Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first official week on the Supreme Court kicks off with cases ranging from the detention of immigrants to sentencing guidelines.
Kavanaugh, who was narrowly confirmed to the bench by the Senate, will hear his first oral arguments as a Supreme Court justice Tuesday.
Due to setbacks in his contentious confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh missed the court’s first week. However, none of those initial cases dealt with blockbuster issues: one was about a potential habitat for an endangered frog, and another was related to a death row inmate whose lawyers argue he should not be executed because of dementia.
Kavanaugh will not be able to vote in those cases, but if the court is split 4-4 it could decide to have those cases re-argued so he could break the tie.
As Kavanaugh kicks off his first day, here is a look at the cases on the Supreme Court’s schedule this week.
First up on Tuesday’s schedule are a few cases that have to deal with sentencing for repeat offenders. In Stokeling v. United States, the court is set to determine whether “a state robbery offense that includes ‘as an element’ the common law requirement of overcoming ‘victim resistance’ is categorically a ‘violent felony,’” according to SCOTUS Blog.
The court is also expected to hear United States v. Stitt and United States v. Sims – both cases which have been consolidated. These cases ask the court to determine whether “burglary of a nonpermanent or mobile structure that is adapted or used for overnight accommodation can qualify as ‘burglary’ under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984,” according to SCOTUS Blog.
Perhaps Kavanaugh’s first crucial case is Nielsen v. Preap – a case centered on the detention of immigrants. It asks the court whether a “criminal alien” – particularly one who has been in the U.S. for a long time – is exempt from mandatory detention if the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t take him or her into federal immigration custody immediately after being released from criminal custody.
The case was brought by three lawful permanent residents who were denied bond hearings after they were taken into custody by federal immigration agents – years after they had been released back into their communities, The Atlantic reported.
Nielsen v. Preap is on the schedule for Wednesday.
Liability and maritime law
Also on the docket for Wednesday is Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries.
This case asks: “Under general maritime negligence law, does a manufacturer have a duty to warn users of the known hazards aspiring from the expected and intended use of its own product?”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.