Five Cases Left at the Supreme Court

June 29, 2021

Dear Readers,

A brief update, since we’re expecting some or all of the last five cases on the Supreme Court’s docket to come down this morning at 10:00 a.m. Due to life intervening, I haven’t had the chance to summarize the ten cases that were decided last week along with some interesting shadow docket decisions. That will be coming, for subscribers.

I thought it would be helpful in the interim to give you the list of what’s left.

  1. The Arizona Voting Rights cases — Brnovich v. DNC, No. 19-1257Arizona Republican Party v. DNC, No. 19-1258 — 15th Amendment — Scope of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Fifteenth Amendment.

  2. Johnson v. Guzman Chavez, No. 19-897 — Immigration — A complex question about bond arrangements in certain deportation proceedings.

  3. Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc., No. 20-440 — Patent — Whether a defendant in a patent infringement action who assigned the patent, or is in privity with an assignor of the patent, may have a defense of invalidity heard on the merits.

  4. Donor disclosure cases -Thomas More Law Center v. Bonta, No. 19-255Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, No. 19-251 — First Amendment — Whether exempt charities and other nonprofits have the right to keep their donor lists confidential.

  5. PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey, No. 19-1039  — Eminent Domain — (1) Whether the Natural Gas Act delegates to private parties who hold certificates issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the authority to exercise the federal government’s eminent-domain power to condemn land in which a state claims an interest; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals had jurisdiction to hear this case.

The big megilla in all of these is #1, of course; it’s widely expected (though not certain) that the Court will deal a defeat to the Democrats who challenged a restrictive voting law and narrow the scope of Section 2 enforcement. The conventional wisdom holds that the question is how severely the Court will constrict this type of VRA enforcement. A far-reaching decision could, for instance, handicap or even snuff out the Justice Department’s recently filed lawsuit against Georgia over its new restrictive voting law. In addition, don’t sleep on case #4, a charity disclosure matter which many observers view as a stalking horse for a further evisceration of campaign finance laws using the First Amendment. We’ll soon see if the Justices are going to end this term on as radical a note as many observers fear.