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High Court to Consider 10 Cases in February

By Robyn Hagan Cain on December 24, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last week, it seemed silly for the Supreme Court to waste time on its February oral argument calendar because -- hello -- the end of the world was scheduled for the end of the week.

But since that turned out to be a big dud, let's take a look at the key issues in the 10 cases on the High Court's post-Valentine's Day docket.

Tuesday, February 19:

  • Millbrook v. United States -- Whether federal prison guards can be sued for sexual assault on an inmate.
  • Bowman v. Monsanto Co. -- Examining patent exhaustion in the context of genetically-modified self-replicating seeds.

Wednesday, February 20:

  • McBurney v. Young -- Whether states can limit non-citizens' access to public records.
  • PPL Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue -- Refining the definition of foreign tax credit under U.S. tax code.

Monday, February 25:

  • McQuiggin v. Perkins -- Whether there is an actual-innocence exception to the AEDPA requirement that a petitioner show an extraordinary circumstance that prevented timely filing of a habeas petition.
  • Trevino v. Thaler -- Considering a procedural bar to an ineffective counsel claim.

Tuesday, February 26:

  • Peugh v. United States -- Whether a defendant is entitled to a lesser sentence if the penalty for a crime is increased after the crime is committed, but before the defendant is tried.
  • Maryland v. King -- Can authorities take DNA samples from arrested, but unconvicted, defendants?

Wednesday, February 27:

  • Shelby County v. Holder -- Examining the Voting Rights Act.
  • American Express v. Italian Colors Restaurant -- Whether courts can invalidate arbitration agreements because they don't permit permit class arbitration of a federal-law claim.

The Voting Rights Act will get a lot of attention because everyone loves a VRA dispute, and a number of states will be watching the Maryland DNA collection test case to see if their own DNA collection laws will survive Supreme Court scrutiny.

Are there any other cases that you're anxiously anticipating? Let us know on our Facebook and Google+ pages.

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