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Justices to review Meta investors’ data-harvesting suit and Medicare payments calculation

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The Supreme Court on Monday added two cases to its argument schedule for the 2024-25 term. In a list of orders from their private conference last week, the justices agreed to weigh in on a case involving the calculation of Medicare payments as well as a securities-fraud case against social media giant Meta.

The justices once again did not act on a group of petitions urging them to weigh in on the constitutionality of bans on gender-affirming care for minors in Tennessee and Kentucky. They also did not take action on a group of petitions challenging bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Illinois.

The justices granted review in Facebook v. Amalgamated Bank, a case in which shareholders of the company then known as Facebook allege that the company defrauded them when it filed a form with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating that the misuse of its users’ personal data by third parties was a hypothetical risk that could have a negative effect on the company if it actually happened. In reality, the shareholders contend, the British political consulting company Cambridge Analytica had already misused Facebook users’ personal data when Facebook filed the form. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit allowed the lawsuit to go forward, prompting Facebook to go to the Supreme Court. John Elwood discussed the case in more detail last week in his Relist Watch column.

[Disclosure: Tom Goldstein, the publisher of SCOTUSblog (and my husband) represented the shareholders in the court of appeals.]

The justices also agreed to take up Advocate Christ Medical Center v. Becerra, in which they have been asked to decide how to calculate payments by Medicare to provide additional compensation to hospitals that care for large numbers of Medicare beneficiaries and uninsured patients – and, in particular, how to determine, for purposes for that calculation, whether patients are “entitled to” cash benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program.

Both of the cases granted on Monday will likely be argued in the fall, with a decision to follow sometime in 2025.

The court also called for the federal government’s views in four cases involving three separate issues:

  • Zilka v. Philadelphia, Tax Review Board, involving the Constitution’s commerce clause and whether and how states should provide credit for a taxpayer’s out-of-state tax liability. The case was brought by a woman who lived in Philadelphia and worked in Wilmington, Del., so that she was subject to four different income taxes – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wilmington, and Delaware.
  • Sunoco v. Honolulu & Shell v. Honolulu, a pair of cases seeking to hold oil and gas companies responsible for their role in increased fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, which led to property damage in Honolulu. The question that the U.S. Solicitor General will weigh in on is whether federal law bars the plaintiffs’ state-law claims. Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the Honolulu cases. Although he did not explain the reason for his recusal, the financial disclosure forms that Alito filed last year indicated that at that time Alito owned shares in three of the energy companies involved in the cases. 
  • Walen v. Burgum, a challenge to the creation of two new majority-Native-American subdistricts for the North Dakota legislature.

There is no deadline for the U.S. Solicitor General to file her briefs.

The justices will meet for another private conference on Thursday, June 13. Orders from that conference are expected on Monday, June 17, at 9:30 a.m.

This article was originally published at Howe on the Court

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Justices to review Meta investors’ data-harvesting suit and Medicare payments calculation, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 10, 2024, 11:07 AM),