Supreme Court to hear cases on FBI's ‘No Fly List,’ social media censorship and more

These 12 cases span across topics that include the FBI’s "No Fly List," property rights, and social media regulation laws.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a list of cases it would be tackling in the upcoming, term, beginning on Monday, October 2. 

According to SCOTUSblog, the 12 new cases will likely be argued in January or February of 2024, with a ruling coming in the summer. Additional orders from the conference are expected to be released on Monday.

These 12 cases span across topics that include the FBI’s "No Fly List," property rights, and social media regulation laws.

A pair of cases, Moody v NetChoice, LLC and NetChoice, LLC v Paxton, have been granted review, centering around laws passed in Texas and Florida in 2021.

The Texas law, HB 20, bars social media platforms with more than 50 million active users from demonetizing, blocking, or removing content based on the users’ views. SB 7072 out of Florida, the Stop Social Media Censorship Act, prohibits social media platforms from banning political candidates as well as "journalistic enterprises."

Tech companies argued in lower federal courts that the laws violate their First Amendment right to control what speech is presented on their platforms. The laws were enacted in response to political censorship on the social media platforms.

In Federal Bureau of Investigation v Fikre, justices will have to decide whether an Oregon man can continue his lawsuit alleging that he was placed on the "No Fly List," wrongly, after the government had taken him off the list and promised not to place him back on it "based on the currently available information."

Yonas Fikre, a US citizen of Eritrean descent, was questioned by the FBI while traveling to Africa in 2010, and was told that he had been placed on the list. According to SCOTUSblog, "As a result, the agents told him, he would be unable to return to the United States – unless he agreed to become an informant for the FBI."

Fikre, while seeking asylum in Sweden, filed a lawsuit against the FBI over being placed on the list, but while the lawsuit was pending, the FBI took him off the list and requested that the court dismiss the case because it was now moot.

A lower court said that Fikre’s case was not moot, and the FBI asked the Supreme Court to review the case.

Another case on the docket is Sheetz v County of El Dorado, California, regarding the $23,420 George Sheetz was required to pay the county in traffic mitigation fees when he applied in 2016 for a permit to build a 1,854-square-foot manufactured home on his land.

Sheetz paid the fees but went to court arguing that the cost was unconstitutional, and that the fee wasn’t tailored to his project but instead based on the type of project and zone that it was located, according to the Cato Institute.

The court will also be hearing Office of the United States Trustee v John Q Hammons Fall 2006, LLC, relating to feed imposed on bankruptcy filers; Corner Post v Board of Governors of the Federal System, in which the justices will decide "when the six-year statute of limitations to challenge an action by a federal agency begins to run"; Smith v Arizona, relating to whether the Sixth Amendment allows for prosecutors to expert testimony on evidence that wasn’t admitted into evidence itself; Devellier v Texas, regarding whether "property owners can seek compensation under the Constitution for 'taking' of their property by the state, if the state has not specifically given them a right to sue"; Warner Chappell Music v Neal, whether under existing laws copyright plaintiffs can recover damages that occurred over three years before they filed their lawsuit.

Also being heard before the court is Macquarie Infrastructure v Moab Partners, McIntosh v United States, and Bissonnette v LePage Bakeries Park Street.

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