September 19, 2021

Noteworthy court announcements in August 2021

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Although the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is in its summer recess, the court has issued orders and opinions emanating from its emergency docket this month. The emergency docket refers to orders and opinions issued in cases that are not part of the court’s merits docket of cases that are scheduled for argument.

Aug. 12

Justice Barrett denies request related to university vaccine requirement: Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied a request for an application for injunctive relief filed by a group of students at Indiana University. Injunctive relief, also known as an injunction, is a judicial order stopping a party from performing certain actions, or requiring an action to be performed in a specific manner. The application requested that the court block the school’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students. The request was denied without being referred to the full court.

Court issues ruling on state eviction moratorium: In a 6-3 per curiam ruling, SCOTUS granted an injunction filed by a group of landlords in New York. The application requested that the court lift part of a state moratorium on residential evictions–Part A of the COVID Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA)–established in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. JusticeStephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Aug. 20

Justice Barrett denies request for injunction of groundbreaking for Obama presidential library: Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied a request for an injunction filed by Protect Our Parks, Inc. The application requested that the court block the groundbreaking construction and excavation related to building the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park in Chicago, Illinois. The request was denied without being referred to the full court.

Aug. 24

Court rejects application for stay of Trump administration “remain in Mexico” policy: SCOTUS denied the Biden administration’s application for a stay, or a halt, of a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas injunction requiring the reinstatement of a Trump administration program referred to as the “remain in Mexico” policy. The policy requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting a U.S. immigration court hearing. The order stated that Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan would have granted the application.

Aug. 26

Court issues ruling on federal eviction moratorium: In a 6-3 per curiam ruling, SCOTUS granted an application, filed by the Alabama Association of REALTORS et al, to vacate the nationwide moratorium on evictions of tenants living in a county experiencing substantial or high levels of COVID–19 transmission and who make declarations of financial need. The moratorium was imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In the unsigned opinion, the court stated, “If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it. The application to vacate stay presented to the Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is granted.” Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

This article was originally posted on Noteworthy court announcements in August 2021

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