Getting an early start on the new term, the U.S. Supreme Court on September 25 added six new cases to its docket, including a case asking whether the litigation exception to thefederal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act protects lawyers who use car buyers’ personal information for a potential class action.
The new term officially begins on Monday, October 1, but as has been the practice in recent years, the justices released an orders list of newly granted petitions the day after meeting intheir summer conference. However, in a break with tradition, the Court released the orders list a half hour earlier than the usual 10 a.m. time. At the request of news media, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and his colleagues approved the earlier time in order to enable reporters who must meet early filing deadlines on argument days to get to the courtroom in time for the start of oral arguments at 10 a.m. The change also will minimize past disruptions in the press section as late-arriving reporters required shifts in seating arrangements.
Here is a quick look at the new cases added to the argument docket:
Maracich v. Spears: Car buyers brought a suit against lawyers who obtained their personal information through Freedom of Information Act requests to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles in order to identify potential plaintiffs for a class action against car dealers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that obtaining the information and subsequently using it to solicit plaintiffs satisfied the litigation exception to the federal driver privacy law.
Gabelli v. Securities and Exchange Commission: The Court is asked when the five-year limitations period for the government bringing a civil penalty action begins.
Missouri v. McNeely: The justices will decide whether police, acting without a warrant, may take a blood sample from an allegedly drunk driver because alcohol in the blood dissipates over time.
Millbrook v. U.S.: A federal prisoner who claims he was sexually assaulted by prison guards brought this case that asks whether the guards can be liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act when, even though they were acting within the scope of their employment, they were not executing a search, seizing evidence, or making arrests for violations of federal law.
Delia v. E.M.A.: The Court is asked whether the Medicaid Act’s anti-lien provision preempts a North Carolina law giving the state the right to assert a lien on a Medicaid tortvictim’s recovery of funds from a third party.
Levin v. U.S.: Steven Levin brought a claim for battery against the United States and his Navy surgeon after unsuccessful cataract surgery. The justices will decide whether the Gonzalez Act, which immunizes military medical personnel from malpractice liability, applies to common law battery claims.
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