This morning the Court issued orders from its May 26 Conference, as well as two opinions on the merits in argued cases.

The Court granted one case from its last Conference, Perry v. New Hampshire (No. 10-8974) (briefs forthcoming). The Court also invited the Acting Solicitor General to file briefs expressing the views of the United States in two cases, Ryan v. Gonzales and Farina v. Nokia.  On the order list, one notable denial came in Black v. United States, in which the petition was filed by Canadian businessman Conrad Black.  The Court also lifted the stay that it had issued last month postponing the execution of Texas inmate Cleve Foster; the Associated Press (via the New York Times) has coverage. For more background, see Lyle's post from last month about the stay. The full order list is here.

The Court issued its opinion affirming the decision of the Federal Circuit in Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB, a patent infringement case. In an opinion by Justice Alito, the Court "“ by a vote of eight to one "“ held that (1) induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(b) requires knowledge that the induced acts constitute patent infringement; and (2) that deliberate indifference to a known risk that a patent exists does not satisfy the knowledge required by Section 271(b).  Justice Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion.

The other case decided today was Ashcroft v. al-Kidd. At issue in the case was whether former Attorney General John Ashcroft is immune from a suit alleging that he used the federal material witness statute as a pretext to investigate and preventatively detain terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001. In an opinion by Justice Scalia, the Court (with Justice Kagan recused) voted unanimously to reverse and remand the case to the Ninth Circuit.  It held that (1) the objectively reasonable arrest and detention of a material witness pursuant to a validly obtained warrant cannot be challenged as unconstitutional on the ground that the arresting authority allegedly had an improper motive; and (2) because former Attorney General Ashcroft did not violate clearly established law, he is entitled to qualified immunity. Justice Kennedy filed a concurring opinion, which Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor joined in part. Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, which Justices Breyer and Sotomayor joined. Justice Sotomayor also filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, which Justices Ginsburg and Breyer joined.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline, Featured, Merits Cases

Recommended Citation: Kali Borkoski, Details on today’s orders and opinions, SCOTUSblog (May. 31, 2011, 10:29 AM),