Welcome back, SCOTUS!

Supreme Court 6 Above the Law blog.JPGIt’s the first Monday of October. That means the “open for business” sign is being hung back up at One First Street.

Adam Liptak took a look at the Supreme Court’s new strategy for this term in a New York Times article this weekend:

The court is working at a brisker pace than it has in recent years. It is accepting more cases and hearing them earlier in the term. In October and November, the court will hear three arguments a day, rather than the usual two, returning after lunch for the third one.

By frontloading the arguments to the beginning of the term, which generally runs from October to June, the court may be able to issue decisions more regularly and avoid the usual end-of-term barrage of significant rulings.

The National Law Journal has a nice distillation of the particularly interesting cases on the docket this term:

  • Business is seeking federal pre-emption of state personal injury suits in the pharmaceutical drug and tobacco arenas.

  • Employees and employers square off in two job bias cases, one involving retaliation and the other pregnancy leave and retirement credit.
  • Sexual harassment in schools draws the justices into the interplay of two major discrimination statutes.
  • And an unusually large number of environmental cases — four — will be argued, ranging from Navy sonar and its effect on marine mammals to the use of cost-benefit analysis in setting environmental standards.
  • Among other issues, there also are “dirty words” in a Fox Television challenge; a free speech challenge involving a monument to the “Seven Aphorisms” of the Summum religion; liability-immunity issues for prosecutors and top federal officials; terror victim compensation lawsuits; and counsel representation in state clemency proceedings.
  • In keeping with the spirit of one case on the docket, FCC v. Fox Television Stations, we’d like to say, “SCOTUS, welcome the f**k back.”

    Justices Return to Work, With Less Meaty Docket [New York Times]

    In the New Term, High Stakes for the High Court [The National Law Journal]

    Earlier: SCOTUS to Weigh In on F**king S**t

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