American Judges Association


Court Review: Journal of the American Judges Association


Todd E. Pettys

Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 55


Used by permission.


The October 2018 Term will not best be remembered for the Court’s rulings on such matters as the National Park Service’s regulatory authority over the Nation River in Alaska,1 the relationship between state and federal law for events occurring on the Outer Continental Shelf,2 or whether maritime law permits punitive damages on claims of unseaworthiness.3 Anyone who tells this Term’s story will surely focus instead on two 5-4 rulings with potentially enormous political implications: one finding that partisan-gerrymandering claims are beyond federal courts’ authority, and the other blocking the Trump Administration from including a citizenship question on the 2020 census (at least for the time being). Although the gerrymandering and census cases dominated the national media’s coverage of the Court, the Justices also took on a wide range of additional important matters on the civil side of their docket, from abortion to takings, from alcohol to taxes, from arbitration to Title VII. Below is a full accounting of the Court’s most broadly noteworthy civil cases of the 2018 Term.