All of this will be decided by July of this year, making 2012 one of the most eventful years in modern American history.
First Amendment Expert Analyzes “Fleeting Expletives” Case
On January 10, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear FCC v. Fox Television Stations, a case disputing a Court of Appeals decision invalidating the Federal Communication Commission’s finding that broadcasts including expletives and nudity were indecent.
Sackett v. EPA
Chantell and Michael Sackett own a small lot in a built-out residential subdivision that they graded to build a home. Thereafter, the Sacketts received an Administrative Compliance Order from the Environmental Protection Agency claiming that they filled a jurisdictional wetland without a federal permit in violation of the Clean Water Act. At great cost, and under threat of civil fines of tens of thousands of dollars per day, as well as possible criminal penalties, the Sacketts were ordered to remove all fill, replace any lost vegetation, and monitor the fenced-off site for three years.
The Sacketts were provided no evidentiary hearing or opportunity to contest the order. And, the lower courts have refused to address the Sacketts' claim that the lot is not subject to federal jurisdiction. Do Petitioners have a right to judicial review of an Administrative Compliance Order issued without hearing or any proof of violation under Section 309(a) (3) of the Clean Water Act?
Knox v. Service Employees International Union
1. In Teachers Local No. 1 v. Hudson, this Court held that "[b]asic considerations of fairness, as well as concern for the First-Amendment rights at stake, ... dictate that the potential objectors be given sufficient information to gauge the propriety of the union's [agency] fee" extracted from nonunion public employees. 475 292, 306 (1986). May a State, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, condition employment on the payment of a special union assessment intended solely for political and ideological expenditures without first providing a notice that includes information about that assessment and provides an opportunity to object to its exaction?
2. In Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Ass'n, this Court held that "the State constitutionally may not compel its employees to subsidize legislative lobbying or other political union activities outside the limited context of contract ratification or implementation." 500 507, 522 (1991) (opinion of Blackmun, J.); accord id. at 559 (opinion of Scalia, J.) (concurring as to "the challenged lobbying expenses"). May a State, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, condition continued public employment on the payment of union agency fees for purposes of financing political expenditures for ballot measures?
Perry v. Perez, Perry v. Davis, and Perry v. Perez
Did the district court err by rejecting the redistricting plans adopted by the Texas legislature for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Texas House of Representatives, and the Texas Senate, and, instead, adopting its own map on an interim basis pending preclearance?
Coleman v. Court of Appeals of MD
In passing the Family and Medical Leave Act, as the Court recognized in Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs, Congress intended to eliminate gender discrimination in the granting of sick leave. Its purpose and findings are supported by the legislative record. The question presented for review is: Whether Congress constitutionally abrogated states' Eleventh Amendment immunity when it passed the self-care leave provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act.