Americans are always interested in the cases accepted by the Supreme Court, and we watch with interest as the decisions are made public. According to an article by Zack Smith and Caroline Heckman in The Daily Signal, the following five cases will be heard during the 2023-2024 Supreme Court season.
1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited.
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an independent regulatory agency. Congress gave the bureau broad authority and provided it with a unique funding mechanism outside the normal appropriations process. Instead of receiving congressionally appropriated money each year, the bureau instead receives its funding from the Federal Reserve.
Consequently, several financial service organizations claimed that the funding mechanism for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau violates the Constitution’s appropriations clause….
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit agreed and ruled in favor of the challengers. Of course, the government disagreed with this ruling and asked the Supreme Court to review the case, which the Supreme Court agreed to do.
If the Supreme Court agrees with the 5th Circuit, the government contends, “virtually every action [the bureau] has taken in the 12 years since it was created” could be called into question.
But the challengers contend that the Supreme Court must agree with the 5th Circuit because to do otherwise would gut the Constitution’s requirements and allow Congress to create unique, unchecked funding mechanisms that could exist in perpetuity without appropriate – and constitutionally required – accountability….
2. Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo
This case asks the Supreme Court to decide whether courts must defer to an executive branch agency’s fishy interpretation of the laws governing its conduct.
If the high court agrees that no such deference needs to be given, it would be overruling one of its controversial precedents and the much-dreaded Chevron deference (requiring courts to defer to an executive branch agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute) no longer would exist.
Here, family-owned fisheries took issue with a regulation promulgated under the auspices of the National Marine Fisheries Service that required them not only to carry a person serving as a monitor on their fishing boats to ensure compliance with federal fishing regulations, but also to pay the salaries of the monitors they carry….
Of course, the Supreme Court’s decision in this case will have far-reaching implications across the administrative state. If the court discards the idea that it must defer to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute, many other programs promulgated by the federal bureaucracy could be ripe for reexamination by the courts.
Charles and Kathleen Moore invested in an Indian start-up company. However, the Moores never received any distributions from the company, since any funds were always reinvested back into it. Nevertheless, the U.S. government taxed them based on their stake in the company….
So now, the Supreme Court must decide whether the 16th Amendment allows Congress to tax unrealized sums (profits that people don’t receive) without apportionment among the states.
Depending on how the high court rules in this case, it could have a rippling effect on the U.S. tax code. If the court upholds the tax, this might set the stage for a future “wealth tax.”
4. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy
The Securities and Exchange Commission suspected that George Jarkesy and his investment advisers committed fraud. So, the SEC commenced an enforcement action against them….
Jarkesy, however, argued that, among other defects, the SEC’s in-house adjudicative process violated his Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit agreed with Jarkesy….
Now, the Supreme Court will review these three holdings. Regardless of what the court decides, it will have major implications for the administrative state.
5. O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier/Lindke v. Freed
Both cases broadly revolve around whether a public official’s use of social media can constitute state action sufficient to establish a constitutional violation, and if so, when.
Specifically, in both cases, a public official blocked individuals from their social media accounts. If they did so in their official capacities, it could be a First Amendment violation. If they did so in their private capacities, it would not be a violation….
The Supreme Court’s decisions in these cases could have a far-reaching implication for how public officials and citizens interact on social media.
The Supreme Court will hear evidence on other cases during their 2023-2024 judicial season. However, the five cases referenced above may have the most impact on American citizens.