Fall 2020 Researched Argument Prompts (all cases are current or future Supreme Court of the United States cases):
Case Group 1: U.S. v. Briggs and U.S. v. Collins – Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in concluding – contrary to its own longstanding precedent – that the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows prosecution of a rape that occurred between 1986 and 2006 only if it was discovered and charged within five years.
Case 2: Van Buren v. United States – Whether a person who is authorized to access information on a computer for certain purposes violates Section 1030(a)(2) of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act if he accesses the same information for an improper purpose.
Case Group 3: California v. Texas and Texas v. California – (1) Whether the individual and state plaintiffs in this case have established Article III standing to challenge the minimum-coverage provision in Section 5000A(a) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA); (2) whether reducing the amount specified in Section 5000A(c) to zero rendered the minimum-coverage provision unconstitutional; and (3) if so, whether the minimum-coverage provision is severable from the rest of the ACA.
(1) Whether the unconstitutional individual mandate to purchase minimum essential coverage is severable from the remainder of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and (2) whether the district court properly declared the ACA invalid in its entirety and unenforceable anywhere.
Case Group 4: Nestlé USA v. Doe I and Cargill v. Doe I – (1) Whether an aiding and abetting claim against a domestic corporation brought under the Alien Tort Statute may overcome the extraterritoriality bar where the claim is based on allegations of general corporate activity in the United States and where the plaintiffs cannot trace the alleged harms, which occurred abroad at the hands of unidentified foreign actors, to that activity; and (2) whether the judiciary has the authority under the Alien Tort Statute to impose liability on domestic corporations.
(1) Whether the presumption against extraterritorial application of the Alien Tort Statute is displaced by allegations that a U.S. company generally conducted oversight of its foreign operations at its headquarters and made operational and financial decisions there, even though the conduct alleged to violate international law occurred in – and the plaintiffs suffered their injuries in – a foreign country; and (2) whether a domestic corporation is subject to liability in a private action under the Alien Tort Statute.
Case 5: Trump v. New York – (1) Whether a group of states and local governments have standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge a July 21, 2020, memorandum by President Donald Trump instructing the secretary of commerce to include in his report on the 2020 census information enabling the president to exclude noncitizens from the base population number for purposes of apportioning seats in the House of Representatives; and (2) whether the memorandum is a permissible exercise of the president’s discretion under the provisions of law governing congressional apportionment.
Case 6: Jones v. Mississippi – Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole.
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