Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court

( 29 summaries )

Opinions Filed in January 2012

Messerschmidt v. Millender

Criminal Procedure: Police officers are entitled to qualified immunity from a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit when they have a reasonable belief that the scope of a warrant issued by a neutral magistrate was supported by probable cause.

(Filing Date: 02-22-2012)

PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana

Constitutional Law: A state does not acquire title to segments of rivers under the Equal Footing Doctrine when those segments of river were nonnavigable under federal law at the time of statehood.

(Filing Date: 02-22-2012)

Knox v. Service Employees Int'l Union, Local 1000

Labor Law: (1) Whether a union must provide nonunion public employees with adequate notice and an opportunity to object when the union imposes an emergency assessment intended solely for political and ideological expenditures. (2) Whether a state violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments when it conditions public employment on the payment of union fees used to fund the union’s political activities.

(Filing Date: 01-31-2012)

Nat’l Meat Ass’n v. Harris

Preemption: The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) expressly preempts California's amended penal code application against federally inspected swine slaughterhouses.

(Filing Date: 01-23-2012)

Reynolds v. United States

Criminal Procedure: The Sex Offender Registration Act does not require offenders convicted before the Act was passed to register until the Attorney General has validly specified that the registration provisions apply to them.

(Filing Date: 01-23-2012)

Ryburn v. Huff

Criminal Procedure: A police officer may enter an individual's residence without violating the 4th Amendment if a reasonable police officer in the same position could have had an objectively reasonable basis for fearing imminent violence.

(Filing Date: 01-23-2012)

United States v. Jones

Criminal Procedure: The Government conducted a 4th Amendment search when it physically occupied private property by installing a GPS device on a vehicle and used that device to monitor the vehicle's movements.

(Filing Date: 01-23-2012)

Perry v. Perez

Constitutional Law: When a District Court is required to construct an interim redistricting plan for a state's Congressional or legislative districts, it should defer to any policy decisions made by the state legislature to the extent that they do not conflict with the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act.

(Filing Date: 01-20-2012)

Golan v. Holder

First Amendment: The Copyright Clause and the First Amendment do not prohibit Congress from removing works that were previously placed in the public domain.

(Filing Date: 01-18-2012)

Holder v. Gutierrez consolidated with Holder v. Sawyers

Immigration: Whether the years that a person's parents are in the United States legally can be applied to the years required for that person to meet the seven year requirement of 8 U.S.C. 1229b(a)(2) for cancellation of removal.

(Filing Date: 01-18-2012)

Maples v. Thomas

Criminal Procedure: Petitioner must show adequate "cause" to excuse a failure to timely file an appeal when the filing deadline lapses.

(Filing Date: 01-18-2012)

Mims v. Arrow Financial Services, LLC

Civil Procedure: Federal and state courts have concurrent jurisdiction over private suits arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.

(Filing Date: 01-18-2012)

Vartelas v. Holder

Immigration: Whether INA § 101(a)(13)(C)(v) can be enforced against lawful permanent residents who, prior to the passage of IIRIRA in 1997, pleaded guilty to an offense identified in INA § 212(a)(2), 8 U.S.C section 1182(a)(2).

(Filing Date: 01-18-2012)

Filarsky v. Delia

Qualified Immunity: Whether a private attorney retained by local government to conduct an investigation is precluded from asserting qualified immunity solely because of his status as a private lawyer rather than a government employee.

(Filing Date: 01-17-2012)

U.S. v. Home Concrete & Supply

Tax Law: [1] Whether an understatement of gross income attributable to an overstatement of basis in sold property is an "omi[ssion] from gross income" that can trigger the extended six-year assessment period; and [2] whether a final regulation promulgated by the Department of the Treasury, which reflects the IRS's view that an understatement of gross income attributable to an overstatement of basis can trigger the extended six-year assessment period, is entitled to judicial deference.

(Filing Date: 01-17-2012)

Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals

Constitutional Law: Whether Congress constitutionally abrogated states' Eleventh Amendment immunity when it passed the self-care leave provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

(Filing Date: 01-11-2012)

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC

Constitutional Law: The "ministerial exception," which is rooted in the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment, bars an employment suit brought on behalf of a minister, challenging her church's decision to fire her.

(Filing Date: 01-11-2012)

Pacific Operators Offshore, LLP v. Valladolid

Administrative Law: To receive compensation under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, an employee need not have been injured while physically on the Outer Continental Shelf, but instead must establish a substantial nexus between his injury and his employer’s operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.

(Filing Date: 01-11-2012)

Perry v. New Hampshire

Evidence: The Due Process Clause does not require a preliminary judicial assessment of the reliability of eyewitness identification unless the identification was procured under unnecessarily suggestive circumstances arranged by law enforcement.

(Filing Date: 01-11-2012)

Roberts v. Sea-Land Services

Workers Compensation: (1) Whether the phrase “newly awarded compensation during such period” in the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (“Act”) section 906(c) means, “those first entitled to compensation during such period,” regardless of when the compensation is awarded, and (2) whether the phrase “employees or survivors currently receiving compensation for permanent disability or death benefits during such period” in section 906(c) of the Act means those “entitled to such compensation during such period,” without reference to when the compensation was received).

(Filing Date: 01-11-2012)

CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood

Contract Law: The Credit Repair Organization Act [CROA] does not create a non-waivable right which prevents the enforcement of an arbitration clause for a lawsuit alleging violations of CROA.

(Filing Date: 01-10-2012)

Gonzalez v. Thaler

Habeas Corpus: A judge's failure to indicate a constitutional issue as required in 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(3) does not deprive the Court of Appeals of subject matter jurisdiction because §2253(c)(3) is not a jurisdictional requirement. Additionally for a state prisoner who does not seek review in the State's highest court, the judgment becomes "final" for the purpose of calculating the one-year limitation period of 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1)(A) on the date that the time for seeking such review expires.

(Filing Date: 01-10-2012)

Minneci v. Pollard

Constitutional Law: Where state tort law remedies provide sufficient deterrence and compensation, an Eighth Amendment Bivens action will not be implied against employees of a privately operated federal prison.

(Filing Date: 01-10-2012)

Smith v. Cain

Criminal Procedure: Failure to disclose material evidence violates Brady and may require reversal of conviction.

(Filing Date: 01-10-2012)

Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc.

Administrative Law: Whether the Federal Communications Commission's current indecency-enforcement regime violates the First or Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(Filing Date: 01-09-2012)

Perry v. Perez, Perry v. Davis, Perry v. Perez

Election Law: Whether a district court may order the use of judicially drawn "interim" electoral maps while preclearance procedures, required by the Voting Rights Act, remaining pending.

(Filing Date: 01-09-2012)

Sackett v. EPA

Administrative Law: Whether the Clean Water Act permits judicial review of compliance orders issued by the Environmental Protection Agency prior to enforcement action, and if not, if review preclusion is a violation of the Due Process Clause.

(Filing Date: 01-09-2012)

Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter

Indian Law: Whether the government is required to pay contract support costs to a tribal contractor, where Congress has imposed an express statutory cap on the money available to pay these support costs and the amount of the tribal contract support costs exceed the cap.

(Filing Date: 01-06-2012)

Kappos v. Hyatt

Patents: (1) Whether a plaintiff appealing the denial of a patent by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) through the use of a civil action in Federal District Court under 35 U.S.C. § 145 may introduce new evidence that was not initially presented to the PTO; and (2) whether factual questions related to the new evidence are to be reviewed de novo or whether the district court must give deference to the PTO's decision.

(Filing Date: 01-08-2011)