Reply To: Solicitor General to SCOTUS: Don’t grant Snyder petition

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Jeremy Heady

I agree with you on this point. I have read many Supreme Court decisions to understand how their process works. I also recently read their guidelines for granting cert on their website.

The court basically looks at three possible issues when deciding whether to grant cert: 1) Did the lower court improperly apply the legal standard? In other words, did they get it wrong? 2) Are there other cases in other states that have a different result in the lower courts 3) Will this case affect federal law?

While point number 1 is not a valid reason in this case, points 2 and 3 definitely are. There are multiple federal and state cases, some of which are resolved and some still pending, that have wide disagreements on what parts of a registry law are constitutional and what parts are not. Furthermore, on point 3, this affects the AWA significantly as the 6th circuit’s ruling effectively made the AWA unconstitutional in its present form. Michigan is now unable to comply with the AWA due to a federal court decision. This is a big deal and presumably the same reason the court granted cert on Trump’s Executive Order concerning the travel ban.

In my personal opinion, the court is also likely to look at the congestion of the courts in this matter. There has been and continues to be multiple fights brought in court concerning the registry. This ties up the courts’ dockets. The Supreme Court may see a need to resolve this problem once and for all to eliminate or severely reduce these constitutional challenges. If the court fails to grant cert, more cases similar to this one will end up petitioning for cert. It would be logical for the court to resolve this issue now rather than wait.

Having lower courts continue to use the 6th circuit’s precedent in every jurisdiction as arguments are presented is effectively allowing the laws to stand against precedent until a challenge is brought. That’s not how our judicial system is supposed to work.