Major League Baseball’s (MLB) century-long immunity from antitrust law may soon come to an end depending on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the pending Tri-City ValleyCats, Inc. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. The petitioners, a pair of minor league baseball teams, are seeking to overrule years of precedent that allow the league to function as both a monopsonist (only buyer in the market) and monopolist (only seller in a market) given its unique control over the professional baseball market. While other professional sports leagues are subject to competition laws, MLB is uniquely positioned to have complete control over licensing, geographic exclusivity for teams, broadcasting, and salaries. Unsurprisingly, MLB’s unrestricted control of the multibillion-dollar professional baseball market has raised concerns about the continued exemptions.
Shortly before the conclusion of the Supreme Court’s term in June 2023, the Court delivered three blows to President Biden and Democratic party. First, the Court struck down the student debt relief program championed by President Biden. Second, the Court ruled in favor of a Colorado web designer who sought the right to refuse service to a same-sex couple. Lastly, the Court gutted affirmative action by making it unlawful for colleges to consider race as a specific factor in admissions. These high-profile decisions came just over a year after the contentious Dobbs decision, following an extraordinary leak, which overturned abortion rights that had been established under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. These cases are perhaps marred by recent ethics scandals amongst the justices. Consequently, voices from both sides of the political aisle have called for reform of the nation’s highest court.
Last week, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments regarding President Biden’s $400 billion debt relief program. Two cases will be up before the Court that challenge President Biden’s Federal regulatory authority. The program aims to forgive $10,000 in student debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year, while Pell grant recipients will be entitled to an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness.
It’s no secret that companies like Google, Alpha, Meta, and Twitter use and sell our data. However, in recent years, the content that companies display to us while we use their platform, from the ads we see to the websites that we find on search engines, has become a major contentious issue. While Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act shields Big Tech and other online platforms from liability for user-generated content, the Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear Gonzalez v. Google. The outcome of this case could have a huge impact on tech policy and could fundamentally change the type of content that we see online.
On May 18, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a novel and divisive decision that greatly restricts the administrative enforcement powers of the SEC and its use of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) in Jarksey v. SEC. Although much deliberation has been had over the implications and immediate impact of this ruling, the takeaway is that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may be facing significant challenges to its internal enforcement procedures in the near future.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court finally handed down its long-awaited opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In this decision, the Court set aside nearly 50 years of precedent and unequivocally overruled Roe v. Wade, declaring that there is no Constitutional right to abortion. This decision will unsurprisingly change laws and significantly impact millions of people across the country. Although pro-choice activists have been bracing for this outcome and mobilizing to maintain access to abortions, they have to contend with a consideration that did not exist to the same magnitude the last time that abortion was illegal in the US: anti-abortion laws’ impact on data privacy.
The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments in the matter of National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston, et al. on March 31st, 2021. After decades of controversy regarding what restrictions the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) should be allowed to place on their member universities to compensate their collegiate athletes, many antitrust experts hope that the Supreme Court’s decision will give a final decision on if the NCAA’s current regulations are a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act and if they are, are they still justified by the NCAA’s goals.
Roe v. Wade has been a controversial Supreme Court decision ever since it was decided in 1973. Critics have tried to overturn it multiple times over the years. Some states have attempted to circumvent the ruling and implement their own abortion laws, while other states have implemented laws to solidify it in the event the decision is overturned. On the 46th anniversary of the opinion, New York passed a new abortion law called the Reproductive Health Act, which has caused an uproar across the country. In addition, this month the Supreme Court ruled to stay on a Louisiana Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (“TRAP”) law. The question becomes how will states comply with the ruling of Roe v. Wade when its future seems unknown.