Posts tagged with "Supreme Court of the United States"

Biden Administration asks SCOTUS for consent to end Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

December 31, 2021

On Wednesday, December 29, the Biden Administration asked the Supreme Court for permission to end the Trump-era Remain in Mexico” program, which requires non-Mexican asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico until their U.S. immigration court dates,  reports CNN.

In August, a federal judge in Texas ordered the revival of the policy after the Department of Homeland Security attempted to end the program. An appeals court also ruled against the Administration, which began to re-implement the program earlier this month.

Under former President Donald Trump, thousands of migrants were subject to the program, formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols, which has resulted in migrants living in makeshift camps along Mexico’s northern border, often in squalor and dangerous conditions.

“In short, the lower courts have commanded DHS to implement and enforce the short-lived and controversial MPP program in perpetuity. And they have done so despite determinations by the politically accountable Executive Branch that MPP is not the best tool for deterring unlawful migration; that MPP exposes migrants to unacceptable risks; and that MPP detracts from the Executive’s foreign-relations efforts to manage regional migration,” the Administration wrote to the justices.

According to CNN, the filing also requests that the Supreme Court review the case this term, arguing that the appeals court ruling threatens to disrupt other cases where the government’s policies on issues like immigration detention and parole are challenged.

“Delaying review until next Term would likely postpone resolution of those critical issues until sometime in 2023. In the meantime, the government would be forced to continue negotiating with Mexico to maintain a controversial program that it has already twice determined is no longer in the best interests of the United States,” the filing reads.

The Supreme Court previously denied a request from the Administration that the program’s revival remain on hold while the case was appealed.

When the federal appeals court blocked President Joe Biden’s attempt to end the immigration program, it said the Administration’s efforts did not comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, which sets out specific processes that agencies must go through in unveiling new policies.

The court also said that the effort violated an immigration law that says noncitizens “shall” be detained or returned to the countries from which they arrived while their immigration proceedings move forward.

Research contact: @CNN

Supreme Court appears inclined to hear antitrust suit against Apple

November 27, 2018

On November 26, the U.S. Supreme Court appeared likely to allow a class-action lawsuit (Apple Inc. v. Pepper) first filed in California in 2011 by a group of iPhone users to proceed against Apple.

According to the SCOTUSblog, the implications of the case could be significant not only for Apple—which could face millions of dollars’ worth of damages if the case is allowed to go forward and the company is found liable—but also for other companies that operate similar “electronic marketplaces.”

Specifically, the case alleges that the Cupertino, California-based tech company has violated federal antitrust laws by monopolizing the market for iPhone software on its App Store and requiring consumers to pay inflated prices. Indeed, the suit claims that Apple not only confines sales of its apps to its own store, but also takes a 30% commission from the purchases.

However, the SCOTUSblog notes, Apple is arguing that the iPhone users don’t have a case at all, because Apple is simply selling the apps to iPhone users at the prices that the app developers have set.

In order for the case to proceed, the Supreme Court first must decide, according to the brief for the case, “Whether there is a compelling reason to review the Ninth Circuit’s determination, in accordance with the well-settled standing requirement of the 1977 suit, Illinois Brick v. Illinois.”

In that 40-year-old U.S. Supreme Court antitrust decision, it was established that “indirect purchases of goods or services along a supply chain cannot seek remedy for antitrust actions committed by the manufacturer or service provider.”  Thus, the plaintiffs only would have antitrust standing as “direct purchasers” who were directly overcharged.

The nine justices heard an hour of arguments on Monday. Liberal Justice Elena Kagan, in explaining how an App Store purchase is handled, said, “From my perspective, I’ve engaged in a one-step transaction with Apple,” according to a report by Reuters.

Some conservative justices, including Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, wondered whether the 1977 ruling was still valid in a modern marketplace.

However, Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts’ questions “suggested he agreed with Apple’s position,” Reuters reported. Roberts expressed concern that, for a single price increase, Apple could be held liable by both consumers and App developers.

The iPhone users, including lead plaintiff Robert Pepper of Chicago, have argued that Apple’s monopoly leads to inflated prices compared to if apps were available from other sources.

Though developers set the prices of their apps, Apple collects the payments from iPhone users—and does keep a 30% commission on each purchase. One area of dispute in the case is whether app developers recoup the cost of that commission by passing it on to consumers. Developers earned more than $26 billion in 2017, a 30% increase over 2016, according to Apple.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived the case last year, finding that Apple was a distributor that sold iPhone apps directly to consumers.

Research contact: @andrew_chung_