Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

We expect orders from the April 21 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday, April 25.
On Monday the court hears oral argument in McWilliams v. Dunn. Amy Howe has our preview.
On Monday the court also hears oral argument in Davila v. Davis. Steve Vladeck has our preview.

Petitions We’re Watching

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Petitions Relisted for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
16-111 Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Whether applying Colorado's public accommodations law to compel the petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.
16-308 Dot Foods v. Department of Revenue for the State of Washington Whether, or under what circumstances, imposing additional tax beyond the year preceding the legislative session in which the law was enacted violates due process.
16-317 Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Robert R. McCormick Foundation (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit correctly held – contrary to several other courts of appeals – that the presumption against federal pre-emption of state law does not apply in the bankruptcy context; (2) whether the 2nd Circuit correctly held – following the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 6th, and 8th Circuits, but contrary to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 11th Circuits – that a fraudulent transfer is exempt from avoidance under 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) when a financial institution acts as a mere conduit for fraudulently transferred property, or whether instead the safe harbor applies only when the financial institution has its own beneficial interest in the transferred property; and (3) whether the 2nd Circuit correctly held – contrary to the Supreme Court's decisions holding that it is for Congress, and not the courts, to balance the multiple purposes of the Bankruptcy Code, and that courts must therefore rely first and foremost on the text of the code – that 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) is properly construed to extend far beyond its text and impliedly pre-empt fraudulent-transfer actions brought by private parties (as opposed to the “trustee” expressly mentioned in the statute).
16-402 Carpenter v. U.S. Whether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment.
16-515 Salazar-Limon v. City of Houston Whether, when a police officer shoots an unarmed person in the back and the person testifies that he was merely walking away when shot, a court may grant summary judgment to the officer in a suit for excessive force by concluding that it is an “undisputed fact” that the person reached for his waistband just because the officer said he did.
16-687 Sonoco Products Co. v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether the Multistate Tax Compact has the status of a contract that binds its signatory states and requires them to allow taxpayers to elect to use the compact's equally weighted apportionment formula until the state prospectively withdraws from the compact; (2) whether Michigan's retroactive repeal of, and withdrawal from, the compact violated the contracts clause; (3) whether Michigan's retroactive repeal of, and withdrawal from, the compact violated the due process clause; and (4) whether Michigan's retroactive repeal of, and withdrawal from, the compact violated the commerce clause.
16-688 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether a state statute that retroactively imposes over $1 billion in increased tax liability on out-of-state businesses for the benefit of in-state businesses violates the dormant commerce clause; (2) whether a state tax law that has a 6 1/2-year period of retroactivity and targets out-of-state businesses for increased tax liability of over $1 billion violates the due process clause; and (3) whether a state's retroactive repeal of a central provision of the decades-old Multistate Tax Compact violates the contracts clause by imposing over $1 billion in retroactive tax liability on out-of-state taxpayers.
16-697 Gillette Commercial Operations North America and Subsidiaries v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether the Multistate Tax Compact has the status of a contract that binds its signatory states; and (2) whether a state law that imposes retroactive tax liability for a period of almost seven years, in a manner that upsets settled expectations and reasonable reliance interests, violates the due process clause.
16-698 Int'l Business Machines Corp. v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether a state, without violating the constitutional bar against the impairment of contracts, can retroactively withdraw from the Multistate Tax Compact so as to divest taxpayers of benefits under that compact for a period of 6 1/2 years before that withdrawal; and (2) whether, consistent with due process, a state can, by statute, change its tax laws retroactively for a period of more than six years, when the change was not promptly instituted and when the change was designed to increase state tax revenues by overriding a Michigan Supreme Court decision determining taxpayer obligations under prior law.
16-699 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether the Multistate Tax Compact has the status of a contract that binds its signatory states; and (2) whether a state law that imposes retroactive tax liability for a period of almost seven years, in a manner that upsets settled expectations and reasonable reliance interests, violates the due process clause.
16-736 DIRECTV Group Holdings, LLC v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1) Whether the Multistate Tax Compact has the status of a contract that binds its signatory states; and (2) whether a state law that imposes retroactive tax liability for a period of almost seven years, in a manner that upsets settled expectations and reasonable reliance interests, violates the due process clause.
16-784 Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting Whether the safe harbor of Section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code prohibits avoidance of a transfer made by or to a financial institution, without regard to whether the institution has a beneficial interest in the property transferred, consistent with decisions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 10th Circuits, but contrary to the decisions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 11th Circuits.
16-833 North Carolina v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP (1) Whether a federal court has the authority to reimpose, under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, the same “anti-retrogression” preclearance standard invalidated as to Section 5 by Shelby County v. Holder; (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit erred in holding that, although the challenged reforms did not adversely affect minority voting, the North Carolina legislature nonetheless intended to deny African Americans the right to vote; and (3) whether statistical racial disparities in the use of voting mechanisms or procedures are relevant to a vote denial claim under Section 2.
16-881 Needham v. Lewis (1) Whether, viewing the evidence from the officer's perspective at the time of the incident as shown in the dashboard video, a reasonable officer could have believed that the decedent posed an imminent threat of serious harm to the officer or others in the vicinity; and (2) whether, at the time of the incident, the law clearly established in a particularized sense, considering the evidence available including the dashboard video, that the use of deadly force was unlawful in this situation.
16-6308 Graham v. U.S. (1) Whether the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant to acquire cell site location information used to track and reconstruct the location and movements of cell phone users over extended periods of time; and (2) whether 18 U.S.C. § 2703, which contains both a provision that requires the government to seek a warrant in order to obtain stored location information from cellular service providers, as well as a provision allowing law enforcement to obtain this data on less than probable cause, supports application of the good-faith exception to law enforcement's acquisition of over seven months of cell site location information without a warrant.
16-6761 Caira v. U.S. Whether the Supreme Court should resolve a split of authority among the courts by rejecting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit's reasoning in United States v. Caira, which holds that individuals have no reasonable expectation of privacy in information held by a third party.

Petitions Featured as Petition of the Day

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
16-1208 Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred in holding that Nevada's statute authorizing nonjudicial foreclosure of association liens, Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 1116.3116 et seq., was facially unconstitutional under the due process clause for not requiring direct notice to junior lienholders, when the only state action involved was the enactment of the statute regulating the private sale.
16-1068 Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Husted Whether private parties can sue to enforce 52 U.S.C. § 10101.
16-1000 Filson v. Tarango (1) Whether allegations of extraneous juror contact arising post-verdict can compel a trial court to question a juror about his subjective mindset in addressing the possibility of any prejudice; and (2) whether an external contact with the jury requires a court to apply a presumption of prejudice, whether or not the contact was intentional, involved in a verbal communication, concerns a matter pending before the jury, or whether or not the court even knows what actually transpired.
16-999 Negrón v. U.S. Whether lower courts are bound by the rationale of Justice Sotomayor's lone concurrence in Freeman v. United States – with which all other justices in Freeman expressly disagreed – on the theory that it is the “narrowest grounds” of a plurality opinion under Marks v. United States.
16-992 Pavan v. Smith Whether a state violates the 14th Amendment by denying married same-sex couples the same right afforded to married opposite-sex couples under state law to have the name of the birth mother's spouse entered as the second parent on their child's birth certificate.
16-984 A. M. v. Holmes (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit misapplied Hope v. Pelzer by requiring the petitioner to demonstrate an arresting officer's conduct was egregious as opposed to obviously unconstitutional when it affirmed the dismissal of the petitioner's claims of unreasonable seizure on the basis of qualified immunity; (2) whether the 10th Circuit erred in discarding judicial precedent, which provided “fair warning” to an officer of the meaning of the language of a criminal statute after the state legislature employed the same language in a related statute prohibiting the same or similar conduct; and (3) whether the 10th Circuit erred in finding that the purposeless arrest and transportation of a thirteen-year-old to juvenile detention was not obviously unconstitutional given the acknowledged harm that arrests cause to school children and the New Mexico statutory preference for keeping children out of juvenile detention.
16-983 Binderup v. Sessions Whether, as used in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20)(B), the term “punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less” means “capable of being punished by a term of imprisonment of two years or less,” or “subject to a term of imprisonment of two years or less.”
16-980 Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute Whether 52 U.S.C. § 20507 permits Ohio's list-maintenance process, which uses a registered voter's voter inactivity as a reason to send a confirmation notice to that voter under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
16-972 Chesapeake Energy Corp. v. Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co., N.A. Whether, when a party wins a declaratory judgment from a district court and the judgment is not stayed pending appeal, that party may nonetheless be penalized for actions taken in reliance on the judgment in the event it is later reversed.
16-969 SAS Institute Inc. v. Lee Whether 35 U.S.C. § 318(a), which provides that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an inter partes review “shall issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner,” requires that Board to issue a final written decision as to every claim challenged by the petitioner, or whether it allows that Board to issue a final written decision with respect to the patentability of only some of the patent claims challenged by the petitioner, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held.
16-967 Bayou Shores SNF, LLC v. Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (1) Whether 42 U.S.C. 405(h), the provision of the Medicare Act that provides that “[n]o action against the United States, the [Secretary of Health and Human Services], or any officer or employee thereof shall be brought under section 1331 or 1346 of Title 28 to recover on any claim [in bankruptcy] arising under this subchapter[,]” bars a district court from exercising jurisdiction over claims arising under the Medicare Act; and (2) whether 42 U.S.C. § 405(h) requires a debtor to exhaust administrative remedies prior to pursuing the relief available to debtors under the Bankruptcy Code.
16-961 Dalmazzi v. U.S. (1) Whether the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in holding that the petitioner's challenge to Judge Martin T. Mitchell's continued service on the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, after he was nominated and confirmed to the Article I U.S. Court of Military Commission Review, was moot – because his CMCR commission had not been signed until after the U.S. Air Force CCA decided her case on the merits, even though she moved for reconsideration after the commission was signed; (2) whether Judge Mitchell's service on the CMCR disqualified him from continuing to serve on the AFCCA under 10 U.S.C. § 973(b)(2)(A)(ii), which requires express authorization from Congress before active-duty military officers may hold a “civil office,” including positions that require “an appointment by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate”; and (3) whether Judge Mitchell's simultaneous service on both the CMCR and the AFCCA violated the appointments clause.
16-952 Singh v. Sessions Whether a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals denying certain forms of relief but remanding to the Immigration Judge for further proceedings is not yet a “final order of removal” for purposes of judicial review.
16-947 Kennedy v. Equity Transportation Company Whether, when the Secretary of Transportation has rejected jurisdiction over interstate activity, the Motor Carrier Act exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act applies.
16-929 Shakbazyan v. U.S. (1) Whether a criminal defendant's constitutional right against ex post facto punishment is compromised when a United States Sentencing Statute is amended resulting in an increased punishment, with the effective date of the amendment both pre-dating and post-dating the underlying substantive criminal conduct charged in a criminal indictment; and (2) whether district courts should be bound by the “one-book” rule pursuant to United States Sentencing Guidelines §1B1.11, or whether a two-book rule should be adopted so as to not impose a sentence that runs afoul to the United States Constitution and its ex post facto clause, or whether, in the alternative, district courts should apply pre-amendment guidelines to all counts so as to avoid violating the ex post facto clause.
16-911 City of San Gabriel, California v. Flores (1) Whether the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 207(e)(2), allows employers, when calculating the overtime rate, to exclude payments to an employee that are entirely unrelated to “his hours of employment,” as other courts of appeals have held in conflict with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; and (2) whether the 9th Circuit's outlier “willfulness” standard, triggered whenever a non-compliant employer “was on notice of its FLSA requirements” but failed to investigate further, contravenes this court's decision in McLaughlin v. Richland Shoe Company.
16-906 Tilton v. Securities and Exchange Commission (1) Whether Congress authorized federal district court jurisdiction over appointments clause challenges to Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judges; and (2) whether SEC ALJs are inferior officers within the meaning of the appointments clause.
16-903 Hillmann v. City of Chicago (1) Whether a court of appeals has jurisdiction to reach back and decide whether a case should have been tried after there has been a full trial on the merits, if the question presented involves a pure legal conclusion, as four circuits have clearly held, or whether all defenses raised in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50 motions must be evaluated in light of the character and quality of the trial evidence, as other circuits have held; and (2) whether a court of appeals' review of denial of judgment as a matter of law after a full trial on the merits can ignore direct and circumstantial evidence, as well as the reasonable inferences drawn from the evidence, that supported the jury's verdict.
16-898 Werner v. Wall Whether state prison officials are entitled to immunity from suit for incarcerating sex offenders beyond their mandatory release date when they cannot find suitable permanent housing through no fault of their own.
16-894 Peruta v. California Whether the Second Amendment entitles ordinary, law-abiding citizens to carry handguns outside the home for self-defense in some manner, including concealed carry when open carry is forbidden by state law.
16-888 Farha v. U.S. Whether, when a criminal statute requires proof of knowledge, the defendant may be convicted upon a finding of deliberate indifference.
16-877 DeCoster v. U.S. (1) Whether the due process clause prohibits the imposition of a term of imprisonment as punishment for a supervisory liability offense, such as the one described in United States v. Park; and (2) whether Park and its precursor, United States v. Dotterweich, should be overruled.
16-876 Doe v. U.S. Whether a federal district court's ancillary jurisdiction in criminal cases includes the power to hear motions to expunge criminal records.
16-860 Hernandez v. Sessions (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred in holding that the causation of bodily injury necessarily establishes that an offense is a “crime of violence” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 16(a), even if the offense does not have as an element the use, attempted use or threatened use of any force; and (2) whether the 9th Circuit erred in holding that the California offense of criminal threats, California Penal Code § 422(a) – which requires a threat of bodily injury but not the use, attempted use or threatened use of any force – is a “crime of violence” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 16(a).
16-857 Garner v. Colorado Whether, when the actual basis for counsel's acts or omissions was unreasonable, a court may nevertheless hold, based on an invented rationale, that defense counsel's performance was reasonable under Strickland v. Washington.
16-847 Sessions v. Binderup Whether the petitioners are entitled to relief from the longstanding federal statute prohibiting felons from possessing firearms, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), based on their as-applied Second Amendment claim that their criminal offenses and other particular circumstances do not warrant a firearms disqualification.
16-845 Welch v. Brown (1) Whether a state may bar ministers from inculcating or encouraging certain religious values in youth, when those ministers are also licensed by the state as mental health providers; (2) whether repeated references by a legislature to religious motivations, prayer, spiritual interventions, and religious conversion as a cause for governmental concern are of no religion clause significance, so long as the legislature identifies an additional secular concern; (3) whether facial neutrality shields from strict scrutiny a regulation that directly or indirectly restricts religious practices; and (4) whether minors' rights to privacy, autonomy and self-definition are violated by a state's determination that they may only seek to reduce same-sex attraction on their own or with the assistance of unlicensed individuals, and they may not seek professional help to do so.
16-832 Alabama Democratic Conference v. Marshall (1) Whether the First Amendment permits the government to ban or limit independent-spending donations to a political committee that segregates those donations in a separate bank account to be used only for independent spending; and (2) whether a complete ban on any political committee’s financial contribution to any other political committee for any purpose is an adequately tailored constitutional means to achieve a state's interest in effective campaign-finance disclosure.
16-830 El-Nahal v. Yassky (1) Whether an individual whose location was tracked by a GPS device placed in his vehicle has Fourth Amendment standing to challenge that tracking if he was not in possession of the vehicle when the GPS tracking device was installed; and (2) whether there is a Fourth Amendment right against the government searching an individual's tracking information to investigate criminal activity without a warrant.
16-814 Sterling v. U.S. Whether the existence of a forced choice between what religion and government command is necessary to establish a “substantial burden” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
16-810 Nacchio v. U.S. (1) Whether funds forfeited pursuant to a criminal conviction are deductible in cases in which such forfeited funds (in contrast with a simultaneously imposed punitive fine) are earmarked and used to compensate victims of the underlying criminal offense; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's holding in this case that such forfeited funds are not deductible conflicts with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit's holding in Stephens v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit's holding in Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. v. United States.
16-790 Butka v. Sessions Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit erred in this case by holding that it had no jurisdiction to review the denial of a motion to reopen by the Board of Immigration Appeals, where the review sought was limited to assessing the legal framework upon which the sua sponte request was made.
16-764 General Motors LLC v. Elliott (1) Whether the due process clause requires a debtor selling its assets under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code to notify its creditors not only of the details of the sale, as required by Section 363, but also of the grounds for potential claims against the seller; and (2) whether a seller's failure to provide potential creditors with adequate notice of a Section 363 sale deprives the good-faith purchaser of Section 363's “free and clear” protections.
16-759 Rutgerson v. U.S. (1) Whether a defendant “induce[s]" the assent of another person, within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 2422, where the defendant accepts the request of the other person, who has already assented to the course of conduct prior to and independent of any action by the defendant; and (2) whether the court of appeals correctly applied the harmless-error doctrine to the exclusion of evidence of a government investigation showing the petitioner's lack of interest in sex involving any underage person prior to contact with the government, where the petitioner's lack of predisposition was essential to his entrapment defense.
16-706 Detroit Free Press v. Department of Justice Whether the Freedom of Information Act requires disclosure of booking photos of publicly named, federal indictees who have already appeared in open court.
16-673 Gordon v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (1) Whether a federal official may retroactively ratify an ultra vires government action when: (a) no federal official was authorized to perform the act at the time it was initially undertaken; (b) the purported ratification does not include an examination of any facts related to the act performed; or (c) the ratification purports to encompass not only the initial act but also federal court rulings entered in response to the act; and (2) whether federal courts possess subject matter jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution to hear a case filed at the behest of an individual who, from the time suit was filed until judgment was entered, lacked authority to vindicate the executive branch's interest in seeing that the law is obeyed.
16-636 Walker v. Texas (1) Whether, as Justices Ginsburg and Thomas suggested last term, this court should conduct a “fresh examination” of the “separate sovereigns” exception to the double jeopardy clause, Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle (Ginsburg, J., concurring); and (2) whether, as this court has previously suggested, the “separate sovereigns” exception at least should be inapplicable when state and federal prosecutors have worked so closely together that they are “in essential fact” one entity, Bartkus v. Illinois.
16-629 American Civil Liberties Union v. Central Intelligence Agency Whether the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's investigative report concerning the Central Intelligence Agency's former program of detention, torture, and abuse of detainees became an “agency record,” subject to the Freedom of Information Act, when the Senate Committee transmitted it to several executive agencies with instructions for its wide dissemination and use.
16-610 Alaska Oil and Gas Association v. Zinke Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's exceedingly permissive standard improperly allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate huge geographic areas as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act when much of the designated area fails to meet the statutory criteria.
16-596 Alaska v. Zinke Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's exceedingly permissive standard improperly allows the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services to designate huge geographic areas as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act when much of the designated area fails to meet the statutory criteria.
16-498 Patchak v. Zinke (1) Whether a statute directing the federal courts to “promptly dismiss” a pending lawsuit following substantive determinations by the courts (including this court's determination that the “suit may proceed”) – without amending the underlying substantive or procedural laws – violates the Constitutions separation of powers principles; and (2) whether a statute which does not amend any generally applicable substantive or procedural laws, but deprives the petitioner of the right to pursue his pending lawsuit, violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
16-492 PEM Entities LLC v. Levin Whether bankruptcy courts should apply a federal rule of decision (as five circuits have held) or a state law rule of decision (as two circuits have held, expressly acknowledging a split of authority) when deciding to recharacterize a debt claim in bankruptcy as a capital contribution.
16-130 U.S. ex rel. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality v. U.S. Bank, N.A. Whether, under the public disclosure bar of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A), which prohibits qui tam actions when “substantially the same allegations or transactions” have been publicly disclosed, unless the qui tam plaintiff is an original source of the information, a qui tam action may proceed where it is based on specific allegations of fraud that were not the subject of prior public disclosures and that add substantial material information to the public disclosures, and when the publicly disclosed allegations “encompass” the qui tam allegations only if both sets of allegations are characterized at a very high level of generality. CVSG: 4/14/2017.

Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22O147 New Mexico v. Colorado (1) Whether Colorado is liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9607(a), and common law for all costs, including prejudgment interest, incurred by New Mexico in responding to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances from the Gold King Mine, the Sunnyside Mine, or the American Tunnel to the date of judgment; (2) whether Colorado is liable under CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9613(g)(2), and common law, for all response costs that will be incurred by New Mexico in responding to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances from the Gold King Mine, the Sunnyside Mine, or the American Tunnel; (3) whether Colorado is in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's imminent and substantial endangerment provision, 42 U.S.C. § 6972(a)(1)(B), until it ceases the disposal of hazardous substances from the Gold King Mine and the Sunnyside Mine, including, but not limited to, acid wastewater, mine sludge, mine-dump runoff, and metals into the Animas River watershed; (4) whether Colorado has negligently, recklessly and willfully authorized and allowed the discharge of toxic mine waste directly into the Animas River in a manner that has injured and continues to threaten the health, safety, and comfort of downstream New Mexico residents; (5) whether the court should award New Mexico compensatory, consequential, and punitive damages caused by Colorado's negligent, reckless, and willful conduct, including, but not limited to, investigation, clean-up, and remedial costs, economic loss, diminution in value, and stigma damages; (6) whether the court should order Colorado to abate the ongoing public nuisance in the Upper Animas Mining District and the Animas River within Colorado; and (7) whether Colorado is liable for all costs incurred and costs that may be incurred by New Mexico to abate the nuisance in the Animas and San Juan Rivers within New Mexico.
16-6387 Loomis v. Wisconsin (1) Whether it is a violation of a defendant's constitutional right to due process for a trial court to rely on the risk assessment results provided by a proprietary risk assessment instrument such as the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions at sentencing because the proprietary nature of COMPAS prevents a defendant from challenging the accuracy and scientific validity of the risk assessment; and (2) whether it is a violation of a defendant's constitutional right to due process for a trial court to rely on such risk assessment results at sentencing because COMPAS assessments take gender and race into account in formulating the risk assessment.
16-768 Snyder v. Doe Whether retroactively applying a sex-offender-registry law that classifies offenders into tiers based on crime of conviction, requires certain offenders to register for life, requires offenders to report in person periodically and within days of certain changes to registry information, and restricts offenders' activities within school zones imposes “punishment” in violation of the ex post facto clause.
16-668 Magee v. Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Whether Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies only to physical spaces that people can enter.
16-534 Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran (1) Whether 28 U.S.C. § 1610(g) provides a freestanding attachment immunity exception that allows terror victim judgment creditors to attach and execute upon assets of foreign state sponsors of terrorism regardless of whether assets are otherwise subject to execution under Section 1610; and (2) whether the commercial use exception to execution immunity, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1610(a), applies to a foreign sovereign's property located in the United States only when the property is used by the foreign state itself.
16-477 New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association v. National Collegiate Athletic Association Whether a federal statute that prohibits adjustment or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States and Printz v. United States.
16-476 Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association Whether a federal statute that prohibits modification or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States.
16-334 Bank Melli v. Bennett (1) Whether Section 1610(g) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act establishes a freestanding exception to sovereign immunity, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held below, or instead merely supersedes First National City Bank v. Banco Para El Comercio Exterior de Cuba’s presumption of separate status while still requiring a plaintiff to satisfy the criteria for overcoming immunity elsewhere in Section 1610, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has held and the United States has repeatedly urged; and (2) whether a court should apply federal or state law to determine whether assets constitute “property of” or “assets of” the sovereign under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and Section 1610(g), and whether those provisions require that the sovereign own the property in question, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held and the United States has repeatedly urged, contrary to the decision below.
16-217 Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in concluding that the affirmation of good faith belief that a given use of material use is not authorized “by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law,” required under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), may be purely subjective and, therefore, that an unreasonable belief—such as a belief formed without consideration of the statutory fair use factors—will not subject the sender of a takedown notice to liability under Section 512(f) of the DMCA.
16-26 Bulk Juliana, Ltd. v. World Fuel Services (Singapore) PTE, Ltd. (1) Whether foreign parties, who have no actual or apparent authority to bind a vessel, can contractually bestow presumptive authority on the time charterer, without the vessel owner's knowledge or involvement, and thereby create a maritime lien that would not otherwise arise without the contract; (2) whether the exercise of in rem jurisdiction premised on the existence of a maritime lien that only exists by virtue of a contractual choice of U.S. law entered into by parties without authority to bind the vessel, and that would not exist in the absence of the contract, violates the axiom that jurisdiction that would not otherwise exist cannot be conferred by the parties' consent; (3) whether a contract between a marine fuel supplier and a time charterer selecting U.S. law as the law governing an entirely foreign transaction, for the purpose of creating a maritime lien that would not arise but for the contract, violates the prescription that two contracting parties cannot encumber the property of a third party; and (4) whether the plain and ordinary meaning of the “General Maritime Law of the United States” includes the statutory remedies afforded by the U.S. maritime lien statutes.
15-1464 Warfaa v. Ali Whether a claim against an individual defendant who committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international law abroad touches and concerns the United States such that the Alien Tort Statute that confers federal jurisdiction over the claim where that defendant sought safe haven in the United States, obtained lawful permanent residency in the United States, and continues to reside in the United States, availing himself of the benefits and privileges associated with living in the United States.
15-1439 Cyan v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund Whether state courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over covered class actions that allege only Securities Act of 1933 claims.
15-1345 Ali v. Warfaa Whether a foreign official's common-law immunity for acts performed on behalf of a foreign state is abrogated by plaintiff's allegations that those official acts violated jus cogens norms of international law.
15-1305 BeavEx Inc. v. Costello Whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act preempts generally-applicable state laws that force motor carriers to treat and pay all drivers as “employees” rather than as independent contractors.
15-1223 Southwest Securities v. Segner Whether, under Section 506(c) of the Bankruptcy Code, which authorizes the trustee to “recover from property securing an allowed secured claim the reasonable, necessary costs and expenses of preserving, or disposing of such property to the extent of any benefit to the holder of such claim[,]” secured creditors are obliged to shoulder the trustee's maintenance costs when retaining encumbered property in the hope of benefiting other creditors for the period a trustee abandons encumbered property.
Term Snapshot