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A busy week ahead for the Supreme Court

February 24, 2014 by NCC Staff


The Supreme Court could announce some news cases and settle some old cases, and will hear arguments in five cases in what will be a busy last week of February.

350px-Supreme_Court_US_2010First, on Monday morning the Court is expected to issues orders from its private conference last Friday. Among the cases the Justices voted on whether to consider in that conference were three Second Amendment petitions. (Update: the Court denied all three gun cases on Monday morning.)

Next, the Court will hear arguments in the most anticipated cases of the week, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA case is linked with seven other cases related to the extent of the federal government’s power to formulate greenhouse gas regulations. The case is a follow up to Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (2007), which allowed the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles if it found they endangered public health or welfare.

The current case involves EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants and factories, and whether the agency exceeded its powers under the Clean Air Act. The complicated case will be argued for 90 minutes in front of the Justices.

On Tuesday, the Court is expected to release opinions in at least one case it heard earlier in its current term, which started in October 2013. Then, the Court will hear Robers v. United States, a case related to the subprime mortgage crisis.

On Wednesday, the Justices are expected to announce at least one other decision in at case heard in the current term , and it will hear two new cases involving the Attorney Fees provision in the federal code.

Then, on Friday, the Justices are behind closed doors for another private conference.

After a weekend break, the Court will hear on the most-publicized cases of the current term on March 3: Hall v. Florida.

In Hall v. Florida, the justices will consider how the legal standard is set, at a state level, for determining if a person is mentally disabled to the point of becoming ineligible for the death penalty.

The Hall case is directly related to a case from 2002, Atkins v. Virginia, when the Court said it is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment to execute individuals who are determined to be mentally disabled.

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