Climate change and immigration policies headline February argument calendar

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In an argument calendar released on Friday afternoon, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments in seven cases over five days. The justices will tackle a wide range of issues, from the Environmental Protection Authority’s power to regulate greenhouse gases to an effort by a group of states to defend a controversial Trump-era immigration policy known as the “public charge” rule after the Biden administration declined to do so.

The justices will hear oral argument on Feb. 28 in West Virginia v. EPA, which is consolidated with three other cases: North American Coal Corp. v. EPA, Westmoreland Mining Holdings v. EPA and North Dakota v. EPA. The cases came to the justices from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court vacated both the Trump administration’s decision to repeal the 2015 Clean Power Plan, which established guidelines for states to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, and the Affordable Clean Energy Rule that the Trump administration issued in its place. The Biden administration urged the justices to stay out of the dispute, stressing that it intends to issue a new rule, but the court granted review in late October.

At the same time, the justices agreed to decide whether a group of 13 states, led by Arizona, can defend a Trump administration rule that broadened the definition of “public charge,” a term in immigration law for people who are ineligible for a green card if the government believes that they are likely to rely too heavily on government assistance. When two federal courts of appeals ruled in favor of groups challenging the rule, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to weigh in, and the justices agreed to do so. But the Biden administration and the challengers subsequently agreed to dismiss the case, prompting efforts by the states to intervene to defend the rule. The justices eventually granted review in Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco to decide whether states with an interest in the dispute should be allowed to intervene to defend a rule when the United States is no longer doing so.

Here’s the full list of cases scheduled for argument in February:

Ysleta del sur Pueblo v. Texas (Feb. 22): Whether a federal law that bars on tribal lands any gaming activities “prohibited by the laws of the State of Texas” bans any kind of gambling prohibited under state law, or whether it goes further and also prohibits any gaming that the state regulates.

Denezpi v. Texas (Feb. 22): Whether a prosecution in the Court of Indian Offenses can trigger the Constitution’s double jeopardy clause.

Arizona v. City and County of San Francisco (Feb. 23): Whether states should be permitted to intervene in litigation and defend a federal regulation when the federal government declines to do so.

West Virginia v. EPA (Feb. 28): Whether the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to issue significant rules that regulate greenhouse gases from power plants.

Ruan v. United States (consolidated with Kahn v. United States) (March 1): Whether a doctor who has the authority to prescribe controlled substances can be convicted for unlawful distribution of those drugs when he reasonably believed that his prescriptions fell within professional norms.

Marietta Memorial Hospital v. DaVita Inc. (March 1): A dispute over the interpretation of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, which bars health plans from considering whether an individual is eligible for Medicare benefits because they suffer from kidney failure and from providing different benefits to such individuals.

Egbert v. Boule (March 2): Whether the court’s decision in Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, allowing a private individual to sue a federal agent for violating his Fourth Amendment rights, extends to First Amendment retaliation claims and to Fourth Amendment claims involving immigration enforcement.

This article was originally published at Howe on the Court.



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