This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States granted review in two cases:

United States v. Woods, No. 12-562: Whether the Internal Revenue Code’s overstatement penalty, which prescribes a penalty for an underpayment of federal income tax that is “attributable to” an overstatement of basis in property, 26 U.S.C. 6662(a), (b)(3), (e)(1)(A), and (h)(1), applies to an underpayment resulting from a determination that a transaction lacks economic substance because the sole purpose of the transaction was to generate a tax by artificially inflating the taxpayer’s basis in property. In addition, the Court asked the parties to brief and argue whether the district court had jurisdiction in this case under 26 U.S.C. 6226 to consider the substantial valuation misstatement penalty.

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend, No. 12-682: Whether a state violates the Equal Protection Clause by amending its constitution to prohibit race- and sex-based discrimination or preferential treatment in public-university admissions decisions.