Although the Court did not issue any opinions today, there are some other interesting things in the order list.
In Pleasant Glade Assembly of God v. Laura Schubert, No. 05-0916, the Court’s high-profile case about whether the First Amendment bars a church member’s claim for emotional damages, the Court this week denied what the order list describes as an “unopposed motion to stay issuance of mandate.”
What’s the significance of that? A party sometimes asks a lower court to stay its mandate while it prepares a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. That is particularly important in cases that involve equitable relief because those cases might otherwise become moot. But since Pleasant Grove is a case about money damages, it doesn’t seem to me that the issuance of the mandate should affect any certiorari petition.
As for pending cases, there were two different cases set for oral argument on October 15th in which the parties filed motions to reset oral argument to a later date. One of those motions was unopposed; the other was opposed. Both were denied.
I’m sure that the movants had reasons for seeking to move the argument date, but the Court’s response may be a signal that it intends to keep its calendar once set.