Willamette Law Online

(17 summaries)

Christopher Thresher

United States Supreme Court

TitleExcerptFilling Date
Shelby County v. HolderConstitutional Law: Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 et seq., is unconstitutional and its formula can no longer be used for subjecting jurisdictions to pre-clearance. (06-25-2013)
Vance v. Ball State UniversityEmployment Law: Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 a “supervisor” is a person that has the power to take “tangible employment action” against the harassment victim.(06-24-2013)
Hillman v. MarettaPreemption: "The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act (FEGLIA), which establishes a life insurance program for federal employees, allows an employee to designate a beneficiary to receive the proceeds of the policy when the employee dies. FEGLIA preempts a Virginia law which provides that, when a married couple is divorced, the divorced spouses are no longer the beneficiaries of each other’s life insurance policies." (06-03-2013)
City of Arlington v. FCCAdministrative Law: Courts must apply the Chevron framework to an agency interpretation of a statutory ambiguity that concerns the scope of the agency’s statutory authority. (05-20-2013)
U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchenEmployment Law: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) does not authorize courts to use equitable principles to rewrite contractual language. (04-16-2013)
Smith v. United StatesCriminal Law: A defendant—not the government—has the burden of proving withdrawal from a conspiracy.(01-09-2013)
Astrue v. CapatoAdministrative 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.(05-21-2012)

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted

TitleExcerptFilling Date
Susan B. Anthony List v. DriehausConstitutional Law: (1) Whether, to challenge a speech-suppressive law, a party must prove that authorities would certainly and successfully prosecute or should the court presume that a credible threat of prosecution exists; and (2) whether the state laws proscribing “false” political speech are subject to pre-enforcement First Amendment review.(01-10-2014)
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.Constitutional Law: (1) Whether The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) permits a for-profit corporation to deny employees health coverage for contraceptives which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law; and(2) whether application of the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act violates free exercise rights. (11-26-2013)
Abramski v. United StatesCriminal Law: Whether a gun buyer’s intent to sell a firearm to another lawful buyer in the future is a fact “material to the lawfulness of the sale” of the firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6); and (2) whether a gun buyer’s intent to sell a firearm to another lawful buyer in the future is a piece of information “required . . . to be kept” by a federally licensed firearm dealer under Section 924(a)(1)(A). (10-15-2013)
Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. HoeperCivil Law: Whether the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) gives immunity without a determination that an air carrier's disclosure was materially false. (06-17-2013)
Oxford Health Plans, LLC v. SutterArbitration: Whether an arbitrator acts within his powers under the Federal Arbitration Act or exceeds those powers when allowing class arbitration based solely on parties’ use of broad contractual language in an arbitration agreement.(12-07-2012)
Boyer v. LouisianaConstitutional Law: Whether a five-year delay due to a state funding crisis for indigent defendants counts against the state for speedy trial purposes.(10-05-2012)
US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchenEmployment Law: Whether § 502(a)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) authorizes courts to use equitable principles to rewrite contractual language and refuse to order participants to reimburse their plan for benefits paid even when the plan’s terms give it an absolute right to full reimbursement.(06-25-2012)
Smith v. United StatesCriminal Law: Whether the defendant bears the burden of proving withdrawal from a conspiracy or whether the burden shifts to the government once the defendant meets the burden of production to show withdrawal from the conspiracy.(06-18-2012)
Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp.Employment Law: Whether donning and doffing safety clothing falls within the meaning of “changing clothes” in Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.(02-19-2012)
Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp.Employment Law: Whether donning and doffing safety clothing falls within the meaning of “changing clothes” in Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.(02-19-2012)