Issue: (1) Whether the Confrontation Clause prohibits a government expert, who merely reviewed a nontestifying forensic analyst’s certified report, notes, and results and did not personally conduct or observe any of the relevant analyses, from testifying regarding the analyst’s procedures and conclusions and opining on the analyst’s results; and (2) whether the Seventh Circuit erred by applying a harmless-error standard that ignores the impact that testimony admitted in violation of the Confrontation Clause, which the government relied on in closing arguments, had on the jury, and instead focused on the sufficiency of the remaining evidence, directly conflicting with this Court’s precedent and that of other federal courts of appeals.
The Court is now in recess. The next sitting will begin on February 22. The calendar for that sitting is available here.
United States v. Texas Whether the Obama administration has the authority to issue its new deferred-action policy for undocumented immigrants, whether the states have standing to challenge the policy at all, whether DHS was required to notify the public about the proposed policy and provide opportunity for the public to weigh in on it, and whether the policy violates the Constitution’s “Take Care Clause,” which requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Zubik v. Burwell Does the availability of a regulatory method for nonprofit religious employers to comply with the HHS contraceptive mandate eliminate the substantial burden on religious exercise in violation of RFRA that the Court recognized in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.?
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.
Evenwel v. Abbott Does the "one-person, one-vote" principle require states to use voter population, as opposed to total population, when drawing state legislative districts?
Apple, Inc. v. United States Whether vertical conduct by a disruptive market entrant, aimed at securing suppliers for a new retail platform, should be condemned as per se illegal under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, rather than analyzed under the rule of reason, because such vertical activity also had the alleged effect of facilitating horizontal collusion among the suppliers.
American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA Whether the Third Circuit erred by deferring to EPA’s interpretation of the words “total maximum daily load” to permit EPA to impose a complex regulatory scheme that does much more than cap daily levels of total pollutant loading and that displaces powers reserved to the states.
Frew v. Traylor (1) Whether, in interpreting the provisions of a consent decree, and in deciding whether those provisions should be dissolved, a court should consider the purpose for which the provisions were adopted; and (2) whether, in interpreting the provisions of a consent decree, and in deciding whether those provisions should be dissolved, a court should give weight to the interpretation of the provisions by the judge who originally approved them.
Isom v. Indiana Whether the determination that aggravating circumstances outweigh mitigating circumstances must be made by a unanimous jury, beyond a reasonable doubt.