Last Friday afternoon, the Supreme Court of the United States granted review in six cases:

Am. Trucking Assn., Inc. v. Los Angeles, CA, et al., No. 11-798: Title 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)(1), originally enacted as the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 expressly preempts a State or political subdivision from enacting or enforcing “a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property.” The preemption clause, however, “shall not restrict the safety regulatory authority of a State with respect to motor vehicles.” The Court granted certiorari as to (1) Whether an unexpressed “market participant” exception exists in Section 14501(c)(1) and permits a municipal government entity to take action that conflicts with the express preemption clause, occurs in a market in which the municipal entity does not participate, and is unconnected with any interest in the efficient procurement of services; and (2) Whether permitting a municipal governmental entity to bar federally licensed motor carriers from access to a port operates as a partial suspension of the motor carriers’ federal registration, in violation of Castle v. Hayes Freight Lines, Inc., 348 U.S. 61 (1954).

Hillman v. Maretta, No. 11-1221: Whether 5 U.S.C. § 8705(a), any other provision of the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Act of 1954 (FEGLIA), or any regulation promulgated thereunder, preempts a state domestic relations equitable remedy which creates a cause of action against the recipient of FEGLI insurance proceeds after they have been distributed, like the one contained under Virginia law, in VA. Code Ann. § 20-111.1(D).

AID, et al. v. Alliance for Open Society, Int’l, No. 12-10: Whether the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, 22 U.S.C. § 7631(f), which requires an organization to have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive federal funding to provide HIV and AIDS programs overseas, violates the First Amendment.

Salinas v. Texas, No. 12-246: Whether or under what circumstances the Fifth Amendment’s Self-Incrimination Clause protects a defendant’s refusal to answer law enforcement questioning before he has been arrested or read his Miranda rights.

Sekhar v. United States, No. 12-357: Whether the “recommendation” of an attorney, who is a salaried employee of a governmental agency, in a single instance, is intangible property that can be the subject of an extortion attempt under 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) (the Hobbs Act) and 18 U.S.C. § 875(d).

United States v. Kebodeaux, No. 12-418: A person who is required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) as a result of a federal conviction and knowingly fails to do so is subject to criminal penalties. The court of appeals held that SORNA was unconstitutional as applied to respondent, who was convicted of a military sex offense before SORNA was enacted. The Court granted certiorari as to (1) Whether the court of appeals erred in conducting its constitutional analysis on the premise that respondent was not under a federal obligation until SORNA was enacted, when pre-SORNA federal law obligated him to register as a sex offender; and (2) Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that Congress lacks the Article I authority to provide for criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a)(2)(A), as applied to a person who was convicted of a sex offense under federal law and completed his criminal sentence before SORNA was enacted.