The Supreme Court agreed to take up 13 cases Friday, a startlingly large caseload, which fills the remainder of the court’s schedule for this term.
A grant of this size was not unexpected. The justices have heard considerably fewer cases because of the vacancy occasioned by the death of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. As a result, the Court has delayed action on a number of cases, or declined to take them up altogether. Well below its usual quota, and approaching a final opportunity to take cases before adjourning in June, action on this scale seemed likely.
Among the biggest cases now on the docket is National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense. Plaintiffs represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation appealed a decision from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled only federal circuit courts may hear challenges to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. WOTUS is among the most controversial federal regulations in the register, because it affords the EPA broad authority to regulate private lands.
“The Supreme Court’s announcement is encouraging news for millions of landowners nationwide who have been uncertain where to file suits challenging federal regulations that define the scope of the Clean Water Act,” said PLF principal attorney M. Reed Hopper. “The Sixth Circuit read the Clean Water Act far too narrowly when it limited jurisdiction over WOTUS challenges to federal appellate courts. We expect the Supreme Court to overturn the Sixth Circuit decision.” (RELATED: Sessions Hearings Show Democrats Ill-Equipped To Stop Trump)
The Court agreed to take up another case from the 6th Circuit, concerning whether a naturalized citizen may be stripped of his citizenship in a criminal proceeding based on immaterial false statements.
The justices will also grapple with a decision that could have major implications for the “gig” or “sharing” economy, specifically determining whether the National Labor Relations Act bans individual arbitration agreements, which could have major implications for ride-share services like Uber or Airbnb.
The full orders list is available here.
Justices declined to take action in several high profile disputes, including a dispute between Christian bakers — who refused to bake cakes for a gay wedding — and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. A much debated battle over a Texas voter ID law was also passed over by the Court.
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