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AARP Foundation Litigation 2020 Preview

Operating under unique circumstances because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court nevertheless managed to carry on its vital work as final arbiter of the law during the 2020 term. As compared to last year, the Court has agreed to hear half as many cases this term, but AARP Foundation anticipates several of them may directly or indirectly affect people age 50 and older.

Given the ever-increasing number of adults over the age of 50, impending Supreme Court decisions are likely to have an impact on a growing percentage of the U.S. population. Participation in these cases is an integral part of AARP Foundation’s advocacy, particularly in a time when older adults with lower incomes are more vulnerable than ever. AARP Foundation will continue to fiercely defend older adults — not only in the Supreme Court, but also in courts across the country.

In Memoriam: Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1933-2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


We publish this year’s Supreme Court Preview with heavy hearts, as it comes on the heels of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A trailblazing and tireless advocate for equality, Justice Ginsburg shaped our world in ways unimaginable when she graduated first in her law school class in 1959 — just one year after AARP’s founding.  Among Justice Ginsburg’s contributions to civil rights, she authored the majority opinion in Olmstead v. L.C., a seminal Americans with Disabilities Act case, which held that “unjustified institutional isolation of persons with disabilities is a form of discrimination.” Olmstead has been central to much of our advocacy over the last two decades and continues to fuel our work on behalf of vulnerable older adults. It is a case that advances AARP Founder Ethel Percy Andrus’s commitment to empower older Americans to live with independence, dignity, and purpose, a commitment for all Americans reflected throughout Justice Ginsburg’s career. 

Cases - 2020 Term

Can the FTC Make Businesses Pay for Cheating Consumers?

The Court will decide whether the FTC can force businesses to compensate consumers for unfair treatment.

Third Time's The Charm? Protecting the ACA

The Court will determine whether the individual mandate is constitutional and, if not, whether this invalidates the entire ACA.

Affordable Mortgages at Stake: Will the FHFA Survive?

The Court will decide the constitutionality of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Don’t Call Me, Maybe: Are Some Robocallers Getting Away With It?

The Court will decide how to define an auto dialer and determine what is considered an illegal robocall.

Who Decides Who Decides? Determining the Reach of Arbitration

Mandatory binding arbitration limits access to courts. At stake is who decides if certain cases are arbitrable.

When a State Wants to Regulate Drug Costs, Does Federal Law Preempt It?

The Court will decide whether federal law supersedes state efforts to lower drug costs.

Looking Forward: Cases That Could Be Coming to the Supreme Court

COVID-19 and the Election

The Court will likely have to decide several cases under emergency review on voting rights issues before the election.

Employment Discrimination

Several cases involving interpretation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act may soon come before the Court.