We have less than a month until the end of the 2011 Term. Less than a month until we learn the decision in the biggest case of the decade. Less than a month until we have to speculate on what will be the next "biggest case of decade," (since it really is an arbitrary designation).
We're not expecting further opinions or orders this week from the Court, so we're going to get a head start on our favorite summer activity: speculating about the next Supreme Court term.
Based on nothing more than curiosity and speculation within our office, here are three cases to watch for the upcoming term:
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Is Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's Grutter "plus factor"not long for this world? In 2003, Justice O'Connor wrote for the Court that race could be considered a plus factor in university admissions. Now a Texas student is challenging affirmative action policies at the University of Texas at Austin. Will the Court overturn university affirmative action?
Florida v. Harris. If you read our circuit blogs, you know we love our FindLaw Top Dogs, which are usually K-9 officers. But what if the Supreme Court decided that drug-sniffing dog alerts were not probable cause for a vehicle search? Such are the stakes in Florida v. Harris.
Marx v. General Revenue Corp. Will Occupy First Street be next year's Occupy Wall Street? The Court will consider whether a prevailing defendant in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case may be awarded costs for a lawsuit that was not "brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment." If you think debt collectors are unpopular now, consider how much people would hate them if they were allowed to collect court costs from the little guys who sue in good faith.
One issue that is noticeably absent from this lineup? Tasers. The Supreme Court denied certiorari this week in Mattos v. Agarano, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that says tasering a non-threatening suspect is excessive force.
Now that Tasers are off the table, what cases do you want to see in the Supreme Court's 2012 Term?