Today is the first Monday in October and as always that means a new term has begun for the Supreme Court. This year’s docket is loaded with corporate law, but instead of a full run of cases on employment law, the environment, federal preemption of injury suits and the like, look for the Court to make decisions on more traditional business issues like bankruptcy, anti trust, patents, corporate compensation and others. In this time of economic uncertainty, the Court appears to be poised to discuss the limits of government regulation and interference with corporations. Perhaps the early arguments in the Citizens United case were a harbinger of where the Court intends to go this term.
There are of course several other important cases coming before the Court, including an eighth amendment case that asks whether a life sentence without possibility of parole for a 13 year old defendant is cruel and unusual punishment and a handguns case that asks, in the wake of Heller, whether the 2nd amendment applies to state and local governments.