Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court

( 18 summaries )

Opinions Filed in June 2012

First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards

Standing: Certiorari dismissed as improvidently granted.

(Filing Date: 06-28-2012)

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius

Constitutional Law: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is a valid exercise of Congress's taxing power, but the Medicaid expansion violates the Constitution's Spending Clause.

(Filing Date: 06-28-2012)

United States v. Alvarez

First Amendment: The Stolen Valor Act, which prohibits falsely claiming to have received a military award, violates the First Amendment because falsity alone is insufficient to bring speech outside of its protection.

(Filing Date: 06-28-2012)

American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock

Constitutional Law: A state ban on independent political expenditures from corporate general treasuries unduly burdens First Amendment rights.

(Filing Date: 06-25-2012)

Arizona v. United States

Preemption: The provision of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law requiring police officers to make a “reasonable attempt . . . to determine the immigration status” of persons stopped, detained or arrested when they have reasonable suspicion that the person is an alien “unlawfully present in the United States” is constitutional, but the other three provisions of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law.

(Filing Date: 06-25-2012)

Miller v. Alabama

Criminal Law: A mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

(Filing Date: 06-25-2012)

Dorsey v. United States

Sentencing: The Fair Sentencing Act applies to all offenders who are sentenced after 2010 regardless of when the crime was committed.

(Filing Date: 06-21-2012)

FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc.

Constitutional Law: The FCC violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment when it applied sanctions to broadcasters without providing them with fair notice of the Commission's policy shift regarding indecency.

(Filing Date: 06-21-2012)

Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000

First Amendment: When a public union wishes to raise money via a special assessment or mid-year increase in dues, it is required to issue notice to its constituents and is forbidden from taking funds from non-consenting nonmembers.

(Filing Date: 06-21-2012)

Southern Union Co. v. U.S.

Sentencing: When a criminal fine is sufficient to trigger the Sixth Amendment jury-trial guarantee, facts that would increase the penalty beyond the statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

(Filing Date: 06-21-2012)

Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp.

Employment Law: Pharmaceutical sales representatives are "outside salesmen" under the most reasonable interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and are thus exempt from overtime compensation.

(Filing Date: 06-18-2012)

Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak & Salazar v. Patchak

Standing: The United States waived sovereign immunity under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it took land in trust for tribal use, and the Quiet Title Act (QTA) does not provide an exception for a suit that does not seek title of the land. Further, because the Indian Reorganization Act addresses land use, Respondent’s claims are entitled to prudential standing because they are within the Act’s “zone of interest.”

(Filing Date: 06-18-2012)

Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter

Tribal Law: Under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. § 450 et seq.) the government is required to pay each tribal contract support costs in full.

(Filing Date: 06-18-2012)

Williams v. Illinois

Evidence: A laboratory report that was not prepared for the purpose of incriminating a targeted suspect is non-testimonial within the meaning of the Confrontation Clause.

(Filing Date: 06-18-2012)

Elgin v. Department of the Treasury

Civil Procedure: The Civil Service Reform Act precludes district court jurisdiction over challenges to adverse employment action under the Military Selective Service Act, even when such action is challenged on constitutional grounds.

(Filing Date: 06-11-2012)

Parker v. Matthews

Habeas Corpus: The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit improperly set aside a murder conviction in a clear example of "using federal habeas corpus review as a vehicle to second-guess the reasonable decisions of state courts" as proscribed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA).

(Filing Date: 06-11-2012)

Armour v. Indianapolis

Constitutional Law: The Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit a city from distinguishing between landowners who have paid their assessments and landowners who have not when changing assessment systems for improvement projects.

(Filing Date: 06-04-2012)

Reichle v. Howards

Civil Rights § 1983: Government officials are entitled to qualified immunity from civil damages liability “unless the official violated a statutory or constitutional right that was clearly established at the time of the challenged conduct.”

(Filing Date: 06-04-2012)