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Supreme Court sets seven cases for November argument session

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A major Second Amendment dispute and a challenge to the constitutionality of efforts by public officials to block constituents on social media headline the Supreme Court’s November argument calendar, which was released on Wednesday. The session, which begins on Oct. 30, is a relatively light one, with the justices scheduled to hear oral arguments in just seven cases over six days.

The justices will hear oral argument in O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier and Lindke v. Freed, the social media cases, on Oct. 31 – the only day on which they will hear arguments in two cases. Both cases, which stem from different lawsuits, arose after public officials (members of a local school board and a city manager) blocked parents and a resident who criticized them from their personal social media accounts.

A federal appeals court in California ruled that the board members’ blocking of the parents constituted action by the government, and, therefore, violated the First Amendment. But a federal appeals court in Ohio disagreed. It held that because the city manager did not operate his Facebook page as part of his job, he did not violate the First Amendment when he blocked the resident. The Supreme Court agreed to weigh in earlier this year.

The justices will hear oral argument on Nov. 7 in United States v. Rahimi, a challenge to the constitutionality of a federal ban on the possession of guns by individuals who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders. The question comes to the court in the case of Zackey Rahimi, a Texas man who became the subject of a restraining order after a 2019 argument in which he knocked his girlfriend to the ground and dragged her back to his car; a year later, after police found guns and ammunition in his house, he was charged with violating the federal ban.

Rahimi pleaded guilty and was sentenced to just over six years in prison, and a federal appeals court in Texas initially upheld his conviction. But in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, striking down New York’s handgun-licensing scheme, the court of appeals issued a new opinion that threw out Rahimi’s conviction. The Biden administration asked the justices to take up the case, which they agreed to do this summer.

Here’s the full list of cases scheduled for argument in the November 2023 argument sessions:

Culley v. Marshall (Oct. 30) – What test should district courts apply to determine whether a state or local government must provide a hearing to someone who has had property seized under a civil asset forfeiture law?

O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier & Lindke v. Freed (Oct. 31) – Are public officials acting as government officials, so that they can violate the First Amendment, when they block people on their personal social media accounts that they use to communicate with the public?

Vidal v. Elster (Nov. 1) – Does Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act, which bars the registration of a trademark which uses the name of another living person without that person’s permission, violate the Constitution when used to reject a trademark that contains criticism of a government official or public figure?

Department of Agriculture v. Kirtz (Nov. 6) – Whether the civil-liability provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act clearly waive the sovereign immunity of the United States.

United States v. Rahimi (Nov. 7) – Whether a federal ban on the possession of guns by individuals who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders violates the Second Amendment.

Rudisill v. McDonough (Nov. 8) – Whether a veteran who has served two separate periods of qualifying service under the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill is entitled to receive a total of 48 months of education benefits as between both programs.

This article was originally published at Howe on the Court.

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Supreme Court sets seven cases for November argument session, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 6, 2023, 1:25 PM),