Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Three Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court began its January sitting on January 11, 2020. In light of this COVID-19 pandemic, the justices will continue to hear oral arguments remotely for the foreseeable future. Below is a brief summary of the problems before the Court a week:

Pham v. Guzman Chavez: The case involves noncitizens who are subject to reinstated elimination orders, which can be issued when a noncitizen has reentered the United States after having been removed. While these orders are usually are not open to challenge, the migrants might pursue withholding of removal if they have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture in the states designated in their elimination orders. The question problem before the Court is whether the alien set in withholding-only proceeding is because of the detention procedures set out at 8 U.S.C. 1231, or rather to the detention procedures set out at 8 U.S.C. 1226. Department 1231 authorizes the detention of an alien who”is arranged eliminated ” It provides that the government”shall” detain the alien during a first 90-day”removal period,” and that the government”may” detain the alien beyond that first period when the alien poses a”threat to the community” or will be”unlikely to obey the order of elimination.” Meanwhile, Section 1226(a) authorizes the detention of the alien”pending a determination on whether the alien will be removed from the United States.” In general, the statute specifically authorizes the government, in its own discretion, to release the alien on”bond” or”conditional parole.” The particular problem the justices should determine is”[w]hether that the detention of a person who’s subject to some reinstated removal order and who’s pursuing withholding or deferral of removal will be regulated by 8 U.S.C. 1231, or instead by 8 U.S.C. 1226.”

Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski: Even though a student at Georgia Gwinnett College, Petitioner Chike Uzuegbunam began distributing religious literature on campus. College officials stopped because he was outside the 0.0015% of campus where”free speech expression” was allowed. When Chike booked a free speech distance and again tried to evangelize, officials ceased because somebody whined which, under College policy, converted Chike’s speech to”disorderly conduct” Facing discipline if he continued, Chike registered suit. Another student, Petitioner Joseph Bradford, self-censored after hearing officials mistreated Chike. The students raised constitutional claims from the school’s enforcement of the policies, seeking damages and prospective equitable relief to remedy that the censorship and chill. After the college changed its speech coverages post-filing, the lower courts held the Chike and Joseph failed to adequately plead compensatory damages, and their nominal-damages claims were meaningless. The Supreme Court must now decide a question that has split into circuit courts of appeal:”When a government’s post-filing change of an unprotected policy moots nominal-damages asserts that vindicate the government’s previous, completed breach of a plaintiffs constitutional right.”

The Federal Trade Commission Act normally”empower[s] and direct[s]” that the FTC to stop individuals by having”unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” The question before the Court is”Whether §13(b) of this Act, by authorizing”injunction[s],”’  also authorizes the Commission to demand monetary relief such as restitution — and if that’s the case, the reach of the limits or requirements for this relief”

Decisions in the instances are expected before the Court’s term ends in June. Please check back for updates.
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