United States Supreme Court

Opinions Filed in 2018

January 3 summaries

Artis v. District of Columbia

The word "tolled" in 28 U.S.C. §1367(d) means that the state limitations period during pending federal litigation is held in abeyance

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

District Of Columbia v. Wesby

Officers had probable cause to arrest partygoers based on a reasonable belief of “substantial chance of criminal activity,” established by the totality of the circumstances, and the officers making an arrest pursuant to such probable cause were entitled to qualified immunity from a civil suit.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

National Assn. of Mfrs. v. Department of Defense

Challenges to the Waters of the United States Rule must be filed in federal district courts.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Environmental Law

February 8 summaries

CNH Industrial N.V. v. Jack Reese

A contract is not ambiguous unless it is subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, and the Yard-Man inferences cannot generate a reasonable interpretation because they are not “ordinary principles of contract law.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Contract Law

Class v. United States

By pleading guilty, a federal criminal defendant does not waive the right to directly appeal the constitutionality of the statute under which they were convicted.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers

The Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provision allowing an award to whistleblowers does not extend to those reporters who have not provided information directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Murphy v. Smith

Under 42 U.S.C. §1997e(d)(2), a district court must use as much of a prisoner’s judgment as necessary, without exceeding 25%, to discharge an award of attorney’s fees.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Attorney Fees

Rubin, et al., v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al.

Section 1610(g) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act identifies property that will be available for attachment and execution in satisfaction of § 1605(A) judgments, but it does not in itself divest that property of foreign sovereign immunity.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sovereign Immunity

Jennings v. Rodriguez

Aliens detained under 8 U.S.C. §§1225(b)(1),(2) and 8 U.S.C. §1226(a) do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc.

To determine whether an entity is included under the “safe harbor exception” in the bankruptcy code, 11 U.S.C. §546, the court must view financial transaction as a whole and not merely as “component parts.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Patchak v. Zinke

Congress does not violate Article III when it enacts a new law directing the federal courts to dismiss certain suits, even when the law retroactively effects pending litigation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

March 6 summaries

Texas v. New Mexico

The United States may intervene in a lawsuit between to defend its “distinctively federal interests,” where various factors collectively persuade the Court to permit such intervention.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Water Rights

U.S. Bank N.A. v. Village at Lakeridge, LLC

A designation of "non-statutory insider" status on an individual for purposes of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings requires findings of basic or historical fact which are appropriately reviewed for clear error.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund

SLUSA’s amendment to the Securities Act of 1933 does not deprive state courts of jurisdiction over class actions only alleging violations of the 1933 Act and does not affect the 1933 Act’s removal ban.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Ayestas v. Davis

A funding request under 18 U.S.C. §3599(f) requires the funding applicant to show that a reasonable attorney would regard the services as sufficiently important.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Habeas Corpus

Marinello v. United States

To convict under 26 U. S. C. §7212(a), the finder of fact must determine that the defendant had knowledge of a particular proceeding or could have reasonably foreseen that a particular proceeding would commence.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Hall v. Hall

When consolidated under FRCP 42(a), cases retain their distinct identities such that when a final judgment is rendered in one, it confers upon the losing party the immediate right of appeal, regardless of whether any of the other consolidated cases remains unresolved.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

April 8 summaries

Encino Motorcars v. Navarro

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §231(b)(10)(A), automobile dealership service advisors are not entitled to overtime compensation because they are "salesm[e]n ... primarily engaged in ... servicing automobiles."

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

Kisela v. Hughes

Qualified immunity protects officials from civil suit when the official’s conduct does not violate a clearly established statutory or constitutional right.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Sessions v. Dimaya

With respect to the Immigration and Nationality Act, 18 U.S.C. §16(b) is unconstitutionally vague; in part because the similarly worded “residual clause” in the Armed Career Criminal Act was held unconstitutionally vague in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

United States v. Microsoft Corp.

The recently enacted CLOUD Act effectively amended the Stored Communications Act to require a U.S. email provider to disclose electronic information stored abroad.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Wilson v. Sellers

A federal habeas court should presume that an unexplained decision by a reviewing state court adopts the same reasoning as that provided by the last related lower court opinion unless the state provides evidence of reliance on other grounds.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Jesner v. Arab Bank

Liability under 28 U.S.C. § 1350, Alien Tort Statute (ATS), does not extend to foreign corporations.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Oil States Energy Services v. Greene's Energy Group

Inter partes review of patent validity under 35 U.S.C. §§ 6, 316(c) does not trigger Article III requirements for a jury trial, nor does it violate the Seventh Amendment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

SAS Institute v. Ianca

In an inter partes review pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§311-319, the Patent Office must decide the patentability of every claim challenged by the petitioner.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

May 9 summaries

Byrd v. United States

One who is in lawful possession and control of a rental car has a reasonable expectation of privacy in it even when they are not listed as an authorized driver on the rental agreement.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Dahda v. United States

A wiretap order is not facially insufficient if it includes the information required by 18 U. S. C. §2518, even if the order exceeds its proper territorial jurisdiction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Evidence

McCoy v. Louisiana

The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the objective of his defense and to insist that his counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel’s experienced-based view is that confessing guilt offers the defendant the best chance to avoid the death penalty.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn.

The provision prohibiting state authorization of sports gambling schemes in the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 28 U.S.C. § 3701, violates the anti-commandeering principle of the Constitution.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

United States v. Sanchez-Gomez

A criminal defendant’s appeal becomes moot when the criminal case concludes before the appellate court can render its decision.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis

The National Labor Relations Act does not overrule the enforcement of individual arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Arbitration

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v. Lundgren

Prior decision in County of Yakima v. Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakima Nation, 502 U.S. 251, does not foreclose tribal sovereign immunity defenses for in rem actions as traditionally believed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Indian Law

Collins v. Virginia

The automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement does not extend to the search of a home, its curtilage, or any vehicle found therein.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Lagos v. United States

Under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, reimbursement awards to victims are limited only to expenses incurred during government investigations and criminal proceedings, but do not include expenses incurred during private investigations or civil proceedings.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

June 27 summaries

Azar v. Garza

When a civil case becomes moot, it is established practice to reverse or vacate the lower court’s judgment and remand with directions to dismiss the case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Hughes v. United States

Sentence reductions are available for plea deals under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) when the guideline range is lowered, so long as the range was considered when the sentence was imposed.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Koons v. United States

Those whose sentences are “based on” mandatory minimums and substantial assistance to the Government do not qualify for sentence reductions under revised “Guideline ranges.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Procedure

Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling

A single-asset statement qualifies as a "statement respecting the debtor's financial condition" for purposes of 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(2).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Bankruptcy Law

Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al.

Members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission exhibited an impermissible hostility towards religion and engaged in viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

China Agritech Inc. v. Resh

Upon denial of class certification, the statute of limitations is not tolled for a putative class member who failed to promptly join an existing suit or file an individual action and seeks to commence the class action anew.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute

The Ohio voter removal process does not violate the National Voter Registration Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Election Law

Sveen v. Melin

Retroactive application of state statute rescinding any revocable beneficiary designations in the event of divorce, does not violate the Constitution's Contracts Clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

The statutory prohibition of certain apparel in polling places during Election Day serves the permissible objective of limiting distraction and partisan discord for voters exercising their civic duty, but such statutes must articulate a determinate scope to allow for reasoned application.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Election Law

Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical

When interpreting a foreign law under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 44.1, a federal court must "accord respectful consideration" to a foreign government’s interpretation of the law, but is not bound by this interpretation.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

Benisek v. Lamone

The district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Petitioners’ motion for a preliminary injunction because the balance of equities and the public interest tilted against the motion.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Election Law

Chavez-Meza v. United States

Where the record demonstrates that a judge has expressed a reasoned basis for a non-proportional sentence reduction, the explanation is adequate to support the sentence reduction.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Gill v. Whitford

A “citizen’s abstract interest in policies adopted by the legislature” is insufficient to demonstrate Article III standing.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Standing

Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach

Existence of probable cause for an arrest does not bar a claim under 42 USC § 1983 where an official policy of retaliation against the exercise of free speech is alleged.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Rights § 1983

Rosales-Mireles v. United States

Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 52(b), a defendant is ordinarily entitled to relief if there was a miscalculation in determining the Sentencing Guidelines Range.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Lucia v. SEC

The Security and Exchange Commission's administrative law judges are “Officers of the United States,” and are therefore subject to the Appointments Clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Pereira v. Sessions

A document that is titled “notice to appear” but does not include time-and-place information cannot qualify as a “notice to appear” under 8 U. S. C. 1229(a) and thus does not trigger the stop-time rule.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.

States have the authority to require out-of-state retailers with no physical presence within the state to collect and remit a sales tax.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States

Employee stock options are not taxable compensation for purposes of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, 26 U.S.C. § 3231(e)(1).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Tax Law

Carpenter v. United States

The Government conducts a Fourth Amendment search when it accesses cell phone records that include cell-site location information.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

Currier v. Virginia

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the 14th Amendment does not bar the re-litigating of issues or introduction of evidence for a severed offense, where the Defendant requested severance of the trials and has been acquitted of the related charges.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Ortiz v. United States

A judge’s simultaneous service on the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Military Commission Review violates neither §973(b)(2)(A) nor the Appointments Clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp.

Damages for lost foreign profits are recoverable under §284 of the Patent Act if the domestic nature of the infringement is proven under §271(f)(2).

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

Abbott v. Perez

28 U. S. C. §1253 grants jurisdiction for review where an order has the same practical effect as an order granting or denying an injunction and past discrimination does not affect the presumption of legislative good faith in the case of a legislature’s redistricting plan.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Election Law

Ohio v. American Express

Anti-steering provisions within a merchant contract are not per-se anticompetitive under the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Corporations

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

The California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act's notification requirements likely violate the First Amendment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • First Amendment

Trump v. Hawaii

Proclamation No. 9645 is within the President’s broad discretion Under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) and § 1152(a)(1)(A) to suspend entry into the United States and Respondents did not establish a likelihood of success on the merits that the Proclamation violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

July 0 summaries