Construction officials monitoring the Supreme Court's new term will be watching decisions in two environmental cases on the docket. Of greater interest is whether the court will hear high-profile health-care and immigration cases. Both would have major impacts on construction and other industries.
One potentially wide-ranging case deals with the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Appellate courts' rulings on challenges to that law have been divided. The Justice Dept. on Sept. 28 petitioned the high court to overturn one such ruling, which found that a provision levying a tax penalty on those who don't keep a minimum level of health coverage was unconstitutional. Michael Kennedy, Associated General Contractors general counsel, won't predict what cases the court may hear. However, he says, “To the extent that you have a split in [appellate courts], that increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take it.”