October 01, 2021

Certiorari Grants 2021 to 2022

The United States Supreme Court Has Granted Review in the Following Cases for Decision This Term:

Criminal Sentencing

Concepcion v. United States, No. 20-1650.

Previous versions of the sentencing guidelines recommended significantly greater punishment for crack cocaine offenses than powder cocaine offenses. Congress eventually eliminated this disparity, and allowed for re-sentencing of defendants previously convicted of crack cocaine offenses. In a resentencing proceeding of this kind, under what circumstances (if any) may or must the court consider other post-conviction changes in the facts or law?

Election Law

FEC v. Ted Cruz for Senate, No. 21-12.

Federal campaign-finance laws limit the amount that a candidate can lend to his or her own campaign at $250,000 — but the limit does not apply if the loan is repaid within 20 days following the election, using funds that were donated to the campaign before the election. Senator Ted Cruz lent more than that amount to his campaign, and the campaign intentionally delayed repayment past the 20-day window in order to challenge the constitutionality of the limitation. Does the campaign have standing to bring that suit? If so, do the limitations violate the First Amendment?

First Amendment

Shurtleff v. City of Boston, No. 20-1800.

Private groups may apply to conduct brief ceremonies raising their flags on flagpoles at Boston City Hall. The city had never denied an application until a Christian group sought to raise a flag with a cross on it. Does the First Amendment allow that denial?

International Law & Foreign Relations

Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation, No. 20-1566.

In a lawsuit against a foreign nation under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, how should the court determine what choice-of-law rules to apply?

Taxation

Boechler, PC v. Commissioner, No. 20-1472.

The Tax Code gives a taxpayer 30 days to seek review in the Tax Court of an IRS determination regarding unpaid taxes. Is that deadline jurisdictional in nature?

Services and Industries

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