Issue: (1) Whether the Establishment Clause prohibits the government from conducting public functions such as high school graduation exercises in a church building, where the function has no religious content and the government selected the venue for reasons of secular convenience; (2) whether the government “coerces” religious activity in violation of Lee v. Weisman and Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe where there is no pressure to engage in a religious practice or activity, but merely exposure to religious symbols; and (3) whether the government “endorses” religion when it engages in a religion-neutral action that incidentally exposes citizens to a private religious message.
On Monday, the justices met for their September 26 conference. They issued orders from this conference on Thursday. The court granted certiorari in nine cases, consolidating two. The October sitting will begin on October 3; the argument calendar for that sitting is available on the court's website.
Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami (1) Whether, by limiting suit to “aggrieved person[s],” Congress required that a Fair Housing Act plaintiff plead more than just Article III injury-in-fact; and (2) whether proximate cause requires more than just the possibility that a defendant could have foreseen that the remote plaintiff might ultimately lose money through some theoretical chain of contingencies.
Moore v. Texas (1) Whether it violates the Eighth Amendment and this Court’s decisions in Hall v. Florida and Atkins v. Virginia to prohibit the use of current medical standards on intellectual disability, and require the use of outdated medical standards, in determining whether an individual may be executed.
Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado Whether a no-impeachment rule constitutionally may bar evidence of racial bias offered to prove a violation of the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.
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.