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Petitions of the week: Title VII for the military, Medicaid work requirements and more

This week we highlight cert petitions pending before the Supreme Court that ask the court to assess, among other things, whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects uniformed servicemembers and whether Medicaid coverage for certain beneficiaries can be tied to work or other requirements. In Jackson v. Braithwaite, a Black man who served in the Marines sued under Title VII, claiming that he was denied promotions and training opportunities because of his race. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that Title VII applies only to civilian employees, not uniformed servicemembers such as the petitioner. He asks the court to review that decision.

Additionally, the federal government and the state of Arkansas want the court to weigh in on the legality of Medicaid work requirements. In 2018, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services began approving state Medicaid programs, including one in Arkansas, that incorporated work and skill-building requirements as conditions of continued eligibility for Medicaid benefits for certain working-age, non-disabled adults. The D.C. Circuit struck down the secretary’s approval as outside Medicaid’s principal objective of providing health coverage. The secretary and the state ask the court to review that decision in Azar v. Gresham and Arkansas v. Gresham.

These and other petitions of the week are below the jump:

Vázquez-Garced v. Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico
Issues: (1) Whether the Financial Management and Oversight Board for Puerto Rico may preemptively override the ability of Puerto Rico’s elected government to request reprogramming of funds under section 204(c) of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act of 2016 via a blanket ban inserted into a board-certified budget under section 202; and (2) whether the board may, by including in its certified fiscal plan a provision that suspends all reprogramming and prohibits any request from the government for board authorization of reprogramming under section 204(c), impose through the fiscal plan a policy recommendation that the governor previously rejected under section 205.

Lange v. California
Issue: Whether the pursuit of a person whom a police officer has probable cause to believe has committed a misdemeanor categorically qualifies as an exigent circumstance sufficient to allow the officer to enter a home without a warrant.

Jackson v. Braithwaite
Issue: Whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to the uniformed military.

Azar v. Gresham
Issue: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in concluding that the secretary of health and human services may not authorize demonstration projects to test requirements that are designed to promote the provision of health-care coverage by means of facilitating the transition of Medicaid beneficiaries to commercial coverage and improving their health.

Arkansas v. Gresham
Issue: Whether the approval by the secretary of health and human services of the Arkansas Works Amendment was lawful.

Recommended Citation: Andrew Hamm, Petitions of the week: Title VII for the military, Medicaid work requirements and more, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 12, 2020, 10:51 PM),