Supreme Court enters the home stretch of the October 2017 term

The Supreme Court finished up its last argument sitting on Wednesday and now enters the home stretch.

Orders are expected on Monday, April 30. No decisions will be issued, except possibly per curiams.

No conference on Thursday, May 3, and no orders or decisions on Monday, May 7.

Thereafter, conferences will be held every Thursday from May 10 to June 21, with an unscheduled “wrap up” conference likely to be held on June 28.

Orders and decisions are expected every Monday from May 14 to June 25, except for May 29 which is the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

Just listing the business pending all the way back from October, Hopefully, we will get both the labor arbitration cases and Gill decided in May.

It is pretty clear that Trump will likely be the very last decision released of the term.

October sitting:

<Note: The three labor arbitration cases were argued together and will all be decided together.>

National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, No. 16-307 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether arbitration agreements with individual employees that bar them from pursuing work-related claims on a collective or class basis in any forum are prohibited as an unfair labor practice under 29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1), because they limit the employees’ right under the National Labor Relations Act to engage in “concerted activities” in pursuit of their “mutual aid or protection,” 29 U.S.C. § 157, and are therefore unenforceable under the savings clause of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 2.

Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, No. 16-300 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the collective-bargaining provisions of the National Labor Relations Act prohibit the enforcement under the Federal Arbitration Act of an agreement requiring an employee to arbitrate claims against an employer on an individual, rather than collective, basis.

Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether an agreement that requires an employer and an employee to resolve employment-related disputes through individual arbitration, and waive class and collective proceedings, is enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, notwithstanding the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.

Gill v. Whitford, No. 16-1161 [Arg: 10.03.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the district court violated Vieth v. Jubelirer when it held that it had the authority to entertain a statewide challenge to Wisconsin’s redistricting plan, instead of requiring a district-by-district analysis; (2) whether the district court violated Vieth when it held that Wisconsin’s redistricting plan was an impermissible partisan gerrymander, even though it was undisputed that the plan complies with traditional redistricting principles; (3) whether the district court violated Vieth by adopting a watered-down version of the partisan-gerrymandering test employed by the plurality in Davis v. Bandemer; (4) whether the defendants are entitled, at a minimum, to present additional evidence showing that they would have prevailed under the district court’s test, which the court announced only after the record had closed; and (5) whether partisan-gerrymandering claims are justiciable.

November and December. The two sport betting cases are consolidated.

November sitting:

All cases from November have been decided.

December sitting:

Carpenter v. U.S., No. 16-402 [Arg: 11.29.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cellphone records revealing the location and movements of a cellphone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment.

Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 16-476 [Arg: 12.4.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a federal statute that prohibits modification or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States.

New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Inc. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 16-477 [Arg: 12.4.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a federal statute that prohibits adjustment or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States and Printz v. United States.

Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111 [Arg: 12.5.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel the petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

As most of the cases from the January sitting and forward are not decided, I will not list them individually. The above link has links to all pending cases.

Three new cases were granted on this morning’s order list:

The final case is rather interesting:

Bucklew v. Precythe
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
17-8151 8th Cir. TBD TBD TBD TBD OT 2018
Issues: (1) Whether a court evaluating an as-applied challenge to a state’s method of execution based on an inmate’s rare and severe medical condition should assume that medical personnel are competent to manage his condition and that procedure will go as intended; (2) whether evidence comparing a state’s method of execution with an alternative proposed by an inmate must be offered via a single witness, or whether a court at summary judgment must look to the record as a whole to determine whether a factfinder could conclude that the two methods significantly differ in the risks they pose to the inmate; (3) whether the Eighth Amendment requires an inmate to prove an adequate alternative method of execution when raising an as-applied challenge to the state’s proposed method of execution based on his rare and severe medical condition; and (4) whether petitioner Russell Bucklew met his burden under Glossip v. Gross to prove what procedures would be used to administer his proposed alternative method of execution, the severity and duration of pain likely to be produced, and how they compare to the state’s method of execution.

The first 3 questions were proposed by the Petitioner, the 4th by the Supreme Court.

I am hoping that Murphy is decided in May, with the reality being prolly late June,


I suspect they will hold Murphy until either the the last week or second to last week of June.

Its got huge ramifications for a lot of states.


Masterpiece Cakeshop of course will be a huge decision, regardless of which way it goes.

Cakeshop will be decided 5-4 for Cakeshop.

Thats just the way the cookie crumbles


Most likely.

But it will not have the massive negative effect many fear. In all reality, I believe the effects will be very muted.

That’s my guess too. Kennedy will be the swing vote agreeing with the conservatives on the court.

Many on the left will have a complete meltdown, just as they did over Hobby Lobby. That was the best thing about that decision. :joy:

Not I, I accept all SCOTUS opinions both good and bad.

It part of being an American.


Unlike our friends on the pro-life who never have come to complete grips with Roe V wade many these years later.