Justices to Hear Cases on Voting Rights as well as Internet Taxes

After three election cycles using the interim maps, the district court ruled of which they were flawed. “Although This particular court had ‘approved’ the maps for use as interim maps, given the severe time constraints the idea was operating under at the time of their adoption,” the court said of which approval was “not based on a full examination of the record or the governing law” as well as was “subject to revision.”

The court concluded of which Texas’s adoption of the interim maps was part of “a litigation strategy designed to insulate the 2011 or 2013 plans via further challenge, regardless of their legal infirmities.”

State officials then filed emergency applications within the Supreme Court, asking the justices to block the district court’s order until their appeal was heard. In a brief order in September, the Supreme Court agreed. The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative members within the majority.

The brand new cases, Abbott v. Perez, No. 17-568, as well as Abbott v. Perez, No. 17-626, join two voting rights cases already on the court’s docket concerning partisan gerrymandering.

Internet Sales Taxes

The Supreme Court also agreed to reconsider a 1992 ruling of which helped spur the rise of internet shopping. The ruling, Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, barred states via forcing companies to collect sales taxes if they do not have a local physical presence.

States say the ruling has deprived them of tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. Brick-as well as-mortar companies complain of which they are put at a competitive disadvantage when they are required to collect sales taxes as well as online companies are not.

Three members of the Supreme Court have indicated of which they may be ready to re-examine the Quill decision.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a concurring opinion in 2015, seemed to call for a fresh challenge to the ruling.

“the idea will be unwise to delay any longer a reconsideration of the court’s holding in Quill,” he wrote. “A case questionable even when decided, Quill today harms states to a degree far greater than could have been anticipated earlier.”

Justices Clarence Thomas as well as Neil M. Gorsuch have also written about their uneasiness with the decision as well as the constitutional justifications for the idea.

The petition within the brand new case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, No. 17-494, asked the Supreme Court to overrule Quill, as well as 35 states as well as the District of Columbia filed a supporting brief generating the same request.

The petition said of which a central rationale for the decision — of which the idea would likely be burdensome for out-of-state retailers to calculate as well as collect taxes for thousands of state as well as local jurisdictions — has been solved by modern software.

The defendants within the case, three internet retailers, responded of which “the largest online sellers collect sales tax in all states.”

“Amazon.com, the poster child of online marketing, which accounts for half of all internet sales as well as 60 percent of the growth, today collects sales tax in every state of which features a sales tax,” they wrote. “If Quill will be overruled the burdens will fall primarily on tiny as well as medium-size companies whose access to a national market will be stifled.”

In-House Judges

The Supreme Court also announced of which the idea would likely decide whether in-house judges at the Securities as well as Exchange Commission had been deciding cases without constitutional authorization.

The in-house judges, known as administrative law judges, were appointed by the commission’s personnel office rather than by the 5-member commission itself. of which may have run afoul of the Constitution’s appointments clause, which requires “inferior officers” to be appointed by the president, the courts or “heads of departments.” The commission itself will be a “head of department,” while its personnel office will be not.

If the in-house judges were “inferior officers,” their appointments were unconstitutional. If they were mere employees, there will be no constitutional problem.

The Justice Department, which had long contended of which the in-house judges were employees as well as not officers, switched positions within the Supreme Court in November 2017. In an unusual move, the idea urged the justices to grant review within the case, Lucia v. Securities as well as Exchange Commission, No. 17-130, even though the idea had won within the appeals court.

The day after the Justice Department request, the commission appeared to cure the constitutional problem. the idea issued an order ratifying the appointments of the in-house judges. as well as the idea instructed judges to give fresh consideration to pending matters.

The case arose via charges of which Raymond J. Lucia as well as his firm had made misleading presentations to prospective clients about a retirement strategy they called “Buckets of Money.”

Mr. Lucia lost before an administrative law judge as well as the S.E.C., as well as a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a challenge to the judge’s authority. The full appeals court agreed to rehear the case, although its judges deadlocked 5 to 5.

In a brief filed last month urging the Supreme Court to hear the case notwithstanding recent developments, Mr. Lucia’s lawyers said he would likely not benefit via the commission’s order.

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