a coalition of groups and individuals who support the continued use of affirmative action in Michigan. Other lawsuits were filed as well, but a federal district court largely upheld the ban enacted by the voters.
On Nov. 5, the court will hear arguments in Bond v. The United States, a case with colorful origins that ultimately questions whether there are limits to Congress’s power to implement treaties.
SCOTUSblog outlines the case as follows:
After Carol Anne Bond’s husband had an affair, Mrs. Bond sought revenge by sprinkling toxic chemicals around the car and mailbox owned by the woman involved. Prosecutors charged her with violating a federal statute implementing the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (also known as the “Chemical Weapons Convention”), to which the United States is a signatory. Mrs. Bond argued that Congress lacked the authority to criminalize her conduct, asserting that the statute is a “massive and unjustifiable expansion of federal law enforcement into state-regulated domain.”
The next day, the court is scheduled to delve into a major religious liberties case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, assessing whether prayers offered at legislative sessions violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.
This will mark the first time that the Supreme has taken up a government prayer case in three decades.