The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will sit en banc to hear the latest appeal regarding President Trump’s second Executive Order regarding immigration. All active judges of the Fourth Circuit will now participate in oral argument scheduled for May 8th in Richmond, instead of the customary three-judge panel.
This decision comes from the Fourth Circuit itself, after acting sua sponte to request the views of the parties in the case (we discussed the court’s request in our earlier post here). As a practical matter, this potentially eliminates one round of appellate review in the Fourth Circuit, speeding up the timeline to reach the U.S. Supreme Court with this case. Otherwise, a party losing in front of a three-judge panel could petition for an en banc hearing in front of the full Fourth Circuit, which could have added another 6-9 months before an appeal to SCOTUS.
The May 8th oral argument promises to be a spectacular event, at least for appellate aficionados. Both sides will present experienced appellate advocates, and the Fourth Circuit’s information office has already set aside an overflow room with a live audio/video feed of the argument, in addition to accepting credentialed media in reserved seating.
If you want to attend the argument in person, plan on showing up to the courthouse well in advance of the 2:30 p.m. hearing. Otherwise, pull the parties briefs off the Fourth Circuit’s website here, and wait for the audio of the argument to be posted the following day on the court’s website here.