The Court issued opinions in two cases this morning.

Justice Sotomayor announced the first opinion of the day for a unanimous Court in Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority. The Court affirmed the decision of the D.C. Circuit, holding that as it is used in the Torture Victim Protection Act, the term “individual” encompasses only natural persons and therefore does not impose liability on organizations. Justice Scalia did not join the full opinion, while Justice Breyer filed a concurring opinion. (Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C. serves as counsel to the petitioner in this case.)

Justice Thomas announced the second and final opinion of the day, also for a unanimous Court, in Kappos v. Hyatt.  The Court affirmed the decision of the Federal Circuit and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings, holding that there are no limitations on a patent applicant’s ability to introduce new evidence in a 35 U.S.C. § 145 proceeding beyond those already present in the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If new evidence is presented on a disputed question of fact, the district court must make de novo factual findings that take account of both the new evidence and the administrative record before the Patent and Trademark Office. Justice Sotomayor filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Breyer joined.

We do not expect any more opinions this week.

Posted in Merits Cases

Recommended Citation: Kali Borkoski, Details on today’s opinions, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 18, 2012, 10:49 AM),