July 17, 2019

Supreme court déjà vu? Similar cases and repeat cases hit court.

Supreme court déjà vu?  Similar cases and repeat cases hit court.



Same-sex wedding cakes are on the menu at the Supreme Court. Again.

So are partisan election maps. And naughty trademarks. And an abortion restriction the high court struck down three years ago.

Some cases at the nation’s highest court are destined for the history books. But it often can take more than one draft to get there. This term, the justices seem to have a lot of repeat offenders.

“There are so many different reasons why the same issue and the same cases will recur in the Supreme Court,” says Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, who argued a case in January that the justices first considered in 2003, then in 2016.

“Important constitutional questions aren’t going to be resolved in a single case,” Chemerinsky says. “And there are some legal issues that come up over and over again in the lower courts.”

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