A Review of the Supreme Court’s 2015 - 2016 Term

Franczek P.C.

Last week, the Supreme Court ended its 2015-2016 session under a cloud of uncertainty. On February 22, 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia, the stalwart of the Court’s conservative wing for 30 years, passed away. Justice Scalia’s absence impacted many decisions the Court has issued since February.

President Obama’s nominee to succeed Justice Scalia, Judge Merrick Garland of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, has yet to receive a confirmation hearing from the U.S. Senate. Therefore, with only 8 members, the Court split 4-4 on several major decisions, including two labor and employment decisions. In those cases, there is no majority decision and the lower court’s ruling stands, as if the Supreme Court had not taken the case at all. For example, the Supreme Court deadlocked in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, preserving public sector unions’ right to charge non-members a “fair share fee.” Most recently, the Supreme Court tied in United States v. Texas, throwing the centerpiece of President Obama’s immigration program into legal limbo by preserving an injunction preventing it from taking effect.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Franczek P.C.

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