Highlights of the Supreme Court's 2018-19 Term.

AuthorBlum, Bill


Bucklew v. Precythe: 5-4, Gorsuch. The Eighth Amendment's ban against "cruel and unusual punishments" does not require that executions be pain-free. An inmate who claims he would suffer excruciating pain under a state's lethal injection protocol must prove that alternative methods of execution are readily available.

Flowers v. Mississippi: 7-2, Kavanaugh. Following existing precedent, the Court reversed a capital murder conviction, holding it unconstitutional for prosecutors to exclude jurors from serving in death-penalty trials on the grounds of race.


New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira: 8-0, Gorsuch. In a sharp departure from recent trends, the Court held that a group of truck drivers were employees rather than independent contractors and thus not barred from filing a federal class action lawsuit to resolve their disputes.


Nielsen v. Preap: 5-4, Alito. Legal residents who have committed deportable crimes may be detained by the government indefinitely without a bail hearing, even if their crimes were committed years in the past.


Apple Inc. v. Pepper: 5-4, Kavanaugh. iPhone purchasers may sue Apple for allegedly monopolizing the retail market for the sale of iPhone apps.


Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt: 5-4, Thomas. Overturning a case decided in 1979, the Court held that states must be accorded sovereign immunity from private lawsuits brought against them in the courts of other states.

Knick v. Township of Scott: 5-4, Roberts. Overturning a case decided in 1985, the Court held that pursuant to the Fifth Amendment, property owners may bring federal lawsuits against state and local governments for the taking of property without having to first seek remedies in...

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