The United States Supreme Court on Monday granted certiorari in nine new cases, including two cases on liability shields for online platforms.
In González v. Google, the court is asked to consider the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which broadly protects online platforms from liability for content posted by users of the platforms. Reynaldo Gonzalez sued Google, alleging that the platform recommended ISIS videos on YouTube to its users through various algorithms. Gonzalez sued after her daughter was killed in an ISIS attack in November 2015. The court must determine whether Google is liable for the recommendations or whether Section 230 shields Google from liability. The case offers Judge Clarence Thomas an opportunity to renew his earlier concerns about the broad scope of section 230.
Relative to González is the case of Twitter against Taamnehwhich also asks the court to determine whether Twitter can be held liable under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) for hosting ISIS videos when Section 230 provides a broad liability shield to online platforms. González and Taamneh both have their origins in a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled that online platforms could be held liable. In this case, the family of a Jordanian individual killed in an IS attack in Istanbul filed a complaint against Twitter. The family alleged that Twitter aided and abetted international terrorism by hosting ISIS videos.
In Perez vs. Sturgis Public Schools, Miguel Perez claims that his school experience was negatively affected by the school district’s failure to provide him with a qualified sign language interpreter. Perez sued for damages under a violation of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and a violation of IDEA. The school district settled with Perez for the IDEA violation, but argued that the IDEA had prevented Perez from filing an ADA violation complaint in federal court before following the administrative procedures prescribed by the IDEA. The court is asked to consider whether a claimant must follow all IDEA administrative procedures before filing a non-IDEA claim.
In re Grand Jury is a case involving subpoenas to appear before a grand jury and solicitor-client privilege. The court is asked to consider whether an anonymous international tax law firm was allowed to withhold documents in a grand jury proceeding on the basis of solicitor-client privilege. At the heart of the competition, favor the nature of the communications between the anonymous law firm and its client, in which the law firm provided legal advice and prepared tax returns (non-legal advice) for the client. The question for the court is whether attorney-client privilege extends to communications involving both legal and non-legal advice where obtaining legal advice was the primary purpose of the communication.
In Santos-Zacaria vs. Garland the court is again called upon to examine the administrative procedure, this time in the context of an immigration procedure. Leon Santos-Zacaria is an immigrant who was deported from the United States but later returned to the country. When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated proceedings to deport Santos-Zacaria a second time, Santos-Zacaria requested a stay of deportation, but was denied by an immigration judge. This decision was later upheld by the Immigration Appeals Board, an administrative body. Santos-Zacaria argues that the Immigration Appeals Board based its decision on a different set of facts than the original immigration judge and requested a review by a federal appeals court — in outside the administrative procedure. At issue is whether Santos-Zacaria is barred from seeking such a review under 8 USC 1252(d)(1) which states that immigrants must first exhaust all administrative remedies before seeking federal court. for exam.
In Glacier Northwest v. Int’l Brotherhood of Teamsters, the court is asked to determine whether the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prevents a state tort claim against the Teamsters for intentionally destroying an employer’s property during of a strike against the employer. In August 2017, the Teamsters called a strike by cement truck drivers employed by Glacier Northwest to demand a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that had expired the previous month. During the strike, cement was left in a truck, which was later disposed of by Glacier. Glacier sued the Teamsters in tort for the loss of concrete. A Washington state lower court found the strike was protected by the NLRA, which would mean the matter would be properly heard before the National Labor Relations Board. The Teamsters are asking the court to uphold that lower court ruling, while Glacier is seeking to enforce state tort law.
The court will decide whether the United States can bring criminal charges against a Turkish bank owned and controlled by the Turkish government in Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS v. United States. The US is seeking to enforce a series of bank fraud charges against Turkiye Halk Bankasi under 18 USC § 3231, which gives the US initial jurisdiction over all violations of US law. The United States alleges that the bank conspired to evade US economic sanctions against Iran by laundering Iranian oil and natural gas revenues. A US grand jury indicted Turkiye Halk Bankasi, but the bank claimed it was immune from prosecution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Financial Oversight Board v. Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (CPI) revolves around a request for a document from CPI, a nonprofit Puerto Rican investigative journalism organization. CPI requested access to documents from the Financial Oversight Board of Puerto Rico, an agency vested with the power to oversee and amend the laws of Puerto Rico as a US territory. The council refused access to the CPI without giving a reason. CPI then initiated the case by filing a lawsuit in a U.S. district court, alleging that the board violated the Puerto Rican Constitution’s access to public information guarantee. Now, the court must determine whether Puerto Rico’s Supervision, Management, and Economic Stability Act general grant of jurisdiction to the U.S. federal courts over the two parties involved supersedes the sovereign immunity of the Financial Supervisory Board.
In Ohio Adjutant General’s Department v. Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), the court is asked to consider whether the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 empowers the FLRA to regulate the labor practices of state militias. Historically, the law has empowered the FLRA to regulate the labor practices of federal agencies. In this case, the Ohio National Guard argues that it is a state entity and therefore not subject to FLRA control. The dispute arose when the Ohio National Guard failed to recognize an agreement to renew an earlier collective bargaining agreement with dual-status technicians. The technicians filed complaints of unfair labor practices with the FLRA, whose authority in the matter is now in question.