Supreme Court will have a hard time topping the October 2021 Term, but some of the 29 cases teed up for the October 2022 Term are potentially momentous

The Supreme Court has granted 29 cases for the October 2022 Term to this point, 9 of which are set for oral argument during the October sitting.

The above link is to the full list of cases granted for the October 2022 Term to this point.

Below are what i believe to be the most consequential cases so far.

Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 21-454 [Arg: 10.3.2022]

Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1362(7).

Sackett will be the first case argued during the new term and will likely settle the “Waters of the United States” controversy once and for all.

Merrill v. Milligan, No. 21-1086 [Arg: 10.4.2022]

Issue(s): Whether the state of Alabama’s 2021 redistricting plan for its seven seats in the United States House of Representatives violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

This one is self explanatory.

National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, No. 21-468 [Arg: 10.11.2022]

Issue(s): (1) Whether allegations that a state law has dramatic economic effects largely outside of the state and requires pervasive changes to an integrated nationwide industry state a violation of the dormant commerce clause, or whether the extraterritoriality principle described in the Supreme Court’s decisions is now a dead letter; and (2) whether such allegations, concerning a law that is based solely on preferences regarding out-of-state housing of farm animals, state a claim under Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc.

Essentially a victory for the Petitioners would keep States, particularly California, from acting in a way that restricts interstate commerce or essentially forces their rules on farmers and companies of different States.

Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, No. 21-707

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Grutter v. Bollinger and hold that institutions of higher education cannot use race as a factor in admissions; and (2) whether a university can reject a race-neutral alternative because it would change the composition of the student body, without proving that the alternative would cause a dramatic sacrifice in academic quality or the educational benefits of overall student-body diversity.

Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, No. 20-1199

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Supreme Court should overrule Grutter v. Bollinger and hold that institutions of higher education cannot use race as a factor in admissions; and (2) whether Harvard College is violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by penalizing Asian American applicants, engaging in racial balancing, overemphasizing race and rejecting workable race-neutral alternatives.

Previous two cases are linked together and self explanatory.

303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, No. 21-476

Issue(s): Whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.

Another important free speech case.

Moore v. Harper, No. 21-1271

Issue(s): Whether a state’s judicial branch may nullify the regulations governing the “Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives … prescribed … by the Legislature thereof,” and replace them with regulations of the state courts’ own devising, based on vague state constitutional provisions purportedly vesting the state judiciary with power to prescribe whatever rules it deems appropriate to ensure a “fair” or “free” election.

Here is BY FAR the most consequential case of the next term. If the Plaintiffs prevail, the State Judiciaries will be all but completely stripped of jurisdiction in Federal elections cases, including stripped of the power to review State redistricting. It would give State Legislatures absolute power over redistricting, subject ONLY to review by FEDERAL Courts for violations of the Voting Rights Act.

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Come on SCOTUS!!!

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So all these decisions will not be announced until June 2023 ?

Actually, they could come much sooner, or they could be well delayed.

For example, NYS Pistol & Rifle was argued in November, but not decided till almost the end of the term.

But other cases were decided much earlier.

Link is the official calendar for the October 2022 Term. The days marked in blue are captioned as “non-argument” days, but are colloquially referred to as “opinion” days.

The first such scheduled day is Monday, November 14th. It is possible that we could get opinions from the October sitting that day, though sometimes they end up not releasing opinions on a scheduled opinion day. The second day is Monday, December 12th, where we will likely see opinions from either October or November.

That all being said. Major cases will likely be delayed well into 2023 or perhaps all the way to the end of the term.

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I was reviewing the Stat Pack for the October 2021 Term.

The shortest duration from oral argument to decision was Whole Women’s Health, decided 39 days after oral arguments. (A couple of per curiams were issued 6 days after arguments.)

The longest duration was NYS Pistol & Rifle, decided 232 days after oral arguments.


constitutionally, moore v harper seems pretty cut and dry. the real question is will the judiciary limit the judiciary.

Yes. It is pretty clear that state constitutions (and state courts, by extension) may limit how their legislatures may behave.

within the laws passed by those legislatures, not ignoring them.