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This Week at the Supreme Court Read

By Jonathan Keim | February 23rd, 2015

The Supreme Court returns to its public work today with a full schedule of six oral arguments. This morning the Court will hear argument in Kerry v. Din, concerns whether a consular decision to refuse a visa to a citizen’s alien spouse gives rise to a constitutional claim that can be raised in court. After that, the Court will consider whether a failed lawsuit by a prisoner counts against that prisoner’s three opportunities to file frivolous civil suits.

On Tuesday, the Court considers guns. In Henderson v. United States, the petitioner, who had turned his guns over to the government as a condition of pretrial release, was later convicted of a felony. As a felon, of course, that he would no longer be permitted to possess certain guns under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Normally the rules of criminal procedure require the government to return property to the defendant, but what to do when the defendant isn’t allowed to possess the property anymore? Of particular interest is an amicus brief filed by the Institute for Justice, which urges the Supreme Court to resurrect the doctrine that statutes be construed to avoid forfeitures. After that, the Court will turn to a statute of limitations question, this time involving ERISA.

Then on Wednesday, the Court will hear EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., about the nexus between religious practice and business. In Abercrombie, the company refused to offer a job to a Muslim teenager because she wore a religious headscarf called a hijab during a job interview but then claimed that it was not discriminating because she was religious. Finally, the Court will hear Baker Botts LLP v. ASARCO, LLC, which concerns bankruptcy judges and discretion in fee awards.


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