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5 Biggest Issues Decided During SCOTUS Spring 2018 Session

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

The 2017-2018 SCOTUS term has come to an end, and adding to the whirlwind of the last week of the term, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement as well.

Though the big retirement news has dominated the headlines, looking back over the High Court's term, there were some rather significant decisions that will likely have major impacts moving forward. Pundits from multiple news services have chimed in, and SCOTUSblog will be hosting a symposium next week.

Presidential Travel Ban Power

In Trump v. Hawaii, the Court explained that the president's extrinsic statements didn't matter compared to the fact that the law currently grants the president the authority to suspend entry at the border. The highly controversial decision is likely to be the hallmark of the term.

Masterpiece Cakeshop

Perhaps just as controversial as the travel ban case, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case was sharply divisive. The Court's ruling for the baker while sidestepping the larger question seemed a little too much like the Court trying to have their cake and eat it too.

Sale Tax for Online Sellers

The big decision that is likely to impact small businesses from coast to coast involved whether states can collect sales tax from out of state online sellers that sell/ship to the state. As the Court approved Kansas's tax scheme, more states are expected to follow suit.

Union Dues and Employee Rights

In addition to the Janus case, the Epic case will restrict employee rights. Janus's holding removed the right of unions to collect dues from non-members, while the Epic case made arbitration clauses in employment agreements even stronger.

Cellphone Tracking/Location Data

While the big decisions all seemed to fall away from individual civil rights this term, there was one rather huge decision that helped to resolve a conflict between a person's Fourth Amendment rights and how easy it is for law enforcement to obtain cell phone location data. The High Court found that absent exigent circumstances, particularly since the data isn't going anywhere, a warrant is required for law enforcement to get it.

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