In spite of the uncertainty cause by the government shutdown, the first argument cycle of the Supreme Court’s new term is set to begin October 7, with a broad mix of veteran advocates and relative newcomers stepping up to the lectern.

The march of solicitors general—former, current, state and federal—begins on opening day. Illinois Solicitor General Michael Scodro, who has held that position for six years, will argue first in Madigan v. Levin, an age discrimination case brought under the Equal Protection Clause, not under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Chicago solo practitioner Edward Theobald, making his first argument at the high court, will argue for plaintiff Harvey Levin. Theobald’s email address, noted on the front cover of his brief, betrays his football allegiance; it includes the handle “Bears51.”

In the second case of the first day, former U.S. solicitor general Paul Clement of Bancroft will argue in the closely watched trilogy of cases—Chadbourne & Parke v. Troice, Willis of Colorado v. Troice, and Proskauer Rose v. Troice—that test the liability of third parties such as law firms and insurance companies in securities class actions. Clement, who represents Willis and will also be arguing for the named law firms, will be opposed by veteran advocate Thomas Goldstein of Goldstein & Russell.

On Tuesday, as expected, current U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. will argue in defense of the campaign finance law at issue in McCutcheon v. FEC. Erin Murphy, a colleague of Clement’s at Bancroft, will be the main challenger arguing against the law, joined by Bobby Burchfield of McDermott Will & Emery, who is representing Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Also on Tuesday, Burt v. Titlow, an ineffective assistance of counsel case, will be argued by Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch, joined by Ann O’Connell, an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general. Arguing for the defendant will be Valerie Newman, an assistant defender from Detroit. Bursch and Newman squared off in 2012 in Lafler v. Cooper, another ineffective assistance case that Newman won.

On Wednesday October 9, former SG Gregory Garre, now with Latham & Watkins, will represent the defendant in a tax case United States v. Woods, going up against Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart.

On the following week, the court won’t be sitting Monday October 14, the official Columbus Day holiday. On Tuesday, Thomas Dupree Jr. of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher will argue against Goldstein’s partner Kevin Russell in the important jurisdictional case DaimlerChrysler v. Bauman.

The most publicized case of that week, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action will be argued Tuesday afternoon—the only afternoon case of the October cycle. Bursch, Michigan’s solicitor general, will return to the lectern to defend a ballot initiative that banned the use of affirmative action in admissions to state universities.

The parties on the other side won divided argument time. As a result, Marc Rosenbaum of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California will represent the so-called Cantrell plaintiffs, a group of students, faculty and prospective applicants to Michigan’s state universities. George Washington of Scheff, Washington & Driver in Detroit will argue his first case at the court on behalf of the coalition, whose full name is The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary.

On Wednesday, October 16, in the case Kansas v. Cheever, that state’s attorney general Derek Schmidt, joined by Nicole Saharsky, an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general, will be opposed by former acting SG Neal Katyal. Katyal, now with Hogan Lovells, is representing defendant Scott Cheever on a pro bono basis.

At issue in the case is the extent to which evidence from a court-ordered mental evaluation can be used by the prosecutor against the defendant without running afoul of the Firth Amendment bar against compelled self-incrimination.

Contact Tony Mauro at