On Monday, the Supreme Court decided one of the remaining important cases of this term—Cooper v. Harris—which struck down as racially discriminatory two of North Carolina’s congressional districts. Some important criminal procedure cases remain, and one possibly important church and state case, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer.
Many of the remaining cases, however, pose questions like “[w]hether the filing of a putative class action serves, under the American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah rule, to satisfy the three-year time limitation in Section 13 of the Securities Act with respect to the claims of putative class members” or “[w]hether a plaintiff's claims arise out of or relate to a defendant's forum activities when there is no causal link between the defendant's forum contacts and the plaintiff's claims.”
On the whole, it’s been a low-key term, with a Court hobbled by a missing justice and political uncertainty.
But history may record this term as a blockbuster in one area that has become eerily relevant to America in 2017: how much due process is owed to immigrants, undocumented aliens, aliens outside the United States—and even naturalized citizens. In this area, no fewer than eight cases remain to be announced. The Court granted review in most of them before the election, when they seemed legally important but not overwhelmingly so. But in the surreal post-election era of Donald Trump—the era of the deportation force, mass immigrant roundups, expanding detention of allegedly unlawful immigrants, and hypertrophy of the Department of Homeland Security’s already overgrown enforcement apparatus--they may, together, become literal matters of life and death. Here’s a rundown.