Supreme Court Live Updates: SCOTUS Rejects Disabilities Bias Lawsuit Against Aerospace Company

Live Updates

A reshaped Supreme Court, dominated by Republican appointees, returned to work Monday ahead of major rulings on abortion rights, gun laws, and the relationship between church and state.

The high court affirmed that $3.6 billion in defense funds can be used to finance construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The decision vacated an earlier ruling from the Ninth Circuit appeals court, but the justices did not explain their reasoning for giving the green light to the Trump-era initiative.

SCOTUS also announced its rejection of hundreds of cases, including a disability bias lawsuit and a challenge against a New York tax on opioid companies.

Potential changes that could come as the court continues its work include an overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which bans states from outlawing abortions before fetal viability. The most controversial decision for many, the case has come around as a result of a legal challenge to changes in Mississippi and Texas which attempt to ban most abortions after several weeks of pregnancy.

A 6-3 Conservative majority on the court is expected to see an expansion of gun rights, with a key ruling on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. v. Bruen - the case which could determine nationwide rules about carrying firearms in public.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Supreme Court Term Begins
The US Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on October 4, 2021. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

SCOTUS rejects disabilities bias lawsuit against aerospace company

The Supreme Court declined to review a disability bias case against an aerospace and defense company General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc., which a former employee sued after she was fired for not complying with a steel-toed shoe rule.

Shelia Holmes said that General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc.'s rule violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because although the steel-toed shoe rule was made for worker safety, wearing such shoes worsens her lifelong genetic condition that causes her toes to overlap, Bloomberg Law reported.

SCOTUS Won't Hear Challenge Against New York Tax on Opioid Companies

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear a case from opioid manufacturers and distributors looking to appeal a New York state tax imposed on those behind the powerful drugs, upholding an earlier lower court ruling.

The decision gives the green light to New York to collect a $200 million surcharge from the opioid companies as the state looks to offset costs relating to the deadly opioid epidemic, Reuters reported.

The appeal was brought by two trade groups representing producers and distributors of the drugs and a branch of the Britain-based pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt Plc.

SCOTUS rejects challenge to IRS client list request after tax evasion concerns

The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to examine a challenge from a law firm which was ordered by the IRS to send a list of clients who may have used the firm's advice to underreport their income.

The IRS had sent a John Doe summons for the list of names to Taylor Lohmeyer Law Firm PLLC, and the Fifth Circuit ruled in April 2020 that the service had the authority to do so because it sought to combat possible tax evasion.

The IRS looked to obtain the clients' identities after it probed one hedge fund manager who did not disclose $5 million in offshore income at the firm's advisement, according to court documents, Law360 reported.

SCOTUS won't hear Black lawyer's case alleging employee discrimination

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a case from a Black patent lawyer seeking to use Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to bring her race and gender bias lawsuit against an intellectual property firm to the high court.

Title VII bars employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Shawna Lemon, a former equity partner at Myers Bigel PA, alleged that she was denied a short-term leave request that was typically granted to her white counterparts at the firm.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit previously said that Lemon's case should be dismissed since as a shareholder, she wasn't the type of employee who typically would be protected by Title VII, Bloomberg Law reported.

SCOTUS says $3.6 billion can be used to construct border wall

The Supreme Court on Monday affirmed that $3.6 billion in defense funds can be used to finance construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, Law360 reported.

The decision vacated an earlier ruling from the Ninth Circuit appeals court, but the justices did not explain their reasoning for giving the green light to the Trump-era initiative.

"The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with instructions to direct the district court to vacate its judgments," the justices said. "The district court should consider what further proceedings are necessary and appropriate in light of the changed circumstances in this case."

Pentagon, Microsoft contract case among hundreds rejected by SCOTUS

The Supreme Court said that it would not hear the Pentagon and Microsoft's cloud computing contract case, one of hundreds that the high court announced it had rejected Monday.

The case materialized after the Pentagon announced in July its decision to cancel a contract with Microsoft for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud project. Then, it said that it would seek an alternative deal with Microsoft, Amazon and potentially more cloud providers.

President Joe Biden's administration previously told SCOTUS that the dispute was moot.

SCOTUS rejects D.C. bid for House voting representation

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday to uphold a lower court's decision that Washington D.C. residents are not entitled to have voting representation in the House of Representatives, the Associated Press reported.

District of Columbia residents had requested that the high court consider their plea, but SCOTUS issued a four-sentence order noting a 2000 case in which justices came to the same conclusion as they did Monday.

Washington D.C. currently has a nonvoting member of Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton.