The United States Supreme Court begins its new term today by hearing arguments in Klobel, Esther, et al. v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, et al. (10-1491) (regarding corporate tort liability for violations of the law of nations) and Lozman, Fane v. Riviera Beach, FL (11-626) (regarding whether moored floating structures constitute “vessels”). But the real meat of the term is in the upcoming months.

The Supreme Court will revisit affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas, address whether dog-sniffing is considered a search in Florida v. Harris (11-817), and whether Amnesty International has standing to challenge section 1881a of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FICA) in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA (09-4112).

The Court is also expected to address gay marriage due to the conflict between Defense of Marriage Act and various state laws allowing and prohibiting gay marriage, and to look at portions of the Voting Rights Act requiring some states with a history of voter discrimination to receive approval from the Justice Department to change election or voting laws.

You can find a full listing of the Supreme Court’s hearings this term here.


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