Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court

Opinions Filed in 2012

( 29 summaries )

January

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

( 13 summaries )

February

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: 02-02-2012)

Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc.

Consumer Credit: (Whether § 8(b) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibits a real estate settlement services provider from charging an unearned fee only if the fee is divided between two or more parties).

(Filing Date: 02-21-2012)

Howes v. Fields

Criminal Procedure: Police were not required to issue Miranda warnings when interrogating a prisoner for an unrelated offense when the totality of the circumstances suggest that the prisoner was not in an inherently coercive situation

(Filing Date: 02-21-2012)

Kawashima v. Holder

Immigration: Convictions for making or assisting in the making of a false tax return constitute aggravated felonies under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) when the loss to the government exceeds $10,000 and therefore subject petitioners to deportation under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(Filing Date: 02-21-2012)

Marmet Health Care Center, Inc. v. Brown

Contract Law: West Virginia's prohibition of pre-dispute agreements to arbitrate personal-injury or wrongful-death claims against nursing homes is contrary to the terms and coverage of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).

(Filing Date: 02-21-2012)

Wetzel v. Lambert

Habeas Corpus: The Third Circuit failed to assess the state court’s determinations for reasonableness under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA).

(Filing Date: 02-21-2012)

Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California, Inc.

Constitutional Law: The original issue of whether Medicaid providers and recipients may maintain a Supremacy Clause action is not longer applicable because the federal administration in charge of administering Medicaid decided that the state statutes were consistent with federal law.

(Filing Date: 02-22-2012)

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)

United States v. Alvarez

Constitutional Law: (Whether the Stolen Valor Act is facially invalid under the First Amendment's Free Speech clause.)

(Filing Date: 02-22-2012)

Elgin v. Department of the Treasury

Employment Law: Whether the Civil Service Reform Act ("CSRA") prevents federal district courts from having jurisdiction over constitutional challenges to employment dismissals under the Military Selective Services Act ("MSSA").

(Filing Date: 02-27-2012)

Wood v. Milyard

Habeas Corpus: (1) Whether an appellate court has the authority to raise sua sponte a 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) statute of limitations defense; and (2) whether the state’s declaration before the district court that it “will not challenge, but [is] not conceding, the timeliness of [petitioner’s] habeas petition,” amounts to a waiver of any statute of limitations defense.

(Filing Date: 02-27-2012)

Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority

Tort Law: Whether the Torture Victim Protection Act includes corporations or organizations as possible defendants.

(Filing Date: 02-28-2012)

Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp.

Preemption: (The Locomotive Inspection Act, 49 U.S.C. § 20701 et seq., preempts defective design and failure to warn state law tort claims.)

(Filing Date: 02-29-2012)

( 23 summaries )

March

Martel v. Clair

Habeas Corpus: Motions to replace counsel in capital habeas petitions are to be judged by the same "interest of justice" standard as non-capital cases.

(Filing Date: 03-05-2012)

Astrue v. Capato

Administrative Law: Whether a child conceived after a biological parent's death is eligible for Social Security survivor benefits.

(Filing Date: 03-18-2012)

Jackson v. Hobbs

Criminal Law: Whether sentencing a fourteen-year-old convicted of aggravated murder to life imprisonment without possibility of parole constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

(Filing Date: 03-18-2012)

Southern Union Co. v. U.S.

Sentencing: Whether the Apprendi requirement that any facts which increase criminal penalties beyond the prescribed statutory maximum are to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt and submitted to a jury applies to criminal fines.

(Filing Date: 03-19-2012)

Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland et al.

Constitutional Law: Congress' abrogation of state sovereign immunity in FMLA’s “self-care” provision is unconstitutional because it lacks congruence and proportionality to the harm it seeks to remedy.

(Filing Date: 03-20-2012)

Martinez v. Ryan

Habeas Corpus: A federal habeas court may excuse a procedural default of an ineffective-assistance of counsel claim when the claim was not properly presented in state court due to an attorney’s errors in an initial-review collateral proceeding.

(Filing Date: 03-20-2012)

Mayo v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc

Patents: One must do more than simply describe a multi-step application of an unpatentable law of nature to transform it into a patent-eligible application of such a law.

(Filing Date: 03-20-2012)

Miller v. Alabama

Criminal Law: Whether a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole violates the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments when the defendant was fourteen years old at the time of the crime.

(Filing Date: 03-20-2012)

Roberts v. Sea-Land Services, Inc.

Workers Compensation: Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, an injured employee's compensation benefits are determined by the date of injury and not the date an award is issued.

(Filing Date: 03-20-2012)

Lafler v. Cooper

Post-Conviction Relief: The Sixth Amendment's protections extend to plea bargains, and a full and fair trial does not remedy a pretrial violation, even where the trial itself was not prejudiced by the error.

(Filing Date: 03-21-2012)

Missouri v. Frye

Post-Conviction Relief: The right to effective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment extends to the consideration of plea offers that lapse because counsel did not inform the defendant of the plea.

(Filing Date: 03-21-2012)

Reichle v. Howards

Criminal Procedure: (1): Whether the existence of probable cause to make an arrest bars a First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim; and (2): Whether Secret Service agents should receive qualified and absolute immunity when making split second decisions while protecting the Vice President or the President.

(Filing Date: 03-21-2012)

Sackett v. EPA

Administrative Law: An individual may file suit under the Administrative Procedure Act to challenge a compliance order issued by the EPA under the Clean Water Act because the compliance order is a final agency action and the Clean Water Act does not preclude judicial review.

(Filing Date: 03-21-2012)

Vasquez v. United States

Evidence: Whether the Court of Appeals applied the correct standard for harmless error review, and whether the standard applied by the Seventh Circuit violated Petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial.

(Filing Date: 03-21-2012)

Credite Suisse Securities v. Simmonds

Civil Procedure: Because the usual rules of equitable tolling apply to §16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the 2-year limitation for actions to recover for profit due to unfair use of information starts from the date the profit was realized and is not tolled until the filing of a §16(a) statement.

(Filing Date: 03-26-2012)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida

Constitutional Law: (1) Whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is beyond Congress’ powers under Article I because it includes a mandate that individuals must obtain health insurance or pay a monetary fine; and (2) Whether the Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. §7421(a), bars suits by challengers to the Act.

(Filing Date: 03-26-2012)

Zivotofsky v. Clinton

Constitutional Law: The district court's determination of whether a Jerusalem-born US citizen may choose to have Israel listed as his place of birth on his passport is not barred by political question doctrine.

(Filing Date: 03-26-2012)

FAA v. Cooper

Tort Law: The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. §552a(g)(4)(A), does not abrogate sovereign immunity for damages arising from emotional and mental distress.

(Filing Date: 03-28-2012)

Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services

Constitutional Law: (1) Whether Congress may make federal Medicaid funding contingent upon States providing expanded health care in order to coerce States into accepting conditions that Congress would be otherwise unable to impose directly; and (2) Whether the individual mandate that requires Americans to purchase health insurance, if deemed unconstitutional, may be severed from the rest of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Filing Date: 03-28-2012)

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius

Constitutional Law: Whether the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act must be invalidated because its mandate requiring individuals to obtain health insurance is non-severable from the remainder of the Act.

(Filing Date: 03-28-2012)

Setser v. United States

Sentencing: Federal district courts have discretion to order a federal sentence to run consecutively with a state sentence that has yet to be imposed.

(Filing Date: 03-28-2012)

Vartelas v. Holder

Immigration: Application of IIRIRA § 1101(a)(13)(C)(v) to convictions entered prior to the passage of IIRIRA imposes a new disability in respect to past events and violates the presumption against the retroactive application of laws in the absence of clear Congressional intent. Additionally, the immigration law in place at the time of conviction is the law that governs the impact of that conviction.

(Filing Date: 03-28-2012)

Armour v. Indianapolis

Constitutional Law: Whether the City of Indianapolis violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by forgiving tax assessments to property owners who were paying in installments, while not offering refunds to property owners who paid in full.

(Filing Date: 03-29-2012)

( 9 summaries )

April

Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington

Criminal Procedure: The elimination of contraband in correctional facilities requires reasonable search procedures, and courts should defer to prison officials as to the reasonableness of these procedures.

(Filing Date: 04-02-2012)

Rehberg v. Paulk

Criminal Procedure: A grand jury witness is entitled to the same absolute immunity from a § 1983 suit as a trial witness.

(Filing Date: 04-02-2012)

Vasquez v. United States

Evidence: Certiorari dismissed as improvidently granted.

(Filing Date: 04-02-2012)

Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd. v. Novo Nordisk A/S

Administrative Law: The Hatch-Waxman Act's counterclaim provision allows generic drug manufacturers to seek an FDA order requiring changes by the patent holder both to approved uses of the drug and to corrections of the patent's scope.

(Filing Date: 04-17-2012)

Filarsky v. Delia

Civil Rights § 1983: A private individual temporarily retained by the government is entitled to seek qualified immunity from a §1983 suit.

(Filing Date: 04-17-2012)

Kappos v. Hyatt

Patents: A patent applicant’s ability to introduce new evidence in a civil 35 U.S.C. § 145 claim is limited only by the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). The district court is to review new evidence concerning a disputed question of fact de novo taking into account the administrative record of the Patent and Trade Office (PTO) as well as the new evidence.

(Filing Date: 04-18-2012)

Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority

Tort Law: The Tortured Victims Protection Act's authorization of a suit against an "individual" only extends liability to natural persons and not to non-sovereign organizations.

(Filing Date: 04-18-2012)

Wood v. Milyard

Habeas Corpus: Courts of appeals have authority to raise a forfeited timeliness defense sua sponte in exceptional cases, but the court of appeals abused its discretion when it dismissed petitioner’s habeas petition as untimely because the state had deliberately waived the statute of limitations defense.

(Filing Date: 04-24-2012)

United States v Home Concrete & Supply LLC.

Administrative Law: 26 U.S.C. §6501(e)(1))(A), which extends the period for detecting mistakes in tax returns from 3 years to 6 years only applies to complete omissions. It does not apply to basic understatements which lead to a smaller taxable gross income.

(Filing Date: 04-25-2012)

( 8 summaries )

May

Hall v. United States

Bankruptcy Law: Under 11 U.S.C. § 1222(a)(2)(A), federal income tax liability resulting from individual debtors' sale of their farm during the course of a Chapter 12 bankruptcy is not "incurred by the estate" and thus not dischargeable.

(Filing Date: 05-14-2012)

Astrue v. Capato

Administrative Law: Posthumously conceived biological children are entitled to Social Security survivor’s benefits only if they could inherit from the deceased under state intestacy law or meet another statutory alternative.

(Filing Date: 05-21-2012)

Holder v. Gutierrez

Administrative Law: The Board of Immigration Appeals' decision to reject imputation of parental residency is reasonable and entitled to Chevron deference because it is “based on a permissible construction” of the statute.

(Filing Date: 05-21-2012)

Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd.

Civil Procedure: The Court Interpreters Act provides for compensation for oral translation but not document translation.

(Filing Date: 05-21-2012)

Blueford v. Arkansas

Criminal Procedure: The Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar a second trial on all charges where the first trial ended in a mistrial, even where the jury reported during the course of its deliberations that it was unanimous against guilt on some of the original charges.

(Filing Date: 05-24-2012)

Freeman v. Quicken Loans, Inc.

Property Law: A violation of 12 U.S.C. § 2607(b) of RESPA only occurs when unearned fees for settlement services are split among multiple parties.

(Filing Date: 05-25-2012)

Coleman v. Johnson

Post-Conviction Relief: In reviewing a criminal conviction, a reviewing court may only set aside a jury verdict due to insufficient evidence “if no rational trier of fact could have agreed with the verdict." It is the jury’s responsibility to draw inferences and conclusions from the evidence offered at trial and deference must be given.

(Filing Date: 05-29-2012)

Radlax Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank

Bankruptcy Law: A debtor may not obtain confirmation of a Chapter 11 cramdown plan to sell an encumbered asset clear of liens under §1129(b)(2)(A) and prohibit creditors to credit-bid.

(Filing Date: 05-29-2012)

( 18 summaries )

June

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

( 1 summary )

September

Tennant v. Jefferson County Commission

Constitutional Law: A state redistricting plan that demonstrates valid, neutral policies necessary to achieve legitimate state objectives is consistent with constitutional norms even if it requires small differences in the population of congressional districts.

(Filing Date: 09-25-2012)

( 3 summaries )

November

Lefemine v. Wideman

Remedies: A plaintiff who is awarded an injunction without monetary damages is still entitled to attorney fees under 42 USC §1988 because an injunction is a form of actual relief that “materially alters the legal relationship between the parties by modifying the defendant’s behavior in a way that directly benefits the plaintiff.”

(Filing Date: 11-05-2012)

United States v. Bormes

Sovereign Immunity: When a statute contains a self-executing remedial scheme, courts are to look only to the text of the statute to determine whether Congress intended to waive the government’s sovereign immunity.

(Filing Date: 11-13-2012)

Nitro-Lift Technologies v. Howard

Arbitration: When parties enter into a mandatory arbitration contract, any claim attacking the validity of the contract's terms must be decided by the arbitrator in the first instance and any state statute providing otherwise is "displaced by the [Federal Arbitration Act]."

(Filing Date: 11-26-2012)

( 2 summaries )

December

Arkansas Game and Fish Comm'n v. United States

Constitutional Law: Government action that causes a temporary physical invasion may constitute a taking under the Fifth Amendment.

(Filing Date: 12-04-2012)

Kloeckner v. Solis

Employment Law: A federal employee seeking judicial review of a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board in a case alleging that an adverse agency action violated a federal antidiscrimination statute should appeal to the district court and not to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regardless of whether the MSPB decided the case on the merits.

(Filing Date: 12-10-2012)