Will the Supreme Court grant cert in Navajo Nation v. United States Forest Service?
The new Solicitor General — Elena Kagan — has until May 8 to file an opposition to the Navajo Nation cert petition. From there, the petitioners can file a reply brief, and the case will head to the Conference, likely in June. Assuming the government opposes the petition, the Court historically is extremely likely to deny cert, especially in a non-criminal case. However, the petitioners have made a credible case that the Ninth Circuit’s en banc opinion — defining “substantial burden” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to be far more narrow than any other federal circuit — has created a viable circuit split.