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Death, Taxes, and SCOTUS: The April Oral Argument List

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Benjamin Franklin (paraphrasing Christopher Bullock) said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

This April, there is one more certainty on Tax Day: The final session of the Supreme Court’s 2012 Term will kick off with arguments about gene patenting on Monday, April 15.

Alas, today is the sad day that we are sharing the final Supreme Court oral argument schedule for the final sitting of the term. Let’s see what’s on the Court’s plate this month, shall we?

Monday, April 15:

  • Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics - Are human genes eligible for patenting?
  • United States v. Davila - Does any degree of judicial participation in plea negotiations require vacatur of a defendant's guilty plea, regardless of prejudice?

Tuesday, April 16:

  • Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl - Does federal law permit a non-Indian couple to adopt an Indian child over the father's objection?
  • American Trucking Association v. Los Angeles - Can a city port agency limit federally-licensed truckers from use of the port area?

Wednesday April 17:

  • United States v. Kebodeaux - Can Congress criminalize a convicted sex offender's failure to register with SORNA if the individual completed his or her sentence before SORNA was enacted?
  • Salinas v. Texas - Whether or under what circumstances the Fifth Amendment's Self-Incrimination Clause protects a defendant's refusal to answer law enforcement questioning before he has been arrested or read his Miranda rights?

Monday, April 22:

  • Hillman v. Maretta -- Does federal or state law control the right to receive death benefits under a federal employee's life insurance policy?
  • Agency for International Development v. Open Society International - Can a government agency limit the free-speech rights of an organization that receives federal AIDS prevention funds by requiring the organization to explicitly oppose prostitution and sex-trafficking?

Tuesday, April 23:

  • Sekhar v. United States - Whether the "recommendation" of a salaried governmental agency attorney, in a single instance, is intangible property that can be the subject of an extortion attempt under the Hobbs Act.
  • Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann - Examining the relationship between "equal sharing" interstate water pacts and protectionist state laws.

Wednesday, April 24:

  • Metrish v. Lancaster -- Can a state retroactively withdraw a diminished capacity defense to a criminal charge?
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar -- What proof (but for causation or mixed motive) is needed to show illegal retaliation under Title VII?

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