SCOTUS Agenda: October Term 2020

Posted at 9:36 AM, October 5, 2020 and last updated 6:13 PM, May 18, 2023


I. Carney v. Adams: Attorney James Adams is tackling a century-old provision in the Delaware constitution that he claims violates the First Amendment. In 2017, Adams changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Independent and wanted to become a judge. But in Delaware, the state constitution limits judges to Democrats and Republicans. In the lawsuit, Adams says the clause unfairly bans him from the bench.

>>WATCH: 10/5/20 SCOTUS Considers Delaware’s Judicial Selection Rules

II. Texas v. New Mexico: Determining whether the River Master correctly allocated evaporation losses under the Pecos River Compact.

>>WATCH: 10/5/20 SCOTUS to Decide Interstate Water Dispute


I. Rutledge, Atty Gen. AR v. Pharmaceutical Care MGMT. Assn.: Determining whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit erred in holding that Arkansas’ statute regulating pharmacy benefit managers’ drug-reimbursement rates, which is similar to laws enacted by a substantial majority of states, is pre-empted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, in contravention of the Supreme Court’s precedent that ERISA does not pre-empt rate regulation.

II. Tanzin v. Tanvir: Determining whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, permits suits seeking money damages against individual federal employees.

>>WATCH: 10/6/20 SCOTUS Considers Damages in Religious Freedom Lawsuit 


I. Google v. Oracle America: Determining (1) whether copyright protection extends to a software interface; and (2) whether, as the jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.

II. Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court & Ford Motor Co. v. Bandemer: Determining whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement of the 14th Amendment’s due process clause is met when none of the defendant’s forum contacts caused the plaintiff’s claims, such that the plaintiff’s claims would be the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts.


I. U.S. v. Briggs & U.S. v. Collins: Determining whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in concluding – contrary to its own longstanding precedent – that the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows prosecution of a rape that occurred between 1986 and 2006 only if it was discovered and charged within five years.

II. City of Chicago v. Fulton: Determining whether an entity that is passively retaining possession of property in which a bankruptcy estate has an interest has an affirmative obligation under the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay, 11 U.S.C § 362, to return that property to the debtor or trustee immediately upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition.


I. Torres v. Madrid: Determining whether an unsuccessful attempt to detain a suspect by use of physical force is a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th, 9th and 11th Circuits and the New Mexico Supreme Court hold, or whether physical force must be successful in detaining a suspect to constitute a “seizure,” as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals hold.

II. Peredia v. Barr ATTY GEN: Determining whether a criminal conviction bars a noncitizen from applying for relief from removal when the record of conviction is merely ambiguous as to whether it corresponds to an offense listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act.


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