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Supreme Court Opens October Sessions

Three oral arguments heard on Monday

On Monday, the Supreme Court began its October 2019 term by hearing oral arguments in the cases of Kahler v. Kansas, Peter v. NantKwest, Inc., and Ramos v. Louisiana. Decisions in these cases will be handed down in the Spring of next year.

Kahler v. Kansas is a case that asks if the Constitution allows states to abolish the use of the insanity defense in court. The particulars of the case deal with James Kahler who shot and killed four members of his family, and who argued at trial that he was so depressed he couldn’t help himself. Kansas does not allow defendants to use the insanity defense.

Peter v. NantKwest, Inc. deals with U.S. patent law, asking if the phrase “all the expenses of the proceedings” within the text of the law includes the expenses the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office incurs for attorneys and other employees when defending the agency in litigation.

Lastly, in the case of Ramos v. Louisiana takes up the legality of an un-unanimous jury rule being used to convict defendants. Louisiana repealed a state law that allowed such a ruling to convict, but only applied the ruling to crimes committed from January 1, 2019, forward. An inmate, Evangelisto Ramos was convicted by an un-unanimous jury prior to the start of this year and argues the new law ought to apply to his case.

Sources: Supreme Court, SCOTUSblog
As the Lord Leads, pray with us:
  • For the Justices of the Court to have wisdom on how best to rule in these cases.
  • For The Supreme Court to carefully consider future cases they will hear.
  • That Justice would increase in the U.S. as a result of these cases.