Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

On Monday we expect the Court to issue orders from the June 23 Conference at 9:30 a.m. and opinions in one or more argued cases at 10 a.m. We will begin live-blogging at 9 a.m.
The blog is hosting a symposium on the Court's opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
The blog is also hosting a symposium on the Court's ruling in United States v. Texas.

Petitions We’re Watching

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Petitions Relisted for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-1538 Life Technologies Corporation v. Promega Corporation (1) Whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a single entity can "actively induce" itself to infringe a patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1), and (2) whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that supplying a single, commodity component of a multi-component invention from the United States is an infringing act under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1), exposing the manufacturer to liability for all worldwide sales. CVSG: 05/11/2016.
15-802 Resource Investments v. U.S. (1) Whether the Federal Circuit impermissibly broadened the scope of 28 U.S.C. § 1500's jurisdictional bar and deviated from settled precedent when it construed this Court's straightforward “substantially the same operative facts” standard, United States v. Tohono O'odham Nation, to mean “arising out of the same transaction”; and (2) whether, in the absence of clear congressional intent to bar constitutional claims, Section 1500 should be construed to preclude Fifth Amendment takings claims and, if so, whether such an interpretation would be unconstitutional.
15-862 Stormans v. Wiesman Whether a law prohibiting religiously motivated conduct violates the Free Exercise Clause when it exempts the same conduct when done for a host of secular reasons, has been enforced only against religious conduct, and has a history showing an intent to target religion.
15-961 Visa v. Osborn Whether allegations that members of a business association agreed to adhere to the association’s rules and possess governance rights in the association, without more, are sufficient to plead the element of conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, as the court of appeals held below, or are insufficient, as the Third, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits have held.
15-962 Visa v. Stoumbos Whether allegations that members of a business association agreed to adhere to the association's rules and possess governance rights in the association, without more, are sufficient to plead the element of conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, as the Court of Appeals held below, or are insufficient, as the Third, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits have held.
15-1111 Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami (1) Whether, by limiting suit to “aggrieved person[s],” Congress required that a Fair Housing Act plaintiff plead more than just Article III injury-in-fact; and (2) whether proximate cause requires more than just the possibility that a defendant could have foreseen that the remote plaintiff might ultimately lose money through some theoretical chain of contingencies.
15-1112 Wells Fargo & Co. v. City of Miami (1) Whether the term “aggrieved” in the Fair Housing Act imposes a zone-of-interests requirement more stringent than the injury-in-fact requirement of Article III; and (2) whether the City is an “aggrieved person” under the Fair Housing Act.
15-1262 McCrory v. Harris (1) Whether the court below erred in presuming racial predominance from North Carolina's reasonable reliance on this Court's holding in Bartlett v. Strickland that a district created to ensure that African Americans have an equal opportunity to elect their preferred candidate of choice complies with the Voting Rights Act (VRA) if it contains a numerical majority of African Americans; (2) whether the court below erred in applying a standard of review that required the State to demonstrate its construction of North Carolina Congressional District 1 was “actually necessary” under the VRA instead of simply showing it had “good reasons” to believe the district, as created, was needed to foreclose future vote dilution claims; (3) whether the court below erred in relieving plaintiffs of their burden to prove “race rather than politics” predominated with proof of an alternative plan that achieves the legislature's political goals, is comparably consistent with traditional redistricting principles, and brings about greater racial balance than the challenged districts; (4) whether, regardless of any other error, the three-judge court's finding of racial gerrymandering violations was based on clearly erroneous fact-finding; (5) whether the court below erred in failing to dismiss plaintiffs' claims as being barred by claim preclusion or issue preclusion; and (6) whether, in the interests of judicial comity and federalism, the Court should order full briefing and oral argument to resolve the split between the court below and the North Carolina Supreme Court which reached the opposite result in a case raising identical claims.
15-7848 Elmore v. Holbrook (1) Whether capital defense counsel may decide to present evidence of a single mitigating factor without having first conducted a thorough investigation of other potential mitigating factors and whether counsel's post-hoc concern about possible rebuttal evidence justifies the failure to investigate; and (2) whether, where a state court provides a reasoned decision denying relief, 18 U.S.C. § 2254(d) permits a federal court to ignore the reasoning of the state court and substitute its own reasons for denying relief and whether the violent nature of the crime lessens the prejudice from unconstitutional shackling.
15-8544 Beckles v. U.S. (1) Whether Johnson v. United States applies retroactively to collateral cases challenging federal sentences enhanced under the residual clause in United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) § 4B1.2(a)(2) (defining “crime of violence”); (2) whether Johnson's constitutional holding applies to the residual clause in U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2), thereby rendering challenges to sentences enhanced under it cognizable on collateral review; and (3) whether mere possession of a sawed-off shotgun, an offense listed as a “crime of violence” only in commentary to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2, remains a “crime of violence” after Johnson.
15-8629 Jones v. U.S. (1) Whether Johnson v. United States announced a new substantive rule of constitutional law that applies retroactively on collateral review to challenges of sentences imposed under the residual clause in United States Sentencing Guidelines career offender provision, U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2); (2) whether Johnson's constitutional holding applies to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2)'s identical residual clause thus rendering that provision void; and (3) whether Petitioner's Pennsylvania conviction for robbery by force however slight is a “crime of violence” because it is listed in the commentary to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2, even though it does not interpret and conflicts with the text of the guideline, after Johnson.

Petitions Featured as Petition of the Day

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
15-7073 Chase v. Mississippi (1) Whether it violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as understood in Atkins v. Virginia and Hall v. Florida, for a State court to refuse to accept data from clinical interviews with persons who knew a death-sentenced prisoner during the “developmental period” where the uncontested testimony and scientific and clinical consensus finds such data to be useful in determining the second criteria for intellectual disability, i.e., adaptive functioning deficits; (2) whether it violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, as understood in Atkins and Hall, for a State court to impose a requirement that a death-sentenced prisoner present “normed data” from clinical instruments in order to prove the second criteria for intellectual disability under Atkins; and (3) whether it violates the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause for a State court to create a novel requirement that a death-sentenced prisoner present “normed data” from clinical instruments in order to prove the second criteria for intellectual disability under Atkins, and impose that requirement to deny relief to a prisoner who had no notice of the requirement during his evidentiary hearing.
15-1420 Schulman v. LexisNexis Risk and Information Analytics Group Whether, in a class action settlement providing injunctive relief not authorized by statute and releasing or impairing the money-damages claims of absent or objecting members, class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) and the denial of the right to opt out as to the damages claims violate Rule 23 or the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
15-1419 Kreipke v. Wayne State University (1) Whether Wayne State University (WSU), a unique, autonomous institution, free from all relevant state control, who receives a minority share of its funding from the State, and who is responsible for its own debts, is a “person” under the False Claims Act (FCA); and (2) whether WSU's Board of Governors, a creation of the State and a properly formed corporation in every respect, is a “person” under the FCA.
15-1412 Mech v. School Board of Palm Beach County Whether the decision in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. allows the government to place an imprimatur on private advertising and thereby render the advertisement government speech, stripping it of all First Amendment protection.
15-1409 New Mexico Association of Nonpublic Schools v. Moses Whether applying a Blaine Amendment to exclude religious organizations from a state textbook lending program violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
15-1406 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger (1) Whether a federal court is required to tailor compensatory civil sanctions imposed under inherent powers to harm directly caused by sanctionable misconduct when the court does not afford sanctioned parties the protections of criminal due process; and (2) whether a court may award attorneys' fees under its inherent powers as sanctions against a client for actions by its attorney that are not fairly attributable to the client's own subjective bad faith.
15-1399 Principal Investments v. Harrison (1) Whether, given “the presumption . . . that the arbitrator should decide ‘allegations of waiver,’” Howsam v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., a court violates the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) by presuming that allegations of waiver based upon a party's pre-arbitration litigation conduct should be decided by the court, not the arbitrator; and (2) whether, in light of the holding in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, that “[w]hen state law prohibits outright the arbitration of a particular type of claim, the . . . conflicting rule is displaced by the FAA,” the FAA preempts a state's waiver doctrine that categorically prohibits arbitration of abuse-of-process claims arising from prior litigation.
15-1397 Robinson v. North Carolina Whether, given that the state law's designated trier of fact concluded that the four petitioners were each ineligible for the death penalty under the state law, the state supreme court erred under the Double Jeopardy Clause as explained in Bullington v. Missouri, by remanding for further proceedings that could expose petitioners to the death penalty.
15-1389 Anderson v. Carter (1) Whether a sufficiently tangible and concrete reputational injury meets the “collateral consequences” exception to the mootness doctrine, Carafas v. LaVallee; and (2) if this case is not moot, whether Petitioner failed to plead a cause of action for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment simply because he never used the word “retaliation” in his pro se Complaint.
15-1388 NCAA v. O’Bannon (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that NCAA rules defining “the eligibility of participants” in NCAA-sponsored athletic contests, NCAA v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Okla., violated the Sherman Act; and (2) whether the First Amendment protects a speaker against a state-law right-of-publicity claim based on the realistic portrayal of a person in an expressive work (here, a student-athlete in a college-sports videogame).
15-1379 Jones v. Hardwick (1) Whether the Eleventh Circuit may reject the state court's findings of fact under Anderson v. Bessemer City, where the defendant's post conviction hearing was full and fair and the findings were not clearly erroneous; (2) whether, in granting habeas corpus relief to a state prisoner under pre-Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the Eleventh Circuit impermissibly relieved the defendant of his burden of proof under Strickland v. Washington; (3) whether the Eleventh Circuit may grant habeas relief under Strickland not withstanding that (a) the defendant waived presentation of mitigation and impeded counsel's attempts to do so, or (b) the evidence the defendant claims should have been presented was either not available, not credible, or not mitigating; and (4) whether Schriro v. Landrigan requires denial of Hardwick's habeas claim where counsel's unchallenged and credible testimony was that his client instructed him not to present any evidence in mitigation.
15-1375 Sousa v. Branch Banking and Trust Company (1) Whether NRS §40.459(1)(c), which limits the amount of a deficiency judgment that a person seeking the judgment can recover if that person acquired the right to obtain the deficiency judgment from a person who had that right is preempted by the Financial Institutions and Recovery of 1989 because the notes or mortgages in question were acquired from the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation; and (2) whether the NRS §40.459(1)(c) limitations on deficiency claims violate the Contract Clause of the U.S. and/or Nevada Constitutions when the notes or mortgages in question were acquired by a Third Party Purchaser prior to the effective date of the statute.
15-1363 Hasty v. Turkmen (1) Whether, as the Second Circuit held, the judicially implied cause of action for damages against individual officials recognized in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, extends to detentions of foreign nationals after the September 11 attacks; (2) whether qualified immunity was property denied, notwithstanding the specific circumstances confronted by petitioners—including the FBI's terrorism designations for respondents—because the Constitution “clearly” prohibits any “condition of pretrial detention not reasonably related to a legitimate governmental objective,” or imposed “because of . . . race, ethnicity, religion, and/or national origin;” and (3) whether the allegations against Hasty and Sherman (the Warden and Associate Warden at the Metropolitan Detention Center)—such as the assertion that they “knew” the FBI's terrorism designations for respondents were wrong but imposed otherwise mandatory confinement conditions because they had discriminatory intent—are sufficiently plausible to state a claim under Ashcroft v. Iqbal.
15-1359 Ashcroft v. Turkmen (1) Whether the judicially inferred damages remedy under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, should be extended to the novel context of this case, which seeks to hold the former Attorney General and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personally liable for policy decisions made about national-security and immigration in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; and (2) whether the former Attorney General and FBI Director are entitled to qualified immunity for their alleged role in the treatment of respondents, because it was not clearly established that aliens legitimately arrested during the September 11 investigation could not be held in restrictive conditions until the FBI confirmed that they had no connections with terrorism; and (3) whether respondents' allegations that the Attorney General and FBI Director personally condoned the implementation of facially constitutional policies because of an invidious animus against Arabs and Muslims are plausible, as required by Ashcroft v. Iqbal, in light of the obvious alternative explanation—identified by the Court in Iqbal—that their actions were motivated by a concern that, absent fuller investigation, the government would unwittingly permit a dangerous individual to leave the United States.
15-1358 Ziglar v. Turkmen (1) Whether the Court of Appeals, in finding that Respondents' Fifth Amendment claims did not arise in a “new context” for purposes of implying a remedy under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, erred by defining “context” at too high a level of generality where Respondents challenge the actions taken in the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001 regarding the detention of persons illegally in the United States whom the FBI had arrested in connection with its investigation of the September 11 attacks, thereby implicating concerns regarding national security, immigration, and the separation of powers; (2) whether the Court of Appeals, in denying qualified immunity to Petitioner Ziglar erred: (A) by failing to focus on the specific context of the case to determine whether the violative nature of Mr. Ziglar's specific conduct was at the time clearly established, instead defining the “established law” at the high level of generality that this Court has warned against; and (B) by finding that even though the applicability of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) to the actions of federal officials like Petitioner Ziglar was not clearly established at the time in question, Respondents nevertheless could maintain a § 1985(3) claim against him so long as his conduct violated some other clearly established law; and (3) whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding that Respondents' Fourth Amended Complaint met the pleading requirements of Ashcroft v. Iqbal , and related cases, because that complaint relied on allegations of hypothetical possibilities, conclusional assumptions, and unsupported insinuations of discriminatory intent that, at best, are merely consistent with Petitioner Ziglar's liability, but fall short of stating plausible claims.
15-1346 GEICO General Insurance Co. v. Calderon (1) Whether insurance fraud investigators are covered by the administrative exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime-pay requirement, 29 U.S.C. § 213(a), as the Sixth Circuit has held in conflict with the Fourth Circuit's judgment below; and (2) whether an exemption to the Fair Labor Standard Act's overtime-pay requirement must be narrowly construed and established by clear-and-convincing evidence, as the Fourth Circuit held, in conflict with fundamental principles of statutory construction and the decisions of every other court of appeals.
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.
15-1336 Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP v. Garrido (1) Whether the California Court of Appeal erred by holding, in direct conflict with DirectTV v. Imburgia, that the parties' agreement to apply the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to govern their arbitration contract was unenforceable because the FAA's transportation worker exemption applied; and (2) whether the California Court of Appeal erred by holding, in direct conflict with the Second, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits, that an employee was exempt from the FAA as a “transportation worker” even though he was not employed in the transportation industry.
15-1330 MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Company (1) Whether inter partes review (IPR) violates Article III of the Constitution; and (2) whether IPR violates the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution.
15-1317 Vanessa G. v. Tennessee Dep’t of Children’s Services Whether the right to counsel in a termination of parental rights proceeding includes the right to the effective assistance of counsel.
15-1309 PharMerica Corp. v. U.S. ex rel. Gadbois Whether, as the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have held, courts must apply the first-to-file bar as of the time the follow-on case is filed and dismiss a copycat qui tam action brought when a related action is pending; or whether, as the First Circuit held, subsequent events can cure the first-to-file defect, such that a follow-on case may avoid the statutory bar simply by remaining on the docket until the first-filed action inevitably ends.
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.
15-1292 Caroni v. U.S. (1) Whether a trial court’s error in directing a verdict on venue can be deemed harmless when that element was genuinely contested by the defendant; and (2) whether the general business expenditures of a company that is engaged in illegal activity, but is not wholly illegitimate, satisfy the “promotion” prong of the money laundering statute.
15-1285 Shukh v. Seagate Technology, LLC Whether the “automatic assignment” rule of FilmTec Corp. v. Allied Signal, Inc. should be overruled because it extinguishes inventors’ constitutional and statutory rights to inventorship and ownership, especially in view of criticisms expressed by three Justices of this Court in Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Sys., Inc., and the reservation of that issue by the Court.
15-1281 Hartley v. Sanchez Whether individual detectives and an investigator are entitled to qualified immunity from a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim for malicious prosecution based on allegations they knew or should have known the criminal suspect had cognitive limitations making his confession to a crime untrustworthy and not appropriately relied upon by law enforcement to support his arrest.
15-1257 Akbar v. U.S. Whether it violates the constitutional separation-of-powers or exceeds statutory authority for the President, rather than Congress, to prescribe the aggravating-factor elements that permit a court-martial to impose a death sentence on a member of the armed forces.
15-1248 McLane Co. v. EEOC (1) Whether a district court’s decision to quash or enforce an EEOC subpoena should be reviewed de novo, which only the Ninth Circuit does, or should be reviewed deferentially, which eight other circuits do, consistent with this Court’s precedents concerning the choice of standards of review; and (2) whether the Ninth Circuit’s decision to enforce an EEOC subpoena, depending upon a notion of relevance so broad that it effectively abrogates statutory limits on the EEOC‘s investigative powers, conflicts with EEOC v. Shell Oil and the holdings of at least three other circuits.
15-1234 Delaware Strong Families v. Denn Whether a state's interest in “increas[ing] . . . information concerning those who support the candidates,” Buckley v. Valeo, permits it to condition a charity's publication of a nonpartisan voter education guide, which lists all candidates equally and makes no endorsements, upon the immediate and public disclosures of the names and addresses of individuals making unrelated donations over the previous four years.
15-1209 Barr Pharmaceuticals, LLC v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County Whether, when a state court lacks personal jurisdiction over many cases against a defendant, and the state court combines those cases with other cases into a coordination proceeding, the Due Process Clause prohibits the state from deeming the personal-jurisdiction defense waived merely because the defendant participates in the coordination proceeding, absent a knowing, voluntary, and intentional waiver of the defense.
15-1205 Shanahan v. Lora (1) Whether criminal and terrorist aliens who are subject to mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release, if detention lasts six months; and (2) whether, in any such bond hearing, the criminal or terrorist alien is entitled to release unless the government demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that he is a flight risk or a danger to the community.
15-1200 Schimel v. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (1) Whether a regulation of abortion doctors is subject to a facial challenge under Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Gonzales v. Carhart, when a majority of abortion doctors have already satisfied the requirement, and where the only doctors not already in compliance failed to make diligent efforts; and (2) whether a challenge to a regulation of abortion doctors under the Due Process Clause falls within the “very limited and well-defined class of cases,” City of Columbia v. Omni Outdoor Advertising, Inc., in which inquiry into the legislature’s subjective motives is permissible.
15-1191 Lynch v. Morales-Santana (1) Whether Congress’s decision to impose a different physical-presence requirement on unwed citizen mothers of foreign-born children than on other citizen parents of foreign-born children through 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409 (1958) violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in conferring U.S. citizenship on respondent, in the absence of any express statutory authority to do so.
15-1190 Hebert v. U.S. (1) Whether petitioner’s 92-year sentence for nonviolent fraud offenses causing $16,000 in loss is unconstitutional, where, as the government and court of appeals each acknowledged below, the sentence would be substantively unreasonable, and therefore unlawful, but for the district judge’s contested murder finding; and (2) whether a criminal defendant’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to a jury place any constraints on an appellate court’s ability to use judicial-found facts as the basis to affirm the substantive reasonableness, and therefore the lawfulness, of the defendant’s sentence, a question this Court acknowledged but postponed answering in Rita v. United States.
15-1185 California v. Pauma Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pauma and Yuima Reservation Whether, under Edelman v. Jordan, the language of the limited waiver of state sovereign immunity – which expressly excludes claims for “monetary damages” and references only injunctive relief, specific performance, and declaratory relief – waived the state’s sovereign immunity with respect to the district court's monetary award.
15-1182 Sequenom v. Ariosa Diagnostics Whether a novel method is patent-eligible where: (1) a researcher is the first to discover a natural phenomenon; (2) that unique knowledge motivates him to apply a new combination of known techniques to that discovery; and (3) he thereby achieves a previously impossible result without preempting other uses of the discovery.
15-1167 O’Bannon v. NCAA (1) Whether, in determining an appropriate remedy for a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act under the “Rule of Reason,” a court may treat the restraint itself – here, the agreement among the NCAA and its members prohibiting college athlete compensation, or what the NCAA calls “amateurism” – as a legitimate procompetitive effect: and (2) whether, after finding a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act under the Rule of Reason, a court is restricted to awarding relief that the plaintiff proves is “virtually as effective” as the restraint in serving its alleged purposes, “without significantly increased cost.”
15-1151 Fitch Ratings v. First Community Bank, N.A. Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is violated when a court, in the absence of specific or general jurisdiction, nevertheless exercises personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant under a theory of “conspiracy jurisdiction.”
15-1144 Flowers v. Troup County School District Whether the standard of proof established by Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc. applies in a Title VII action.
15-1086 H. v. California (1) Whether a ten-year-old child in a custodial interrogation can give a voluntary, knowing and intelligent waiver of his rights against self-incrimination and to legal counsel in a criminal case, without further constitutional protections such as mandatory access to legal counsel or an unconflicted adult guardian; (2) whether the presence of petitioner’s conflicted stepmother during his interrogation tainted his purported waiver; and (3) whether petitioner voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently waived his rights under the circumstances.
15-1063 Texas v. Villarreal Whether a warrantless blood draw conducted pursuant to the implied consent / mandatory draw provisions in the Texas Transportation Code from an individual arrested for his third DWI, violates the Fourth Amendment.
15-955 Cooper v. Lee Whether 35 U.S.C. § 318(b) violates Article III of the United States Constitution, to the extent that it empowers an executive agency tribunal to assert judicial power canceling private property rights amongst private parties embroiled in a private federal dispute of a type known in the common law courts of 1789, rather than merely issue an advisory opinion as an adjunct to a trial court.
15-698 Helmerich & Payne Int'l v. Venezuela (1) Whether, under the third clause of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, a breach-of-contract action is “based … upon” any act necessary to establish an element of the claim, including acts of contract formation or performance, or solely those acts that breached the contract; and (2) whether, under Republic of Argentina v. Weltover, a breaching party’s failure to make contractually required payments in the United States causes a “direct effect” in the United States triggering the commercial activity exception where the parties’ expectations and course of dealing have established the United States as the place of payment, or only where payment in the United States is unconditionally required by contract. CVSG: 05/24/2016.
15-649 Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corporation Whether a bankruptcy court may authorize the distribution of settlement proceeds in a manner that violates the statutory priority scheme. CVSG: 05/23/2016.
15-610 Midland Funding, LLC v. Madden Whether the National Bank Act, which preempts state usury laws regulating the interest a national bank may charge on a loan, continues to have preemptive effect after the national bank has sold or otherwise assigned the loan to another entity. CVSG: 05/24/2016.
15-497 Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools Whether the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 commands exhaustion in a suit, brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, that seeks damages – a remedy that is not available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. CVSG: 05/20/2016.
15-486 Ivy v. Morath Whether the Fifth Circuit erred in deciding that the relationship between public and private actors does not invoke dual obligations to accommodate disabilities in any context other than an express contractual relationship between a public entity and its private vendor. CVSG: 05/20/2016.
15-423 Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne Int'l (1) Whether, for purposes of determining if a plaintiff has pleaded that a foreign state has taken property “in violation of international law,” the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) recognizes a discrimination exception to the domestic-takings rule, which holds that a foreign sovereign’s taking of the property of its own national is not a violation of international law; (2) whether, for purposes of determining if a plaintiff has pleaded that “rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue,” the FSIA allows a shareholder to claim property rights in the assets of a still-existing corporation; and (3) whether the pleading standard for alleging that a case falls within the FSIA’s expropriation exception is more demanding than the standard for pleading jurisdiction under the federal-question statute, which allows a jurisdictional dismissal only if the federal claim is wholly insubstantial and frivolous. CVSG: 05/24/2016.
15-118 Hernández v. Mesa (1) Whether a formalist or functionalist analysis governs the extraterritorial application of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unjustified deadly force, as applied to a cross-border shooting of an unarmed Mexican citizen in an enclosed area controlled by the United States; and (2) whether qualified immunity may be granted or denied based on facts – such as the victim’s legal status – unknown to the officer at the time of the incident. CVSG: 03/01/2016.
14-1206 Odhiambo v. Republic of Kenya (1) Whether the courts, perpetuating a four-decade decisional gap over the heart of the Foreign Services Immunities Act, may decline jurisdiction without actually deciding that given by Congress, despite its purpose to provide court access and their unflagging obligation to exercise jurisdiction given, and (2) whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, under any construction, confers jurisdiction over a foreign state that directs its contract party and obligations to the United States, and carries on a six-year course of dealing, causing financial loss here, which the dissent below "readily" found created a "genuine nexus." CVSG: 05/24/2016.
14-1140 Tibbs v. Bunnell Whether state law may nullify the federal “patient safety work product” privilege, or whether, instead, the Kentucky Supreme Court erred by interpreting it not to protect information “normally contained in” documents subject to state reporting or recordkeeping requirements. CVSG: 05/24/2016.
14-1055 Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation (1) Whether the phrase "to sue and be sued, and to complain and to defend, in any court of competent jurisdiction, State or Federal" in Fannie Mae's charter confers original jurisdiction over every case brought by or against Fannie Mae to the federal courts; and (2) whether the Court's decision in American National Red Cross v. S.G. should be reversed. CVSG: 05/23/2016.

Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
15-1189 Impression Products v. Lexmark Int'l (1) Whether a “conditional sale” that transfers title to the patented item while specifying post-sale restrictions on the article's use or resale avoids application of the patent exhaustion doctrine and therefore permits the enforcement of such post-sale restrictions through the patent law’s infringement remedy; and (2) whether, in light of this Court’s holding in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. that the common law doctrine barring restraints on alienation that is the basis of exhaustion doctrine “makes no geographical distinctions,” a sale of a patented article – authorized by the U.S. patentee – that takes place outside of the United States exhausts the U.S. patent rights in that article.
15-1055 SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. King Drug Co. of Florence Whether the Third Circuit’s sweeping holding that a patentee’s grant of an exclusive license must undergo antitrust scrutiny by courts and juries - even though such a license is specifically permitted under the patent laws - is inconsistent with this Court’s decision in FTC v. Actavis and decades of this Court’s earlier precedents.
15-1045 Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency v. U.S. ex rel. Oberg Whether the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a statewide agency located in the capital and unambiguously treated as an arm of the state by Pennsylvania, is an arm of Pennsylvania for purposes of federal law, or is instead an “independent political subdivision” as determined by the Fourth Circuit and its multifactor balancing test.
15-1044 Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency v. Pele Whether the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a statewide agency located in the capital and unambiguously treated as an arm of the state by Pennsylvania, is an arm of Pennsylvania for purposes of federal law, or is instead an “independent political subdivision” as determined by the Fourth Circuit and its multifactor balancing test.
15-830 Belize v. Belize Social Development Ltd. (1) Whether, under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, as applied to the New York Convention by Article III, a foreign forum is per se inadequate because specific assets in the United States cannot be attached by a foreign court, as the D.C. Circuit has held, or whether it is adequate if it has jurisdiction and some attachable assets, as the Second Circuit held; and (2) whether, under Article V(2)(b) of the New York Convention, the public policy in favor of arbitration yields where confirmation of an arbitral award would be contrary to countervailing public policies, such as those grounded in constitutional separation of powers principles, combating government corruption and/or international comity.
15-827 Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District What is the level of educational benefit that school districts must confer on children with disabilities to provide them with the free appropriate public education guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Term Snapshot
Awards