Issue: (1) Whether, when an assistant state’s attorney testified
against the State’s Attorney pursuant to a subpoena,
concerning alleged improper influence by
the State’s Attorney as to a plea agreement entered
into between the assistant state’s attorney
and a defense attorney, the assistant state’s
attorney was acting within his job duties such that his
speech was not protected by the First Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States; and (2) whether the contours of any First Amendment protections
that might have attached to the assistant
state’s attorney’s testimony were sufficiently clear
such that a reasonable official would understand
that by taking adverse employment action against
the assistant state’s attorney, the official’s actions
would be violating the assistant state’s attorney’s
free speech right.
On Monday, the Court issued orders from its June 23 Conference. It added three cases to its merits docket for next Term. The Court also released its final opinions of the Term, in McDonnell v. United States, Voisine v. United States, and Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. On Tuesday, the Court issued orders from Monday's Conference, the final one before its summer recess. It added eight cases to its merits docket for next Term. The Court is now in recess for the remainder of the summer.
Zubik v. Burwell Because both the Obama administration and the religious non-profits, colleges, and schools challenging the accommodation offered to those who object to complying with the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate confirm that contraceptive coverage could be provided to the challengers’ female employees, through the challengers’ insurance companies, without any notice from the challengers, the decisions of the courts of appeals rejecting the challenge are vacated and remanded. Given the gravity of the dispute and the substantial clarification and refinement in the positions of the parties, the parties on remand should be afforded an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates the challengers’ religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by the challengers’ health plans receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Whether, when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health - or any other valid interest.
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins Because the Ninth Circuit failed to consider both aspects of the injury-in-fact requirements -- an injury in fact must be both concrete and particularized, but the Ninth Circuit's observations concerned only "particularization" -- its Article III standing analysis was incomplete.
BeavEx Inc. v. Costello Whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act preempts generally-applicable state laws that force motor carriers to treat and pay all drivers as “employees” rather than as independent contractors.