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SCOTUS Oral Arguments in November

November 2, 2015

In October, the Supreme Court of the United States began its new session. Because it is the highest court in the land, the justices hear cases that address issues about the Constitution and federal law, making the Court relevant to all citizens. The Supreme Court is set to hear a number of interesting cases in this session including another hearing on racial discrimination and affirmative action.

The previous session saw major issues decided including: lethal injection, marriage equality, health care subsidies, pollution limits, partisanship and redistricting, housing discrimination, religions signs and free speech, the Confederate flag and free speech, separation of powers in foreign affairs, social media and free speech, employment discrimination, judicial elections and free speech, race and redistricting, pregnancy discrimination, and religious freedom in prison.

The November calendar  is still full of issues to resolve. In the month of November, the SCOTUS will hear oral arguments on the following cases:

11/02: Foster v Chatman; Spokeo, Inc v Robins
11/03: Lockhart v US; Torres v Lynch
11/04: Shapiro v McManus; Bruce v Samuels
11/09: Montanile v Board of Trustees of National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan; Kingdomware Technologies, Inc v US
11/10: Tyson Foods, Inc v Bouaphaked; Luis v US
11/30: Musacchio v US; Green v Brennan

In Foster v Chatman, the Supreme Court will evaluate whether a court can determine when jury selection is unconstitutionally influencing the jury’s racial make-up.  Unlike the selection method striking “for cause” which requires giving a reason for disqualifying a potential juror, the selection method of “preemptory strikes” does not require giving an explanation for disqualifying a potential juror.  The Court must consider “whether information outside of the three-step Batson inquiry about jury selection can help answer the question whether a trial played out amid racial tension, which could buttress the defense team’s claim that African Americans were intentionally kept from the jury on account of their race.”  

It will be interesting to see what SCOTUS decides.