Merits cases remaining for October Term 2012
Following today’s decisions, there are twenty-three merits cases from October Term 2012 that have not yet been decided. Although we do not know which decisions the Court will issue on which days, we expect the Court to issue all of these remaining decisions between this Thursday, June 13, 2013, and the end of June, when the Court traditionally breaks for its summer recess. The cases below are arranged by the sitting in which they were argued; a list of the remaining cases arranged in alphabetical order is available here.
Issue: Whether this Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Grutter v. Bollinger, permit the University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions. (Kagan, J., recused)
Issue: Whether the “supervisor” liability rule established by Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth (i) applies to harassment by those whom the employer vests with authority to direct and oversee their victim’s daily work, or (ii) is limited to those harassers who have the power to “hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline” their victim.
Issue: Whether, in a case under the Armed Career Criminal Act, when a state crime does not require an element of the federal crime of burglary, the federal court may find the existence of that element by examining the record of the state proceedings under the "modified categorical approach.”
Issue: (1) Whether the Fourth Circuit erred in holding that lawyers who obtain, disclose, or use personal information solely to find clients to represent in an incipient lawsuit – as opposed to evidence for use in existing or potential litigation – may seek solace under the litigation exception of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2721-2725; and (2) whether the Fourth Circuit erred in reaching the conclusion that a lawyer who files an action that effectively amounts to a “place holder” lawsuit may thereafter use DPPA-protected personal information to solicit plaintiffs for that action through a direct mail advertising campaign on the grounds that such use is “inextricably intertwined” with “use in litigation.”
Issue: Whether this Court’s decision in Harris v. United States, holding that the Constitution does not require facts which increase a mandatory minimum sentence to be determined by a jury, should be overruled.
Issue: (1) Whether a land-use agency can be held liable for a taking when it refused to issue a land-use permit on the sole basis that the permit applicant did not accede to a permit condition that, if applied, would violate the essential nexus and rough proportionality tests set out in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission (1987) and Dolan v. City of Tigard (1994) (2) whether the nexus and proportionality tests set out in Nollan and Dolan apply to a land-use exaction that takes the form of a government demand that a permit applicant dedicate money, services, labor, or any other type of personal property to a public use.
Issue: Whether Congress’ decision in 2006 to reauthorize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act under the pre-existing coverage formula of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act exceeded its authority under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and thus violated the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the United States Constitution.
Issue: Whether the Federal Arbitration Act permits courts, invoking the “federal substantive law of arbitrability,” to invalidate arbitration agreements on the ground that they do not permit class arbitration of a federal-law claim. (Sotomayor, J., recused)
Issue: (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in creating a new, heightened preemption test under Article I, Section 4, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution (“the Elections Clause”) that is contrary to the Supreme Court’s authority and conflicts with other circuit court decisions; and (2) whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that under that test the National Voter Registration Act preempts an Arizona law that requests persons who are registering to vote to show evidence that they are eligible to vote.
Issue: Whether the First Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it created a circuit split and held – in clear conflict with this Court’s decisions in PLIVA v. Mensing, Riegel v. Medtronic, and Cipollone v. Liggett Group – that federal law does not preempt state law design-defect claims targeting generic pharmaceutical products because the conceded conflict between such claims and the federal laws governing generic pharmaceutical design allegedly can be avoided if the makers of generic pharmaceuticals simply stop making their products.
Issue: Whether reverse-payment agreements are per se lawful unless the underlying patent litigation was a sham or the patent was obtained by fraud (as the court below held), or instead are presumptively anticompetitive and unlawful (as the Third Circuit has held). (Alito, J., recused)
Issue: (1) Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and (2) whether petitioners have standing under Article III, § 2 of the Constitution in this case.
Issue: (1) Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State; (2) whether the Executive Branch’s agreement with the court below that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives this Court of jurisdiction to decide this case; and (3) whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has Article III standing in this case.
Issue: Whether human genes are patentable.
Issue: Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that any degree of judicial participation in plea negotiations, in violation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1), automatically requires vacatur of a defendant’s guilty plea, irrespective of whether the error prejudiced the defendant.
Issue: (1) Whether a non-custodial parent can invoke the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-63, to block an adoption voluntarily and lawfully initiated by a non-Indian parent under state law; and (2) whether ICWA defines “parent” in 25 U.S.C. § 1903(9) to include an unwed biological father who has not complied with state law rules to attain legal status as a parent.
Issue: Whether 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)(1), which provides that “a State [or] political subdivision . . . may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property,” contains an unexpressed “market participant” exception and permits a municipal governmental entity to take action that conflicts with the express preemption clause, occurs in a market in which the municipal entity does not participate, and is unconnected with any interest in the efficient procurement of services.
Issue: Whether or under what circumstances the Fifth Amendment’s Self-Incrimination Clause protects a defendant’s refusal to answer law enforcement questioning before he has been arrested or read his Miranda rights.
Issue: (1) Whether the court of appeals erred in conducting its constitutional analysis on the premise that respondent was not under a federal registration obligation until the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) was enacted, when pre-SORNA federal law obligated him to register as a sex offender; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in holding that Congress lacks the Article I authority to provide for criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a)(2)(A), as applied to a person who was convicted of a sex offense under federal law and completed his criminal sentence before SORNA was enacted.
Issue: Whether the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, 22 U.S.C. § 7631(f), which requires an organization to have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive federal funding to provide HIV and AIDS programs overseas, violates the First Amendment. (Kagan, J., recused.)
Issue: (1) Whether Congress’s approval of an interstate water compact that grants the contracting states “equal rights” to certain surface water and – using language present in almost all such compacts— provides that the compact shall not “be deemed . . . to interfere” with each state’s “appropriation, use, and control of water . . . not inconsistent with its obligations under this Compact,” manifests unmistakably clear congressional consent to state laws that expressly burden interstate commerce in water; and (2) whether a provision of a congressionally approved multi-state compact that is designed to ensure an equal share of water among the contracting states preempts protectionist state laws that obstruct other states from accessing the water to which they are entitled by the compact.
Issue: Whether the "recommendation" of an attorney, who is a salaried employee of a governmental agency, in a single instance, is intangible property that can be the subject of an extortion attempt under 18 U.S.C. § 1951 (a)(the Hobbs Act) and 18 U.S.C. § 875(d).
Issue: Whether the retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a), and similarly worded statutes require a plaintiff to prove but-for causation (i.e., that an employer would not have taken an adverse employment action but for an improper motive), or instead require only proof that the employer had a mixed motive (i.e., that an improper motive was one of multiple reasons for the employment action).
Recommended Citation: Kedar Bhatia, Merits cases remaining for October Term 2012, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 10, 2013, 2:38 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/06/merits-cases-remaining-for-october-term-2012/