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Supreme Court Adds More Cases To 2017-2018 Term, Including Union Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court begins its new term next week; on Thursday, it added 11 cases to its docket.
Eric Thayer
Getty Images
The U.S. Supreme Court begins its new term next week; on Thursday, it added 11 cases to its docket.

The Supreme Court added 11 cases to its term that begins next week, agreeing to hear a pivotal case on unions that represent government employees. Other cases involve a range of topics, from searches by police to overtime pay for car dealership service advisers.

The newly accepted cases were announced Thursday morning — and so far, the union case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, is attracting the most attention.

The Associated Press says that with a conservative majority, the Supreme Court will hear "a new case with the potential to financially cripple Democratic-leaning labor unions that represent government workers. The justices deadlocked 4-4 in a similar case last year."

Here's a quick guide to the Supreme Court's listing of all 11 cases:

16-961 Dalmazzi, Nicole A. v. United States 16-1017 Cox, Laith G. v. United States 16-1423 Ortiz, Keanu D.W. v. United States

The court consolidated these three cases, which have to do with military justice — specifically, whether a military officer can simultaneously serve on both the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review and as an appellate military judge on a service court of criminal appeals.

16-1027 Collins, Ryan A. v. Virginia

Collins was convicted of receiving stolen property. He is seeking to suppress evidence police obtained without a warrant regarding a stolen motorcycle that was parked in the driveway of a house where he was living.

16-1150 Hall, Elsa v. Hall, Samuel et al.

The case revolves around an appeal in a family dispute over the estate of Ethlyn Louise Hall, the late owner of land in St. John, the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hall died in May 2012.

16-1362 Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, Hector et al.

The court previously considered this case; it turns on the interpretation of labor and overtime laws as they apply to employees at car dealerships. Navarro worked as a service adviser at a Mercedes-Benz dealership; while overtime laws don't apply to car salesmen and mechanics, he says they do apply to advisers.

16-1371 Byrd, Terrence v. United States

Byrd was indicted on charges of possessing heroin with intent to distribute as well as possessing body armor; he was found to have 2,500 bags of heroin during a traffic stop in Pennsylvania in 2014. Byrd says the stop was a pretext and that the vehicle shouldn't have been searched.

16-1466 Janus, Mark v. American Federation et al.

As SCOTUSblog reports, the issue is "Whether Abood v. Detroit Board of Education should be overruled and public-sector 'agency shop' arrangements invalidated under the First Amendment."

16-1495 Hays, Kansas v. Vogt, Matthew Jack Dwight

The Fifth Amendment and self-incrimination: Police officer Matthew Vogt was interviewing for a job with a different city when he mentioned having a knife he acquired while on the job for his existing employer, the police department in Hays, Kansas. He was told to give it back. He wound up facing two felony charges and lost the offer of a new job.

16-8255 McCoy, Robert L. v. Louisiana

"Whether it is unconstitutional for defense counsel to concede a defendant's guilt over the defendant's objection," SCOTUSblog reports. McCoy was sentenced to death for a triple murder in 2008; he was found guilty of killing the mother, stepfather and son of his estranged wife.

16-9493 Rosales-Mireles, Florencio v. United States

Rosales-Mireles was sentenced to 78 months in prison for illegal re-entry to the U.S., but the criminal-history score that was calculated to guide his sentencing included an error: a 2009 Texas conviction for misdemeanor assault was counted twice. The U.S. 5th Circuit affirmed the sentence, acknowledging the "plain error" but saying the 78-month punishment is "in the middle of the proper range of 70–87 months."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.