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Government Explained Podcast - is here to provide timely, objective analysis, and present understandable non-partisan information for the everyday person. Each Podcast will resolve around a specific topic and only that topic. The goal of this Podcast is take complex government related topics and turned them into something that all can understand. If updates occur in the future regarding a previous episode, then a new episode will be created with "UPDATED" in the title.
 
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QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether pre-August 3, 2010, crack offenders sentenced under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C) have a “covered offense” under Section 404 of the First Step Act. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Sep 28 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due November 4,…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: (1) Whether the Natural Gas Act delegates to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate-holders the authority to exercise the federal government’s eminent-domain power to condemn land in which a state claims an interest; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit properly exercised jurisdiction over this…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which holds that public school officials may regulate speech that would materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school, applies to student speech that occurs off campus. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Aug 28 2020 | P…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether a defendant, charged with unlawful reentry into the United States following removal, automatically satisfies the prerequisites to asserting the invalidity of the original removal order as an affirmative defense solely by showing that he was removed for a crime that would not be considered a removable offense under curren…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether, in order to qualify for a hardship exemption under Section 7545(o)(9)(B)(i) of the Renewable Fuel Standards, a small refinery needs to receive uninterrupted, continuous hardship exemptions for every year since 2011. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Sep 04 2020 | Motion (20M25) for leave to file a petitio…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: (1) Whether a settlement that is not under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act can trigger a contribution claim under CERCLA Section 113(f)(3)(B); and (2) whether a settlement that expressly disclaims any liability determination and leaves the settling party exposed to future liability can t…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the exacting scrutiny the Supreme Court has long required of laws that abridge the freedoms of speech and association outside the election context – as called for by NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson and its progeny – can be satisfied absent any showing that a blanket governmental demand for the individual identities an…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether a defendant in a patent infringement action who assigned the patent, or is in privity with an assignor of the patent, may have a defense of invalidity heard on the merits. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Sep 30 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due November 5, 2020) Oct 14 2020 | …
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit alone has held, district courts “lack[] discretion to deny or reduce” appellate costs deemed “taxable” in district court under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39(e). DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Sep 10 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari filed…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether a defendant who pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) and 924(a), is automatically entitled to plain-error relief if the district court did not advise him that one element of that offense is knowledge of his status as a felon, regardless of whether he can show that the dis…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether, when applying plain-error review based on an intervening United States Supreme Court decision, Rehaif v. United States, a circuit court of appeals may review matters outside the trial record to determine whether the error affected a defendant’s substantial rights or impacted the fairness, integrity or public reputation …
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether, under 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(f)(4), a grant of temporary protected status authorizes eligible noncitizens to obtain lawful-permanent-resident status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255. DateProceedings and Orders Sep 08 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due October 13, 2020) Sep 08 2020 | Corrected appendix to the p…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether Alaska Native regional and village corporations established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act are “Indian Tribe[s]” for purposes of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Date Proceedings and Orders Oct 23 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due November 25, 2020) …
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erroneously held, in conflict with decisions of other circuits and general antitrust principles, that the National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility rules regarding compensation of student-athletes violate federal antitrust law. DateProceedings and Orders (key to co…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether either Article III or Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 permits a damages class action when the vast majority of the class suffered no actual injury, let alone an injury anything like what the class representative suffered. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Sep 02 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari …
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: 1) Whether a defendant in a securities class action may rebut the presumption of classwide reliance recognized in Basic Inc. v. Levinson by pointing to the generic nature of the alleged misstatements in showing that the statements had no impact on the price of the security, even though that evidence is also relevant to the subst…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement extends to the home. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Aug 10 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due September 14, 2020) Sep 02 2020 | Motion to extend the time to file a response from September 14, 20…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the lower courts erred in suppressing evidence on the theory that a police officer of an Indian tribe lacked authority to temporarily detain and search the respondent, Joshua James Cooley, a non-Indian, on a public right-of-way within a reservation based on a potential violation of state or federal law. DateProceedings a…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the uncompensated appropriation of an easement that is limited in time effects a per se physical taking under the Fifth Amendment. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Jul 29 2020 | Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due September 2, 2020) Aug 06 2020 | Blanket Consent filed by Petitioners, Ce…
 
Consolidated with: Davis v. Saul Issue: Whether a claimant seeking disability benefits under the Social Security Act forfeits an appointments-clause challenge to the appointment of an administrative law judge by failing to present that challenge during administrative proceedings. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding)Jun 29 2020 | Petitio…
 
Consolidated with: Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee Issues: (1) Whether Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy, which does not count provisional ballots cast in person on Election Day outside of the voter’s designated precinct, violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act; and (2) whether Arizona’s ballot-collection law, which per…
 
Consolidated with: Smith & Nephew Inc. v. Arthrex Inc. Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc. Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in this case. Issues: (1) Whether, for purposes of the Constitution’s appointments clause, admini…
 
Issue: Whether the pursuit of a person whom a police officer has probable cause to believe has committed a misdemeanor categorically qualifies as an exigent circumstance sufficient to allow the officer to enter a home without a warrant. February argument calendar includes immigration, voting-rights cases (Amy Howe) Justices take up Fourth Amendment…
 
Issues: (1) Whether a court of appeals may conclusively presume that an asylum applicant’s testimony is credible and true whenever an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals adjudicates an application without making an explicit adverse credibility determination; and (2) whether the court of appeals violated the remand rule as set fort…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether Florida is entitled to equitable apportionment of the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and appropriate injunctive relief against Georgia to sustain an adequate flow of fresh water into the Apalachicola Region. DateProceedings and Orders (key to color coding) Sep 30 2013 | Documents filed with th…
 
Cybercriminals have your businesses in their crosshairs. They are now after the latest generation Mac devices powered by ARM-based M1 chips. For this, a custom-made malware called GoSearch22, distributed in the form of an extension, is being used. A two-year-long cryptojacking operation launched by the WatchDog botnet has also grabbed the attention…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether 28 U.S.C. 1447(d) permits a court of appeals to review any issue encompassed in a district court’s order remanding a removed case to state court when the removing defendant premised removal in part on the federal-officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442, or the civil-rights removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1443. SUPPORT what we…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit erred in vacating as arbitrary and capricious the Federal Communications Commission orders under review, which, among other things, relaxed the agency’s cross-ownership restrictions to accommodate changed market conditions. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to ou…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, by authorizing “injunction[s],” also authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to demand monetary relief such as restitution—and if so, the scope of the limits or requirements for such relief. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.pat…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether a government’s post-filing change of an unconstitutional policy moots nominal-damages claims that vindicate the government’s past, completed violation of a plaintiff’s constitutional right. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/supremecourt Date | Proceedings and Orders …
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the detention of an alien who is subject to a reinstated removal order and who is pursuing withholding or deferral of removal is governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1231, or instead by 8 U.S.C. § 1226. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/supremecourt Date | Proceedings and Orders D…
 
19-422 COLLINS V. MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF TREASURY QUESTION PRESENTED: In 2008, Congress created the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) - an "independent" agency with sweeping authority over the housing finance system. 12 U.S.C. § 4511(a ). Unlike every other independent agency except the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, FHFA is headed by a s…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 ("TCP A") to prohibit calls made to a cell phone without consent using an "automatic telephone dialing system" ("ATDS"). That prohibition exempts calls made "to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States" or "made for emergency purposes." 47 U.S. §227 …
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether a provision in an arbitration agreement that exempts certain claims from arbitration negates an otherwise clear and unmistakable delegation of questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/supremecourt DateProceedings and Orders Jan 3…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: 1. May the district court abstain from exercising jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act for reasons of international comity, where former Hungarian nationals have sued the nation of Hungary to recover the value of property lost in Hungary during World War II, and where the plaintiffs made no attempt to exhaust …
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: 1. Whether the "expropriation exception" of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(3), which abrogates foreign sovereign immunity when "rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue," provides jurisdiction over claims that a foreign sovereign has violated international human-rights la…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana applies retroactively to cases on federal collateral review. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/supremecourt DateProceedings and Orders Aug 15 2019 | Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed i…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the Anti-Injunction Act’s bar on lawsuits for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of taxes also bars challenges to unlawful regulatory mandates issued by administrative agencies that are not taxes. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/supremecourt Da…
 
9-453 CARGILL, INC V. DOE I QUESTION PRESENTED: Petitioner Cargill, Incorporated, purchases cocoa beans grown in Cote d'Ivoire. Respondents are Malian citizens who allege that, when Respondents were under the age of fourteen, Ivorian cocoa farmers subjected them to forced labor and other abuses in violation of international law. Respondents filed t…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether a group of states and local governments have standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge a July 21, 2020, memorandum by President Donald Trump instructing the secretary of commerce to include in his report on the 2020 census information enabling the president to exclude noncitizens from the base populatio…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether a person who is authorized to access information on a computer for certain purposes violates Section 1030(a)(2) of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act if he accesses the same information for an improper purpose. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/supremecourt ★ Support t…
 
House Committee Hearings: The “Minority Witness Rule” When a House committee or subcommittee holds a hearing, the minority party members of the panel have the right to call witnesses of their choosing to testify on at least one day of that hearing. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/governmentex…
 
Article I, Section 7, clause 1, of the U.S. Constitution is known generally as the Origination Clause because it requires that [a]ll bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills. As generally understood, this clause carries two kinds of prohibitions…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress adopted 26 U.S.C. § 5000A. Section 5000A provided that "applicable individual[s] shall" ensure that they are "covered under minimum essential coverage," 26 U.S.C. § 5000A(a); required any "taxpayer" who did not obtain such coverage to make a "[s]hared resp…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 1346(b), 2671 et seq., waives the sovereign immunity of the United States and creates a cause of action for damages for certain torts committed by federal employees "under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with t…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: The Attorney General can cancel removal of certain immigrants under 8 U.S.C. § 1229b (a) and (b). To be eligible for cancellation of removal, a non-permanent resident must have ten years of continuous presence in the United States, and a permanent resident must have seven years of continuous residence. Id. § 1229b(a)(2), (b)(l)(…
 
Each major party in the House has a leadership hierarchy. This episode summarizes the election, duties, and responsibilities of the Speaker of the House, the majority and minority leaders, and the whips and whip system. The Speaker of the House is elected by the House on the first day of a new Congress. Customarily, the caucus or conference of each…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: The City of Philadelphia chose to exclude a religious agency from the City's foster care system unless the agency agreed to act and speak in a manner inconsistent with its sincere religious beliefs about marriage. The Third Circuit upheld that action under Employment Division v. Smith. The questions presented are: Whether free e…
 
QUESTION PRESENTED: Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/supremecourt ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★…
 
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