Federal courts remain open, for now
Although other parts of the federal government are phasing into shutdown, the federal courts remain open for now.
Last week the head of the Administrative Office of the Courts, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, advised court personnel of the difficulties the courts would face should a shutdown occur.
The federal courts have enough reserve funds to run as normal for two business weeks before shutting down all but essential work, Bates wrote. After that, extensive furloughs may follow, exacerbating an already “grave judicial crisis” caused by the more than $350 million in cuts triggered by sequestration.
Meanwhile, SCOTUSblog says there’s “almost no chance [the Supreme] Court will shut down.”
The Court, which is scheduled to open its new term on Monday, met as scheduled yesterday to consider cases it might review and today handed down orders to accept eight new cases, including a long-running copyright dispute over the screenplay for the movie “Raging Bull,” in Petrella v. MGM.
Other cases the Court agreed to hear are:
Harris v. Quinn, whether a state can require home-care providers to pay fees to a union to represent their interests before state agencies.
Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S., whether the federal government has a right to reclaim ownership of the lands under railroad rights-of-way once the railroad has abandoned its use of the lands and the property goes into private ownership
U.S. v. Castleman, whether a man’s Tennessee misdemeanor domestic assault plea should ban him from owning a gun.
U.S. v. Quality Stores, Inc., whether a business that shuts down and lets its workers go, and its employees, must pay unemployment tax on the severance checks given to the workers.
Navarette v. California, whether police, after getting an anonymous tip about drunken or reckless driving, must actually observe that kind of misconduct before they may stop a vehicle. In the stop in this case, officers turned up four bags of marijuana in the pickup truck.