The Supreme Court will officially begin the October 2008 term this week.

On Monday, the Court will hear argument in:

  • Altria Group v. Good (07-562), on whether federal law preempts state tort claims against tobacco manufacturers over the marketing of “light” cigarettes;
  • Locke v. Karass (07-610), on whether public sector unions may use non-member agency fees for litigation expenses outside the bargaining unit; and
  • Vaden v. Discover Bank (07-773), on whether federal courts have jurisdiction over motions to compel state-law arbitration claims that do not themselves raise questions of federal law.

In advance of the arguments, the Clerk will release the remaining orders from the Justices’ private conference of Sept. 29. We will provide coverage of all developments via our LiveBlog.

On Tuesday, the Court will hear argument in:

  • Herring v. United States (07-513), on whether courts must suppress evidence seized during an arrest made as a result of faulty information provided by another law enforcement agency;
  • Arizona v. Gant (07-542), on whether police must show a threat to their safety or the preservation of evidence to conduct a warrantless search of a car whose occupant was recently arrested; and
  • Kennedy v. Plan Adm. for Dupont Savings (07-636), on whether a specific ERISA provision is the only way a divorcing spouse can waive her right to receive her ex-husband’s pension benefits under the Act.

On Wednesday, the Court will hear argument in:

  • Winter, et al. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., et al. (07-1239), on whether the Navy was improperly enjoined from conducting training exercises employing a type of sonar reportedly harmful to whales;
  • Summers, et al. v. Earth Island Institute, et al. (07-463), on whether the Forest Service was improperly enjoined from implementing various regulations, and whether the underlying challenge was ripe for judicial review; and
  • Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville (06-1595), on whether Title VII bars retaliation against workers who cooperate as witnesses during an employer’s internal investigation of sexual harassment.

On Friday, the Justices will hold a private conference, orders from which are expected to be released the following Tuesday, the day after Columbus Day. To view our list of petitions to watch at the conference, click here.

No merits briefs for petitioners or respondents are due this week. Links above direct to case pages on SCOTUSwiki.

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