United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted Opinions

2016

January 5 summaries

Welch v. United States

Whether the ruling in Johnson v United States applies retroactively, which held that increasing sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause violates due process; and whether the lower court erred in finding that “robbery by sudden snatching” qualifies as a violent felony under the residual clause of the Act?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Post-Conviction Relief

Dietz v. Bouldin

Whether a judge can recall a jury to perform further work on a case after the jury has been discharged from the case.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

Mathis v. United States

Whether it is appropriate to use the modified categorical approach of defining a crime to include a burglary conviction within the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Salman v. United States

Whether familial relations is sufficient for a conviction of securities fraud or if personal benefit from the actual information is required.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

United States v. Texas

Whether states that subsidize aliens with deferred action have Article III standing and a cause of action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to challenge the Department of Homeland Security’s guidance, which established a process to postpone deportation for certain aliens.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

February 0 summaries

March 2 summaries

Samsung Electronics Co., Et Al. v. Apple, Inc.

Whether a design patent holder is limited to damages of the protected non-ornamental component.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

Bravo-Fernandez v. United States

Whether an acquittal’s preclusive effect pursuant to the Double Jeopardy Clause is divested by a vacated, unconstitutional conviction?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

April 1 summary

Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado

Whether "no-impeachment" rules (generally prohibiting juror testimony regarding statements made during jury deliberations to challenge the jury's verdict) bar evidence of racial bias during jury deliberations, and if so, whether the constitutional right to a fair trial requires admission.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

May 3 summaries

Manrique v. United States

Should Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b)(2) allow for the ripening of premature notices of appeal in criminal matters, filed after sentencing judgments but before entry of deferred restitution judgments, after the final judgment is entered?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Appellate Procedure

SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Prods., LLC

“Whether and to what extent the defense of laches may bar a claim for patent infringement brought within the Patent Act’s six-year statutory limitations period, 35 U.S.C. § 286?”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

Star Atheltica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc.

Whether the standard analytical test is the appropriate test to determine which portions of an article can be copyrighted?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Copyright

June 5 summaries

Jennings, Et Al. v. Rodriguez, Et Al.

Whether illegal immigrants awaiting deportation have a right to release on bond.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc.

Whether the precondition in Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 § b(1), governing service in an acting capacity by a person nominated by the President to fill the office on a permanent basis, applies only to first assistants who take office under Subsection (a)(1) of FVRA, or whether it also limits acting service by officials who assume acting responsibilities under Subsections (a)(2) and (a)(3)?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Employment Law

Beckles v. United States

Whether Johnson: (1) applies retroactively to collateral cases challenging federal sentences enhanced under the residual clause in U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2), (2) renders the Guidelines’s residual clause void for vagueness, and (3) makes a federal sentence enhanced for mere possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that offense is listed as a crime of violence in the Guidelines commentary?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Life Technologies Corporation v. Promega Corporation

Whether the lower court erred in holding that a single entity, when supplying a single commodity component of a multi-component invention, can “actively induce itself to infringe a patent, under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1)?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation

Whether a congressional charter authorizing an entity to “sue and be sued…in any court of competent jurisdiction, state or federal” confers federal subject matter jurisdiction?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure

July 0 summaries

August 0 summaries

September 0 summaries

October 5 summaries

Dean v. United States

Whether Pepper v. United States overruled United States v. Hatcher and similar Eighth Circuit that limited the "district court's discretion to consider the mandatory consecutive sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) in determining the appropriate sentence for the felony serving as the basis for the Section 924(c) conviction.”

Area(s) of Law:
  • Sentencing

Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch

Whether a conviction under the laws of seven states that criminalize consensual sex with a twenty-one year old and an individual who is almost eighteen is an "aggravated felony" under the Immigration and Nationality Act and in turn grounds for mandatory removal, when such conduct is legal in forty-three other states, the District of Columbia, and the Model Penal Code?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

Gloucester County School Board v. G. G.

Whether an agency’s interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 should be afforded deference pursuant to Auer v. Robbins, when that interpretation requires schools to allows transgender students the use of facilities on the basis of their gender identity and the interpretation was unpublished and issued solely in response to the present controversy?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Administrative Law

Kindred Nursing Centers, et al. v. Clark, et al.

Whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a Kentucky contract rule that requires a power of attorney to expressly refer to arbitration agreements, despite containing a broad power to contract, in order to authorize the attorney-in-fact to enter into arbitration agreements on the principal's behalf?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Preemption

Packingham v. North Carolina

Whether a conviction on a statute prohibiting registered sex offenders from accessing social media platforms is a violation of First Amendment rights?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Constitutional Law

November 1 summary

Coventry Health Care of Missouri, Inc. v. Nevils

(1) Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act pre-empts state laws that prevent carriers from seeking subrogation or reimbursement pursuant to their FEHBA contracts; and (2) whether FEHBA's express-pre-emption provision, 5 U.S.C. § 8902(m)(1), violates the supremacy clause.

Area(s) of Law:
  • Insurance Law

December 9 summaries

Advocate Health Care, et al. v. Stapleton, et al., St. Peter's Healthcare, et al. v. Kaplan, Dignity Health, et al. v. Rollins

Whether a church must originally establish a pension plan in order for the church plan exemption of ERISA to apply to church-affiliated organizations that maintain pension plans and are otherwise qualified for the exemption?

Area(s) of Law:
  • ERISA

Howell v. Howell

Whether a former spouse is entitled to indemnification from a former veteran-spouse’s retirement when waived post divorce?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Family Law

Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc.

Whether a patentee’s post-sale restrictions on the use or sale of its patented articles allows the patentee to avoid the doctrine of exhaustion upon first sale. Also, whether the doctrine of exhaustion applies when a U.S. patentee sells its articles abroad?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

Los Angeles County, CA, et al. v. Mendez, et al.

Whether the Ninth Circuit's "provocation" rule is invalid for conflicting with Graham v. Connor's test of police officer liability for use of force under 42 USC § 1983 and whether the reasonable use of force constitutes an intervening and superseding event that breaks the causation chain from an entry made in violation of the Fourth Amendment?

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

Honeycutt v. United States of America

Whether there is joint and several liability for co-conspirators to forfeit funds from a drug conspiracy under 21 USC § 853(a)(1)?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Lee v. United States

Whether it is always irrational for a immigrant, who has resided in the United States for a substantial time and who is charged with a crime, to choose to refuse to take a plea and proceed to trial in spite of overwhelming evidence of guilt, if taking a plea would subject the individual to removal?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Immigration

TC Heartland, LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC

Whether the patent venue statute, 28 USC § 1400(b), is the sole and exclusive venue statute for patent infringement cases, or whether it is supplemented by the venue statute 28 USC § 1391?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Patents

Turner et al. v. United States Overton, Russell L. v. United States

Whether Brady v. Maryland requires that the Petitioners' convictions be set aside?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Criminal Law

Water Splash, Inc v. Menon

Whether service of process may be achieved by mail under the Hague Service Convention?

Area(s) of Law:
  • Civil Procedure