Petitions We’re Watching

You can select a particular conference (or the cases referred to the Solicitor General) below or click here to instead sort by the case's name. (Sorting by case name prompts display of the complete, searchable list of cases.)

View this list sorted by case name.

Petitions Relisted for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-280 Montgomery v. Louisiana Whether Miller v. Alabama adopts a new substantive rule that applies retroactively on collateral review to people condemned as juveniles to die in prison.
14-618 Woods v. Donald (1) Whether the Michigan courts' decision not to extend United States v. Cronic to cover counsel's brief absence from trial was an “extreme malfunction” entitling the petitioner to habeas relief; and (2) whether the Michigan courts reasonably determined that Donald had not shown Strickland v. Washington prejudice flowing from his counsel's brief absence in a multi-defendant case during the taking of evidence that did not inculpate his client.
14-452 Kansas v. Gleason Whether the Eighth Amendment requires that a capital-sentencing jury be affirmatively instructed that mitigating circumstances “need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” as the Kansas Supreme Court held in this case, or instead whether the Eighth Amendment is satisfied by instructions that, in context, make clear that each juror must individually assess and weigh any mitigating circumstances.
14-462 DIRECTV v. Imburgia Whether the California Court of Appeal erred by holding, in direct conflict with the Ninth Circuit, that a reference to state law in an arbitration agreement governed by the Federal Arbitration Act requires the application of state law preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.
14-354 The Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York (1) Whether a government policy expressly excluding “religious worship services” from a broadly open forum violates the Free Exercise Clause and Establishment Clause; and (2) whether a government policy expressly excluding “religious worship services” from a broadly open forum violates the Free Speech Clause.
14-292 Bower v. Texas (1) Whether the former Texas special issues for death penalty sentencing do provide – as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held – or do not provide – as the Fifth Circuit has held – an appropriate vehicle for the jury to consider and give full effect to mitigating evidence of good character, such that failure to provide a separate question violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments under this Court’s jurisprudence in Penry v. Lynaugh and Penry v. Johnson; (2) whether a conviction aided by the prosecution's failure to produce evidence that contradicted its theory and showed that the evidence it did rely upon and the resulting jury arguments were false violates the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments under this Court's Brady v. Maryland jurisprudence; and (3) whether executing a defendant who has already served more than thirty years on death row while exercising his legal rights in a non-abusive manner serves any penological purpose and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Petitions for Conference of 03.06.2015

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-656 RJR Pension Investment Committee v. Tatum (1) Whether the plaintiff bears the burden of proving loss causation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1109, or whether it can shift the burden on that element to the defendant by carrying its burden on the analytically distinct elements of breach of fiduciary duty and loss to the plan; and (2) whether an ERISA fiduciary with a duty of prudence can be held liable for money damages under Section 1109 even though its ultimate investment decision was objectively prudent.
14-647 Gilead Sciences v. Natco Pharma Limited Whether, contrary to this Court’s consistent and longstanding precedent and Congress’s intent, the double-patenting doctrine can be used to invalidate a properly issued patent before its statutory term has expired using a second, later-issuing patent whose term of exclusivity is entirely subsumed within that first patent’s term.
14-625 Opalinski v. Robert Half Int'l Whether, where an arbitration agreement does not expressly refer to class arbitration, the determination of whether class or group arbitration is permitted by the agreement is a question of arbitrability, presumptively for the district court to decide (as the Third and Sixth Circuits have now held), or a question of interpretation and procedure for the arbitrator (as the First, Second, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits, and numerous district courts have concluded).
14-615 Jones v. Wagner Whether a district court judge may recall a jury on discovery of its own error in the receipt or recording of a jury's verdict and, if the jury has remained an undispersed unit within the court's control since discharge, may accept its verdict.
14-555 Nelson v. Wisconsin Whether a trial court's complete denial of a criminal defendant's constitutional right to testify is amenable to harmless-error analysis.
14-449 Kansas v. Carr (1) Whether the Eighth Amendment requires that a capital-sentencing jury be affirmatively instructed that mitigating circumstances “need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” as the Kansas Supreme Court held here, or instead whether the Eighth Amendment is satisfied by instructions that, in context, make clear that each juror must individually assess and weigh any mitigating circumstances; (2) whether the Confrontation Clause, as interpreted in Crawford v. Washington and Davis v. Washington, applies to the “selection” phase of capital sentencing proceedings, as the Kansas Supreme Court held here, i.e., after a defendant has been convicted of capital murder and proof of eligibility for the death penalty has been presented in the guilt phase subject to full confrontation, or does not apply to such purely sentencing evidence, as at least three circuits have held; and (3) whether the trial court's decision not to sever the sentencing phase of the co-defendant brothers’ trial here – a decision that comports with the traditional approach preferring joinder in circumstances like this – violated an Eighth Amendment right to an “individualized sentencing” determination and was not harmless in any event.
13-1361 Samantar v. Yousef Whether a foreign official’s common-law immunity for acts performed on behalf of a foreign state is abrogated by plaintiffs’ allegations that those official acts violate jus cogens norms of international law. CVSG: 1/30/2015.

Petitions for Conference of 03.20.2015

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-803 Frank v. Walker (1) Whether a state’s voter ID law violates the Equal Protection Clause where, unlike in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the evidentiary record establishes that the law substantially burdens the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of the state’s voters, and that the law does not advance a legitimate state interest; and (2) whether a state’s voter ID law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act where the law disproportionately burdens and abridges the voting rights of African-American and Latino voters compared to White voters.
14-779 Arneson v. 281 Care Committee Whether and to what extent false statements of fact, which are designed to deceive voters, are protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
14-723 Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan Whether, under the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a lawsuit by an ERISA fiduciary against a participant to recover an alleged overpayment by the plan seeks “equitable relief” within the meaning of ERISA section 502(a)(3), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(3), if the fiduciary has not identified a particular fund that is in the participant's possession and control at the time the fiduciary asserts its claim.
14-708 Truvia v. Connick (1) Whether the Fifth Circuit erred in refusing to find a triable issue as to whether there is a “policy” or “custom” when there was significant evidence of Brady v. Maryland violations by the Orleans Parish District Attorney in this and many other cases; and (2) whether proving municipal policy or custom requires proving similar unconstitutional acts that occurred before the events giving rise to the lawsuit or whether proof of a policy or custom can be based, in part, on similar unconstitutional acts that occurred following the events involving these plaintiffs.
14-694 Fiordaliso v. PPL EnergyPlus, LLC Whether, where, as part of a state-directed procurement, the resulting contract between local utilities and a power plant developer provides for a payment to the power plant developer based on the differential between the developer's competitive bid to build a new power plant and the amount the developer receives from capacity sales in the auction supervised by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and where the contract does not involve any actual sale of capacity, the contract is “field preempted” as an attempt by the state to set interstate electric rates.
14-688 Shamokin Filler Company v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (1) Whether the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act’s definition of “the work of preparing coal” includes purchasers of processed and prepared coal; and (2) whether the Court of Appeals should have remanded to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission to consider the evidence that the statute had been inconsistently applied.
14-687 Stiefel Laboratories v. Finnerty Whether Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 impose a duty on a corporation to “update” prior truthful statements.
14-623 CPV Maryland, LLC v. PPL EnergyPlus, LLC (1) Whether, where, as a result of a state-directed procurement, the contract price to build and operate a power plant is the developer’s bid price, and may result in payments beyond what the developer earns selling the plant’s capacity in the auction supervised by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the program is “field preempted” as a state’s attempt to set interstate wholesale rates; and (2) whether a state-directed contract to support construction of a power plant is “conflict preempted” because its long-term pricing structure provides incentives different from the incentives provided by prices generated in the FERC-supervised yearly capacity auction.
14-614 Nazarian v. PPL EnergyPlus, LLC (1) Whether, when a seller offers to build generation and sell wholesale power on a fixed-rate contract basis, the Federal Power Act field-preempts a state order directing retail utilities to enter into the contract; and (2) whether the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s acceptance of an annual regional capacity auction preempts states from requiring retail utilities to contract at fixed rates with sellers who are willing to commit to sell into the auction on a long-term basis.
14-531 Wetzel v. Cox Whether this Court’s decision in Martinez v. Ryan provides a basis to allow a federal habeas petitioner to reopen the judgment, years after finality, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
13-1512 Hammond v. U.S. (1) Whether and under what circumstances the Eighth Amendment authorizes a district court to impose a sentence less than the statutory mandatory minimum; and (2) whether a criminal defendant's waiver of appeal rights made in an agreement to resolve a case prohibits an appeal by the government.

Petitions for Conference of 03.27.2015

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-896 LeGrand v. Gibbs Whether, after granting a state habeas corpus petitioner 161 days of equitable tolling for the extraordinary circumstance of attorney abandonment which led to the expiration of the one-year limitation period, thereby restoring the inmate to his pre-abandonment legal position, the Ninth Circuit applied a novel and unauthorized standard to grant a second period of equitable tolling that required neither extraordinary circumstances nor post-notice due diligence, creating an intra-circuit split of authority with Rudin v. Myles, and a split of authority between the Ninth Circuit and sister circuits in decisions that apply both prongs of Holland v. Florida, including the Second, Third, Fifth, Eighth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits.
14-720 Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District Whether the Ninth Circuit erred by allowing school officials to prevent students from engaging in a silent, passive expression of opinion by wearing American flag shirts because other students might react negatively to the pro-America message, thereby incorporating a heckler's veto into the free speech rights of students contrary to Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, and the decisions of other United States courts of appeals.

Petitions for Conference of 04.03.2015

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
14-770 Bank Markazi v. Peterson Whether 28 U.S.C. § 8772 – a statute that effectively directs a particular result in a single pending case – violates the separation of powers.
14-641 SD-3C, LLC v. Oliver (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit erred when it held that petitioners are subject to antitrust suits seeking injunctive relief against the foundational terms of a decade-old standard setting and technology licensing arrangement for as long as third parties continue to make sales of goods embodying that technology; and (2) whether the Ninth Circuit erred when it treated its statute of limitations analysis as dispositive on the issue of laches, without considering the broader equitable issues associated with permitting challenges to long-settled business arrangements.

Petitions Not Set for Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22o144 Nebraska and Oklahoma v. Colorado (1) Whether the Court will grant Nebraska and Oklahoma leave to file an original action to seek a declaratory judgment stating that Sections 16(4) and (5) of Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution are preempted by federal law, and therefore unconstitutional and unenforceable under the Supremacy Clause, Article VI of the U.S. Constitution; (2) whether Colorado should be enjoined from any and all application and implementation of Sections 16(4) and (5) of Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution; (3) whether Colorado should be enjoined from any and all application and implementation of statutes or regulations promulgated pursuant to Sections 16(4) and (5) of Article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution; and (4) whether Colorado should be ordered to pay the plaintiff states’ costs and expenses associated with this legal action, including attorneys’ fees.
14-990 Shapiro v. Mack Whether a single-judge district court may determine that a complaint covered by 28 U.S.C. § 2284 is insubstantial, and that three judges therefore are not required, not because it concludes that the complaint is wholly frivolous, but because it concludes that the complaint fails to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6).
14-981 Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin Whether the Fifth Circuit’s re-endorsement of the University of Texas at Austin’s use of racial preferences in undergraduate admissions decisions can be sustained under this Court’s decisions interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, including Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
14-969 Landers v. Quality Communications Whether plaintiffs seeking overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act must support their allegations with detailed facts demonstrating the time, place, manner, or extent of their uncompensated work; or whether it is sufficient if plaintiffs' allegations give defendants fair notice of plaintiffs' claim for overtime and the grounds upon which it rests.
14-906 Woodel v. Florida Whether the Florida Supreme Court's prejudice analysis – notwithstanding grave deficiencies in counsel's development and presentation of mitigating evidence – can be squared with Strickland v. Washington and subsequent decisions of this Court applying Strickland's prejudice standard.
14-894 CashCall v. Morrissey Whether the Federal Deposit Insurance Act preempts the application of state interest rate limitations to loans that were underwritten and originated by a state-chartered bank, when a non-bank acquires a predominant economic interest in the loans.
14-884 Rosebrock v. Hoffman (1) Whether government defendants are subject to the same heavy burden of persuasion as all other defendants when they contend that a claim for injunctive relief is moot based on voluntary cessation – which is the rule the First, Eighth, and District of Columbia Circuits utilize – or whether government defendants are entitled to a presumption of good faith that effectively shifts the burden of persuasion on the mootness question to plaintiffs – as eight other circuits have held, including the Ninth Circuit in this case; and (2) whether a request for injunctive relief that would require a defendant to permit a plaintiff to engage in expressive activity that was previously barred in violation of the First Amendment is mooted by the closure of the forum, as the Ninth Circuit concluded, or is a form of available relief and thus not moot, as the Seventh Circuit has held.
14-882 U.S. Legal Services Group, L.P. v. Atalese Whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts a state-law rule holding that an arbitration agreement is unenforceable unless it affirmatively explains that the contracting party is waiving the right to sue in court.
14-874 Apel v. U.S. Whether in light of Flower v. United States it violates the First Amendment for a person who was previously barred from a military installation to be convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1382 for peacefully protesting on a fully open public street, which has been designated as a public protest area, on federal property outside the closed military installation.
14-872 O’Keefe v. Chisholm (1) Whether considerations of “equity, comity, and federalism” insufficient to support abstention can override the holding in Mitchum v. Foster that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is an “expressly authorized” statutory exception to the Anti-Injunction Act; and (2) whether, as this Court left unresolved in Hartman v. Moore, officials may be held liable for subjecting citizens to investigation in retaliation for First Amendment-protected speech and association, particularly where non-retaliatory grounds are insufficient to support the investigation.
14-858 LVNV Funding, LLC v. Crawford Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that liability under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act may be premised on the filing of a proof of claim in bankruptcy and determined using a least-sophisticated consumer standard.
14-857 Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez (1) Whether a case becomes moot, and thus beyond the judicial power of Article III, when the plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim; (2) whether the answer to the first question is any different when the plaintiff has asserted a class claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, but receives an offer of complete relief before any class is certified; and (3) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity recognized in Yearsley v. W.A. Ross Construction Co., for government contractors is restricted to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects.
14-850 Becton, Dickinson and Company v. Retractable Technologies (1) Whether, when a jury uses a general verdict form to award damages, and at least one but not all of the claims submitted to the jury is set aside on appeal, further proceedings to recalculate damages are required under the general verdict rule; and (2) whether, to benefit from the general verdict rule following a partial reversal on appeal, a litigant must object to the general verdict form and invoke the general verdict rule in advance of a partial reversal (as four courts of appeal have held), or whether these steps are unnecessary (as five courts of appeals have held).
14-844 Bruce v. Samuels Whether, when a prisoner files more than one case or appeal in the federal courts in forma pauperis, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2), caps the monthly exaction of filing fees at 20% of the prisoner's monthly income regardless of the number of cases or appeals for which he owes filing fees.
14-839 Dickson v. Rucho (1) Whether an explicit policy of racial balancing and race-based line drawing can be justified under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by an incorrect view of the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act; and (2) whether race-based districts are drawn as a safe harbor subject to strict scrutiny and required to use race no more than necessary to comply with the Voting Rights Act properly interpreted.
14-819 Vitran Express v. Campbell (1) Whether the Ninth Circuit erred by holding, in conflict with the decisions of this Court, and other courts of appeals, that for purposes of preemption under the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA), a state law of general applicability only “relates to prices, routes and services” when it “binds the carrier to a particular price, route or service”; and (2) whether California's meal and rest break requirements impermissibly “relate to” motor carriers' prices, routes or services under the FAAAA when they require truck drivers to alter and deviate from their preferred routes and suspend services up to five times a day, every day.
14-801 Penske Logistics, LLC v. Dilts Whether the Ninth Circuit erred by holding that California's meal and rest break laws are not preempted under the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, applying a preemption test that conflicts with the decisions of this Court and other circuits and has consistently produced flawed results.
14-780 North Carolina v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina (1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred by effectively incorporating into Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act the retrogression standard applicable only to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act; and (2) whether the preliminary injunction ordered by the Fourth Circuit subjected North Carolina to a de facto preclearance standard in derogation of North Carolina’s constitutional prerogative to enact laws governing the time, place and manner of holding elections.
14-777 Cardona v. Chiquita Brands Int'l Whether law of nations violations alleged in an Alien Tort Statute (ATS) cause of action must occur entirely within U.S. territory, as the Eleventh Circuit held in this case, or whether the ATS permits an action where a substantial nexus to the United States is present, such as U.S. nationality of the defendant and substantial relevant conduct in the United States that furthers human rights violations, as the Ninth, Fourth and Second Circuits have held.
14-775 CashCall v. Inetianbor (1) Whether there is a non-textual “integrality exception” to the mandatory requirement in the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) that a substitute arbitrator “shall” be appointed by the court whenever the parties' chosen arbitrator is unavailable for “any … reason;” and (2) whether a court may void an entire arbitration clause – and force the parties to litigate in court – despite the fact that the parties included a severance provision that, if applied, would render the arbitration clause enforceable.
14-774 Myer v. Americo Life Whether a court reviewing an arbitral award under the Federal Arbitration Act should deferentially review the arbitral body's interpretation and application of the parties' agreement regarding the selection and qualification of an arbitration panel, or should instead decide such matters de novo.
14-772 Fields v. U.S. (1) Whether the Fifth Circuit's categorical rule that counsel’s failure to investigate and present even the most compelling mitigating evidence of mental illness can never prejudice the defendant at sentencing, because such evidence always establishes a degree of dangerousness presumed to outweigh any jury finding of decreased culpability, is consistent with this Court's Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment decisions; and (2) whether the Fifth Circuit’s decision denying petitioner an evidentiary hearing regarding his competence to proceed pro se is consistent with the jurisprudence of this Court and the plain language of 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which requires an evidentiary hearing “[u]nless the motion and the files and records of the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no relief.”
14-751 Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America v. County of Alameda Whether the dormant commerce clause permits a local law that directly conscripts out-of-state manufacturers to enter the locality and to assume all costs and responsibility for collecting and disposing of unused medicines from local residents, for the avowed purpose of shifting the costs of this traditional government function from local taxpayers and consumers to foreign producers and consumers.
14-745 Velasco-Giron v. Holder (1) Whether courts should defer to published Board of Immigration Appeals case law construing the generic crime of “sexual abuse of a minor” through an ad hoc process that employs a federal civil statute as a “guide;” and (2) whether a state misdemeanor offense for sexual intercourse with an individual under the age of 18 – which captures activity not criminalized federally or in the vast majority of states, and may be punished with unsupervised probation – is an “aggravated felony” as “sexual abuse of a minor.”
14-740 Massi v. U.S. Whether the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies to a search warrant that is itself the fruit of the poisonous tree.
14-654 Salahuddin v. U.S. Whether the conspiracy offense proscribed in the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), requires proof that a defendant committed an overt act in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy.
14-631 Manzano v. Indiana Whether, when a criminal defendant seeks to vacate a guilty plea on the ground that defense counsel rendered ineffective assistance, in order to establish prejudice the defendant must show that but for counsel’s errors he would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on going to trial (as this Court, all twelve federal circuits, and virtually all the states hold), or whether the defendant must also show that had he gone to trial he would have been acquitted (as the Indiana Supreme Court persists in holding).
14-622 Kuretski v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Whether the President's authority under 26 U.S.C. § 7443(f) to remove Tax Court judges violates the Constitution's separation of powers.
14-613 Green v. Donahoe Whether, under federal employment discrimination law, the filing period for a constructive discharge claim begins to run when an employee resigns, as five circuits have held, or at the time of an employer's last allegedly discriminatory act giving rise to the resignation, as three other circuits have held.
14-602 Umana v. U.S. Whether, at capital sentencing, the government may seek to prove the aggravating factor that the defendant committed previous unadjudicated murders through hearsay statements to police of other suspects in those murders, without permitting the defendant to confront or cross-examine his accusers.
14-534 Gupta v. U.S. (1) Whether, in a federal criminal case in which the defendant has introduced and the trial court has admitted evidence of good character under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(a)(2)(A), the trial court should instruct the jury that character evidence alone may create a reasonable doubt; and (2) whether testimony directly supporting a criminal defendant’s theory that he lacked a motive to commit the offense with which he is charged may be excluded under Federal Rule of Evidence 403 as unfairly prejudicial to the prosecution merely because it might also tend to establish a fact that the prosecution had already proven.
14-510 Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. U.S. Whether the D.C. Circuit misapplied this Court's decision in Holland v. Florida when it ruled – in direct conflict with a holding of the Federal Circuit on materially similar facts – that the Tribe did not face an “extraordinary circumstance” warranting equitable tolling of the statute of limitations for filing of Indian Self-Determination Act claims under the Contract Disputes Act.
14-493 Kent Recycling Services, LLC v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1) Whether a jurisdictional determination, that is conclusive as to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, and binding on all parties, is subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act; and (2) whether a due process claim against an agency action is subject to the finality requirement of the Administrative Procedure Act.
14-471 Contorinis v. Securities and Exchange Commission Whether a defendant in a Securities and Exchange Commission civil enforcement action can be ordered to disgorge profits that he or she never received, possessed, or controlled, but that instead accrued directly to innocent third parties.
14-419 Luis v. U.S. Whether the pretrial restraint of a criminal defendant's legitimate, untainted assets (those not traceable to a criminal offense) needed to retain counsel of choice violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

Calls for the Views of the Solicitor General

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
22o143 Mississippi v. Tennessee (1) Whether the Court will grant Mississippi leave to file an original action to seek relief from respondents’ use of a pumping operation to take approximately 252 billion gallons of high quality groundwater; (2) whether Mississippi has sole sovereign authority over and control of groundwater naturally stored within its borders, including in sandstone within Mississippi’s borders; and (3) whether Mississippi is entitled to damages, injunctive, and other equitable relief for the Mississippi intrastate groundwater intentionally and forcibly taken by respondents.
14-448 Google v. Vederi, LLC Whether, when an applicant for a patent amends a claim to overcome the Patent and Trademark Office’s earlier disallowance of the claim, a court should (i) presume that the amendment narrowed the claim and strictly construe the amended claim language against the applicant, as this Court has held; or (ii) presume that the claim scope remained the same and require that any narrowing be clear and unmistakable, as the Federal Circuit has held.
14-410 Google Inc. v. Oracle America Whether copyright protection extends to all elements of an original work of computer software, including a system or method of operation, that an author could have written in more than one way.
14-181 Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Whether the Second Circuit – in a two-to-one panel decision that disregarded the considered opinion advanced by the United States as amicus – erred in holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempts Vermont's health care database law as applied to the third-party administrator for a self-funded ERISA plan.
13-1559 Corr v. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (1) Whether, as the United States implicitly conceded below, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) exercises sufficient federal power to mandate separation-of-powers scrutiny for purposes of a suit seeking injunctive relief and invoking the Little Tucker Act to seek monetary relief; and (2) whether the Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986, 49 U.S.C. §§ 49101 et seq., which transferred to MWAA all of the federal government's “rights, liabilities, and obligations” concerning, inter alia, Dulles Airport and its “access highways and other related facilities,” violates the separation of powers, including the Executive Vesting, Appointments, and Take Care Clauses of Article II, by depriving the president of control over MWAA, an entity exercising – as the United States admits – executive branch functions pursuant to federal law.
13-1547 Ridley School District v. M. R., as Parents of E. R., a Minor Whether operation of a “stay-put” provision in 20 U.S.C. § 1415(j) – which requires that a child whose educational program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is under dispute to remain in his or her then-current placement while statutory “proceedings” to resolve the dispute are pending – terminates upon entry of a final judgment by a state or federal trial court in favor of the school district, as the D.C. and Sixth Circuits have held, or whether it continues until completion of any subsequent appeal of that judgment, as the Third and Ninth Circuits have held.
13-1496 Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Whether Indian tribal courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate civil tort claims against nonmembers, including as a means of regulating the conduct of nonmembers who enter into consensual relationships with a tribe or its members.
13-1467 Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Kobold Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), which expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law” that would prevent enforcement of “[t]he terms of any contract” under FEHBA that “relate to the nature, provision, or extent of coverage or benefits (including payments with respect to benefits),” preempts state laws precluding carriers that administer FEHBA plans from seeking reimbursement or subrogation pursuant to the terms of FEHBA contracts.
13-1379 Athena Cosmetics v. Allergan Whether, under Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act impliedly preempts a private state-law claim for unfair competition premised on a party’s purported failure to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval, where the Food and Drug Administration itself has not imposed any such requirement.
13-1339 Spokeo v. Robins Whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based on a bare violation of a federal statute.
13-1305 Coventry Health Care of Missouri v. Nevils Whether the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), which governs the federal government’s provision of health benefits to millions of federal employees and their dependents, preempts state laws precluding carriers that administer FEHBA plans from seeking subrogation as required by their contracts with the Office of Personnel Management.

Petitions Held for Another Conference

N/A

Term Snapshot
Awards