Although most of the news today involves the democrats’ unreasonable hatred of President Trump’s success, so much in fact, that they blocked the stimulus package yesterday in the Senate, the Supreme Court released decisions in five cases, four which were very critical, this morning.
- In Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, the justices held that lawsuits alleging racial discrimination in contracts can only go forward if the plaintiff can show that race was the but-for cause of the decision not to enter into the contract, and they sent the case back for the lower court to apply that rule.
- In Allen v. Cooper, the justices held that the Constitution does not give Congress the power to revoke the states’ immunity from suit for copyright infringement.
- In Kahler v. Kansas, the justices held that the Constitution does not require Kansas to adopt an insanity test that turns on a defendant’s ability to recognize that his crime was morally wrong.
- In Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr, the justices held that a request for equitable tolling of the deadline to file a statutory motion to reopen deportation cases is a question of law, which can be reviewed by the courts.
One other case was released this morning in addition to these four.
In the Comcast case, the court filing explains:
Entertainment Studios Network (ESN), an African-American-owned television-network operator, sought to have cable television conglomerate Comcast Corporation carry its channels. Comcast refused, citing lack of programming demand, bandwidth constraints, and a preference for programming not offered by ESN.
ESN and the National Association of African American-Owned Media (collectively, ESN) sued, alleging that Comcast’s behavior violated 42 U. S. C. §1981, which guarantees“[a]ll persons . . . the same right . . . to make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens.”
The District Court dismissed the com-plaint for failing plausibly to show that, but for racial animus, Comcast would have contracted with ESN. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that ESN needed only to plead facts plausibly showing that race played “some role” in the defendant’s decision making process and that, under this standard, ESN had pleaded a viable claim.
SCOTUS sent the case back to the Ninth, so that court can follow the law.
In the Barr, deportation case, the court filings explained:
Petitioners Guerrero-Lasprilla and Ovalles, aliens who lived in the United States, committed drug crimes and were subsequently ordered removed (Guerrero-Lasprilla in 1998 and Ovalles in 2004). Neither filed a motion to reopen his removal proceedings “within 90 days of the date of entry of [the] final administrative order of removal.” §1229a(c)(7)(C)(i).
Nonetheless, Guerrero-Lasprilla (in 2016) and Ovalles (in 2017) asked the Board of Immigration Appeals to reopen their removal proceedings, arguing that the 90-day time limit should be equitably tolled. Both petitioners, who had become eligible for discretionary relief due to various judicial and Board decisions years after their removal, rested their claim for equitable tolling on Lugo-Resendez v. Lynch, 831 F. 3d 337, in which the Fifth Circuit had held that the 90-day time limit could be equitably tolled.
The Board denied both petitioners’ requests, concluding, inter alia, that they had not demonstrated the requisite due diligence. The Fifth Circuit denied their requests for review, holding that, given the Limited Review Pro-—————— * Together with No. 18–1015, Ovalles v. Barr, Attorney General, also on certiorari to the same court.
The Supreme Court ruled that “Because the Provision’s phrase ‘questions of law’ includes the application of a legal standard to undisputed or established facts, the Fifth Circuit erred in holding that it had no jurisdiction to consider petitioners’ claims of due diligence for equitable tolling purposes.