Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

We expect orders from the justices' May 25 conference on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. There is also a possibility of opinions on Tuesday at 10 a.m. We will begin live-blogging at 9:25 a.m.

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.
16-402 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.
16-847 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.
16-886 Hooks v. Langford (1) Whether a state court unreasonably applied this court's cases under Section 2254(d)(1) when it held that a misplaced adverb in one jury instruction on state law did not violate federal due process; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit properly held that the alleged instructional error was harmful and that Davis v. Ayala was irrelevant to the harmless-error inquiry.
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.
16-980 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.
16-983 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.”
16-992 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.
16-1023 North Carolina v. Covington (1) Whether the district court had jurisdiction to expand upon its previously ordered remedy after the state filed its notice of appeal; and (2) whether the district court exceeded the bounds of its equitable discretion by partially invalidating election results, abrogating several provisions of the state constitution and ordering a special election – all without any discussion of the competing equities.
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.
16-6694 Jordan v. U.S. (1) Whether the trial court's order granting a request by the accused's codefendant to prohibit the accused from testifying about details that were exculpatory to the accused but prejudicial to his codefendant constituted an impermissible limitation on the accused's right to testify in his own behalf as set forth in Rock v. Arkansas; and (2) 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.
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.
16-7314 Rios v. U.S. (1) Whether law-enforcement officers must secure a warrant to obtain real-time cellular-phone location data; (2) whether courts must instruct juries on the required unanimity regarding the specific categories of acts in Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act conspiracy cases, and likewise whether the court's conclusions in Richardson v. United States apply in RICO cases; and (3) whether courts should deliver uniform jury instructions on reasonable doubt and preserve the standard of proof necessary to sustain a criminal conviction.

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.
16-1161 Gill v. Whitford (1) Whether the district court violated Vieth v. Jubelirer when it held that it had the authority to entertain a statewide challenge to Wisconsin's redistricting plan, instead of requiring a district-by-district analysis; (2) whether the district court violated Vieth when it held that Wisconsin's redistricting plan was an impermissible partisan gerrymander, even though it was undisputed that the plan complies with traditional redistricting principles; (3) whether the district court violated Vieth by adopting a watered-down version of the partisan-gerrymandering test employed by the plurality in Davis v. Bandemer; (4) whether the defendants are entitled, at a minimum, to present additional evidence showing that they would have prevailed under the district court's test, which the court announced only after the record had closed; and (5) whether partisan-gerrymandering claims are justiciable.
16-1153 Livingwell Medical Clinic v. Becerra (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred, in conflict with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd and 4th Circuits, in holding that the petitioners can be compelled to advertise free or low-cost abortion services to all clients; and (2) whether the 9th Circuit erred in not applying strict scrutiny to a law that compels speech and is content-based, in conflict with the decisional law of the Supreme Court.
16-1148 Evergreen Partnering Group v. Pactiv Corp. (1) Whether Eastman Kodak Industry Co. v. Image Technical Services, Inc.'s Rule 56 standard or the more stringent “tends to exclude the possibility of independent action” standard articulated in Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp. applies where the alleged conduct, unlike in Matsushita, is not inherently pro-competitive and is not economically or otherwise irrational; and (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit improvidently applied the heightened “tends to exclude” test to the petitioner's concerted refusal to deal claim, in circumstances in which it is not warranted, and thus erroneously denied the plaintiff its right to have its case heard by the trier of fact.
16-1146 A Woman’s Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic v. Becerra (1) Whether a determination that a law is content-based leaves room for a court to apply something less than strict scrutiny, specifically (a) whether the court's decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert establishes a bright-line rule for content-based speech, (b) whether content-based, compelled speech is subject to lower scrutiny if it is deemed to be an abortion-related disclosure, and (c) whether the First Amendment permits lower scrutiny for content-based restrictions on professional speech or professional facilities; and (2) whether a law requiring religious non-profits to post a government message antithetical to their beliefs triggers heightened or minimal scrutiny under the free exercise clause.
16-1140 National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra Whether the free speech clause or the free exercise clause of the First Amendment prohibits California from compelling licensed pro-life centers to post information on how to obtain a state-funded abortion and from compelling unlicensed pro-life centers to disseminate a disclaimer to clients on site and in any print and digital advertising.
16-1137 616 Croft Ave., LLC v. City of West Hollywood Whether a legislatively mandated permit condition is subject to scrutiny under the unconstitutional conditions doctrine as set out in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, Dolan v. City of Tigard and Nollan v. California Coastal Commission.
16-1130 Santander Holdings USA v. U.S. Whether foreign tax payments should be treated as “expenses” and thereby factored into a court's pre-tax profitability calculation under the economic substance test.
16-1110 Bloomingdale’s v. Vitolo Whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a state-law rule that prohibits enforcement of a pre-dispute arbitration agreement with respect to a state statutory claim unless the agreement allows the claimant to pursue representative relief on behalf of all similarly-situated individuals.
16-1102 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Apple Inc. (1) Whether the court's decisions in Graham v. John Deere Co. and KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. require a court to hold patents obvious as a matter of law under 35 U.S.C. § 103 where the patents make at most trivial advances over technologies well-known to a person of skill in the art; (2) whether the court's decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. requires application of the four-factor test for injunctions in accordance with traditional equitable principles, and therefore requires more than merely “some connection” between an infringing feature and asserted irreparable harm to support issuance of an injunction for patent infringement; and (3) whether the court's decision in Warner-Jenkinson Co. v. Hilton Davis Chemical Co. requires evidence that an accused product meets all elements of the relevant claim to support entry of a judgment of patent infringement.
16-1092 Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, P.C. v. Mason (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit correctly held – in conflict with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Circuits – that a plaintiff seeking the remand of a class action, in which class membership is not limited to forum-state citizens, need not present any evidence that greater than two thirds of proposed class members are such citizens; and (2) whether the 6th Circuit correctly held – consistent with the 9th Circuit, but in conflict with the 5th, 10th and 11th Circuits – that a plaintiff seeking remand has adequately pled that a particular defendant's conduct forms a “significant basis” of the class's claims when it has made only undifferentiated and conclusory allegations regarding the conduct of multiple defendants.
16-1087 Carvalho v. North Carolina (1) Whether the burden of proof concerning the reasons for pretrial delay rests (a) with the state, to show that the reasons for delay were justified, as eleven circuits and many state courts of last resort have held; or (b) with the defendant, to show that the reasons for delay were unjustified, as the court below held; and (2) whether a defendant who was incarcerated during a nearly-nine-year pretrial delay must also produce “affirmative proof of prejudice” for Barker v. Wingo's prejudice factor to weigh in his favor.
16-1085 Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts Whether Section 301(a) of the Copyright Act preempts state-law claims relating to ideas expressed in tangible media.
16-1082 Garcia v. Bloomberg Whether, when officers permit individuals to exercise First Amendment rights to speech and peaceful assembly, officers must provide fair warning prior to arresting demonstrators for participation in the demonstration.
16-1074 Caraffa v. Carnival Corp. Whether, when a Jones Act seafarer alleges negligence based on asbestos exposure, the applicable causation test is the ‘featherweight’ causation standard, or the ‘substantial factor’ causation test as applied in products liability cases.
16-1071 Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization Whether the Fifth Amendment's due process clause precludes federal courts from exercising personal jurisdiction in this suit by American victims of terrorist attacks abroad carried out by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
16-1068 Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Husted Whether private parties can sue to enforce 52 U.S.C. § 10101.
16-1067 Murphy v. Smith Whether the parenthetical phrase “not to exceed 25 percent,” as used in 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(2), means any amount up to 25 percent (as four circuits hold), or whether it means exactly 25 percent (as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit holds).
16-1065 Sai v. Transportation Security Administration Whether the collateral order doctrine permits the immediate appeal of a district court order denying the appointment of counsel in civil rights litigation.
16-1063 Wilchcombe v. U.S. (1) Whether the government violated the petitioners' Fifth Amendment rights by using their post-arrest, pre-Miranda v. Arizona-warnings silence as substantive evidence of their guilt in the government's case-in-chief; and (2) whether the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act may constitutionally be applied in a foreign-bounded case involving the foreign transport of drugs to foreign shores by foreign residents on a foreign vessel, without a sufficient nexus to the United States.
16-1027 Collins v. Virginia Whether the Fourth Amendment's automobile exception permits a police officer, uninvited and without a warrant, to enter private property, approach a house and search a vehicle parked a few feet from the house.
16-1022 Bell v. McAdory Whether the denial of a motion under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5) is a separately appealable final order, as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1291.
16-1015 Missouri ex rel. Hawley v. Becerra Whether a state has parens patriae standing to challenge another state's commercial regulations on the ground that those regulations violate the commerce clause by impermissibly discriminating against out-of-state commerce, unduly burdening interstate commerce and purporting to regulate commercial activity that occurs entirely outside the borders of the regulating state.
16-1011 WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp. Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit erred in holding that lost profits arising from prohibited combinations occurring outside of the United States are categorically unavailable in cases where patent infringement is proven under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f).
16-1009 Aksu v. California What is the standard by which appellate courts review a trial court's holding that a defendant voluntarily consented to a warrantless search for Fourth Amendment purposes.
16-1003 McKnight v. Peterson (1) Whether, viewing the facts from the petitioner's perspective, he acted reasonably, under the Fourth Amendment, in firing in self defense, when an officer in his situation would believe that the suspect was armed, was suspected of a violent crime, refused to show his concealed hand, refused commands, and came at the officer; and (2) whether the petitioner was entitled to qualified immunity, when existing precedent did not clearly establish that the use of deadly force was unlawful under the particular situation faced by the officer, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's analysis contravened the U.S. Supreme Court's explicit directions.
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.
16-967 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.
16-929 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.
16-906 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.
16-898 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.
16-830 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.
16-810 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.
16-673 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.
16-217 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. CVSG: 5/4/2017.
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. CVSG: 4/24/2017.

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.
16-1043 Clark v. Virginia Department of State Police (1) Whether, by enacting 38 U.S.C. § 4323(b)(2) in 1998, Congress lawfully subjected state employees to suit in state court under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 pursuant to a valid exercise of Congress’s war powers that was consistent with the framework and design of the Constitution; (2) whether Congress lawfully abrogated any sovereign immunity the Virginia Department of State Police purportedly retained with respect to USERRA actions in state court when Congress enacted 38 U.S.C. § 4323(b)(2); and (3) whether the Supreme Court of Virginia erroneously affirmed the Circuit Court of Chesterfield County's decision to sustain the Virginia Department of State Police's amended special plea of sovereign immunity and dismiss petitioner's complaint.
16-970 Rinehart v. California Whether the Supreme Court of California erred in holding, in conflict with decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th and Federal Circuits and the Colorado Supreme Court, that the Mining Law of 1972, as amended, does not pre-empt state bans of mining on federal lands despite being “an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives” of that law.
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.
16-26 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.
Term Snapshot
Awards