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Court releases April argument calendar

The Supreme Court today released its oral argument calendar for April, the final sitting of the court’s October Term 2017. The justices will close out their regularly scheduled arguments on April 25 with Trump v. Hawaii, the challenge to the president’s September 24, 2017, order restricting travel to the United States by nationals of eight countries. Last June the justices agreed to hear a challenge to a predecessor of the September 24 order, but they removed the case from their merits docket and sent it back to the lower courts after the president issued a new order. On December 4, the justices allowed the government to enforce the full set of restrictions while its appeals are pending, which means that those restrictions will almost certainly remain in place until the court issues its decision by late June or early July. The travel case is the only case scheduled for oral argument on April 25, while the justices will hear oral arguments in three cases (rather than their normal two) earlier that week – suggesting that the court wanted to leave open the possibility of extending the oral argument.

Although Trump v. Hawaii is the highest-profile case scheduled for oral argument in April, the court’s calendar for the month is packed with a number of other significant cases. On April 17, the justices will hear oral argument in South Dakota v. Wayfair, in which they will decide whether to overrule an earlier decision holding that the Constitution bars a state from requiring catalog retailers to collect sales taxes on sales made to state residents unless the retailer is “physically present” in the state. On April 23, the justices will hear oral argument in an important administrative law case: Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, a challenge to the practice of having SEC staff, rather than the whole commission, appoint administrative law judges of the Securities and Exchange Commission. And on April 24, the justices will take up challenges to Texas’ redistricting plans in two cases, both captioned Abbott v. Perez, consolidated for one hour of oral argument.

A full list of the cases slated for argument in April can be found below the jump.

  • Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States (Monday, April 16): Whether stock that a railroad transfers to its employees is taxable under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act.
  • WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corporation (Monday, April 16): Whether a patentee who has shown patent infringement in the United States can ever recover damages for the profits that it would have earned outside of the United States if the infringement had not occurred. (Justice Samuel Alito is recused.)
  • South Dakota v. Wayfair (Tuesday, April 17)
  • Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling (Tuesday, April 17): Whether (and, if so, when) a debtor’s statement concerning a specific asset, provided to show the debtor’s ability to pay a debt, can be a “statement respecting the debtor’s … financial condition” for purposes of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Washington v. United States (Wednesday, April 18): Whether road culverts that reduce fish habitat in Washington state violate Native American fishing rights guaranteed by treaty.
  • Lagos v. United States (Wednesday, April 18): Whether the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act covers costs for reimbursement that were “neither required nor requested” by the government, including costs incurred for the victim’s own purposes and unprompted by any official government action.
  • Lucia v. SEC (Monday, April 23)
  • Pereira v. Sessions (Monday, April 23): Whether, to trigger the stop-time rule for a non-permanent resident’s eligibility for cancellation of removal by serving a “notice to appear,” the government must “specify” the items listed in the definition of a “notice to appear,” including “[t]he time and place at which the proceedings will be held.”
  • Chavez-Meza v. United States (Monday, April 23): Whether, when a district court decides not to grant a proportional sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), it must provide some explanation for its decision when the reasons are not otherwise apparent from the record, or whether it can instead issue its decision without any explanation so long as it is issued on a preprinted form order containing the boilerplate language providing that the court has “tak[en] into account the policy statement set forth in 18 U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10 and the sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), to the extent that they are applicable.” (Justice Neil Gorsuch is recused.)
  • Abbott v. Perez (Tuesday, April 24)
  • Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Tuesday, April 24): Whether and to what extent a U.S. court should defer to a foreign government’s characterization of its own law.
  • Trump v. Hawaii (Wednesday, April 25)

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in Wayfair. However, the author of this post not affiliated with the firm.]

This post was originally published at Howe on the Court.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Court releases April argument calendar, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 23, 2018, 1:03 PM),