The US Supreme Court added five cases to its docket on Thursday following its “long conference” on September 27.
Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate is a suit filed by the Republican Texas senator challenging a federal law that restricts when and how an electoral candidate can repay personal loans to their own campaigns. Cruz is arguing the restrictions violate the First Amendment, while the FEC counters that the law is necessary to protect against apparent and actual quid pro quo corruption.
Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation is a procedural case involving the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The question is whether a federal court hearing a state law claim under the Act must apply the forum state’s choice-of-law rules or whether it may apply federal common law. The petitioner in the case, David Cassirer, brought the case to the high court because he is seeking to recover a painting by Camille Pissarro, which is now in a Spanish museum. Cassirer claims that the painting was stolen from his relatives by the Nazis.
Boechler, P.C. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue is another procedural case, this one asking whether the 30-day time limit to file a petition for review with the Tax Court following a notice of determination from the IRS is a jurisdictional requirement or a claim-processing rule subject to equitable tolling. If it is the former, the Tax Court would lack the power to review petitions that are filed late, but if it is the latter, the time limit could be extended depending on circumstances.
Concepcion v. United States involves the First Step Act of 2018, which grants to federal district courts the power to resentence offenders convicted of distributing crack cocaine in light of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. That act sought to redress sentencing disparities between those convicted of distributing crack cocaine versus those convicted of distributing powder cocaine. The question the Court must decide is whether the district court, in deciding whether to impose a lighter sentence, must or may consider intervening legal and factual developments.
Finally, in Shurtleff v. City of Boston, the Court will consider a question of religion in public places. A Christian group filed suit against the city when the city refused to allow the group to raise a flag, which includes the image of a Latin Cross, on a city hall flagpole, when the city routinely allows many other groups to use the flagpoles. The group argues that the denial by the city violates their First Amendment rights.
The Court’s 2021-22 term begins October 4.