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December SCOTUS calendar features sports betting, immunity in terrorism cases and a same-sex marriage cake




Chief Justice John Roberts (second from right) and Justice Neil Gorsuch (center) walk down the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 15.
Chief Justice John Roberts (second from right) and Justice Neil Gorsuch (center) walk down the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 15.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

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While the nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are hearing important cases this week regarding digital privacy and corporate whistleblowing, there are several cases to watch for next month as the high court’s calendar continues into 2017’s final month.

Cases of general interest include Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, in which the court will consider whether states besides Nevada should be allowed to regulate sports betting. The State of New Jersey and its outgoing governor, Chris Christie, brought the case and are backed by 18 other states who also want a piece of a market estimated to be worth $150 billion a year. The NCAA, along with the NFL, MLB, and other pro sports leagues argue that the federal ban must be kept intact in order to preserve the games’ integrity.

The same day as the sports betting case is heard, the court will also hear a case involving the rights of victims of terrorism to collect damages from the Iranian government, which is accused of providing support to Hamas, the group that carried out the attack. However, foreign states cannot generally be sued in court, with a few exceptions. One of those is if the state sponsors terrorism. Rubin v. Republic of Iran will center around the ability of those victims to collect on a $71.5 million judgment against Iran.

The high court will also hear a case involving free speech and religious liberty. Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission pits a cake shop that refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s marriage on the grounds that it violated their religious beliefs.

Guest:

Lawrence Hurley, reporter covering the U.S. Supreme Court for Reuters; he tweets @lawrencehurley