Issue: (1) Whether 26 U.S.C. § 512(a)(3)(E)(i), which provides that investment income of a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (“VEBA”) is tax exempt only if a set-aside of the income for a purpose specified in Section 512(a)(3)(B)(ii) “does not result in an amount of assets set aside for such purpose in excess of the account limit determined under section 419A” – which, along with Section 419, limits an employer’s deduction for contributions to a VEBA – must be interpreted consistently with Sections 419 and 419A to mean that a set-aside of income results in set-aside assets only if the income is considered, under Section 419(c), not to have been spent for a specified purpose in the year the income is earned, but instead to have been accumulated for use in a later year; (2) whether a regulation adopting the Federal Circuit’s interpretation outstanding in “temporary” form since 1986 should be given deference despite having been issued without the explanation required by 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A) and without the prior notice and comment required by 5 U.S.C. § 553; and (3) whether the variance rule in Treasury Regulation § 301.6402-2(b)(1) is jurisdictional, barring the deference argument and precluding application of judicial exceptions to such administrative exhaustion requirements.
On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect orders from the April 24 Conference. We expect one or more opinions in argued cases at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. We will be live-blogging beginning at 9:45.
This is the second week of the April sitting. On Tuesday the Court will hear oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is consolidated with three other cases, on the questions of whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires that states grant and/or recognize same-sex marriages. We will be live-blogging updates from the oral argument beginning at 11 a.m.
Glossip v. Gross The constitutionality under the Eighth Amendment of using a sedative as the first drug in a death penalty protocol.