Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

We expect additional orders from the January 19 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Petitions We’re Watching

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Petitions Relisted for the Next Conference

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
16-393 Abbott v. Veasey (1) Whether Texas' voter-ID law “results in” the abridgment of voting rights on account of race; and (2) whether judgment should be rendered for the petitioners on the claim that Texas' voter-ID law was enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose.
16-595 Arthur v. Alabama (1) Whether Alabama's advisory-jury death-sentencing scheme, which is in all relevant aspects the same as the Florida scheme reviewed in Hurst v. Florida, violates the Sixth Amendment; (2) whether Hurst and the Sixth and Eighth Amendments require, at least, a unanimous jury recommendation for a sentence of death, as the Florida Supreme Court held on remand in Hurst; and (3) whether the Supreme Court's decision in Hurst applies retroactively to the petitioner's case, and the cases of other condemned inmates sentenced under unconstitutional capital sentencing laws, when the new rule announced in Hurst implicates the fundamental right to a fair trial and substantially enhances fact-finding procedures.
16-602 Arthur v. Dunn (1) Whether, to satisfy his Glossip v. Gross burden, a condemned prisoner is limited to selecting an alternative method of execution from those already permitted by state statute; (2) whether Glossip requires a prisoner proposing an alternative lethal injection drug to provide a specific willing supplier for the alternative drug; (3) whether, to meet his Glossip burden, a condemned prisoner is required to provide, through a medical expert, a detailed protocol for an alternative method of execution including “precise procedures, amounts, times and frequencies of implementation”; and (4) whether it is a violation of the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection for a state to arbitrarily deviate from its voluntarily adopted execution safeguards.
16-5726 Shaw v. Alabama (1) Whether the court should grant this certiorari petition, vacate the judgment below and remand this case for further consideration in light of the court's recent decision in Foster v. Chatman; and (2) whether the court should grant this certiorari petition, vacate the judgment below and remand this case for further consideration in light of the court's recent decision in Hurst v. Florida.
16-6316 Rippo v. Baker Whether the trial judge's failure to recuse himself from the petitioner's capital trial violated the due process clause.
16-6496 Johnson v. Kelley (1) Whether, in a means-of-execution suit, known and available alternatives are limited to those already provided in a statute an inmate is challenging; (2) whether an inmate pleads a known and available alternative by identifying an execution method – firing squad – that other states have used and that the state has admitted it can carry out; and (3) whether an inmate pleads a known and available alternative by identifying a lethal-injection drug and identifying vendors who currently sell it.
16-6746 Bohannon v. Alabama (1) Whether the Constitution requires – in a state where each aggravating circumstance is critical to the determination of a sentence – that every aggravating circumstance on which a death sentence is premised be found by a unanimous jury; (2) whether the Constitution requires – in a state where a sentencer is required to find that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances to impose death – that this finding be made by a unanimous jury; (3) whether the imposition of a death sentence in the absence of a unanimous jury verdict in support of death – a result that, today, can occur only in Montana and Alabama in their standard sentencing procedures, and in extremely rare circumstances in Indiana and Missouri – violates the Constitution; and (4) whether the Constitution prohibits imposition of a death sentence in a case in which the jury was instructed that its sentencing determination would be advisory or a recommendation.

Petitions Featured as Petition of the Day

Docket Case Page Issue(s)
16-786 Justice v. Internal Revenue Service What constitutes a “return” for purposes of bankruptcy.
16-692 Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur v. Farhang (1) Whether a choice-of-law provision in a foreign state's contract automatically waives sovereign immunity under 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(1), regardless of the contract's other terms indicating an intent not to waive immunity; and (2) whether, given the requirement that any waiver of foreign sovereign immunity be narrowly construed, an implied waiver of immunity in one agreement between the parties gives a court license to extend the waiver to claims not premised on that agreement.
16-683 Jankovic v. Int'l Crisis Group (1) Whether, for a defamation plaintiff to be deemed a limited-purpose public figure, the defamatory statement must be directly related (or “germane”) to the plaintiff's voluntary involvement in the particular public controversy; and (2) if the court grants certiorari on the above question, whether a court may grant summary judgment in an actual-malice case on the ground that the plaintiff has not proven that the defendant “actually possessed subjective doubt” about the truth of a story, even if, based on the admissible evidence, a reasonable jury could find that the defendant actually possessed subjective doubt.
16-679 McFadden v. U.S. (1) Whether and under what circumstances overwhelming evidence of an element omitted from a criminal jury instruction is a sufficient basis for finding the error harmless; and (2) whether proof that the defendant knew the name and physiological effects of the product he was selling compels a jury to conclude that the defendant “knew he was dealing with a ‘controlled substance’” as required by McFadden v. United States.
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.
16-668 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.
16-658 Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) can deprive a court of appeals of jurisdiction over an appeal that is statutorily timely, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th Circuits have concluded, or whether Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) is instead a nonjurisdictional claim-processing rule because it is not derived from a statute, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 9th and District of Columbia Circuits have concluded, and therefore subject to equitable considerations such as forfeiture, waiver and the unique-circumstances doctrine.
16-629 American Civil Liberties Union v. Central Intelligence Agency Whether the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's investigative report concerning the Central Intelligence Agency's former program of detention, torture, and abuse of detainees became an “agency record,” subject to the Freedom of Information Act, when the Senate Committee transmitted it to several executive agencies with instructions for its wide dissemination and use.
16-610 Alaska Oil and Gas Association v. Jewell Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's exceedingly permissive standard improperly allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate huge geographic areas as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act when much of the designated area fails to meet the statutory criteria.
16-596 Alaska v. Jewell Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's exceedingly permissive standard improperly allows the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services to designate huge geographic areas as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act when much of the designated area fails to meet the statutory criteria.
16-589 Morva v. Zook Whether a state rule that excludes as irrelevant evidence that a capital defendant is unlikely to pose a risk of future violence in prison is contrary to or an unreasonable application of this court's precedent under the Eighth Amendment and due process clause.
16-579 Bright v. Massachusetts (1) Whether the Eighth Amendment's requirement of individualized sentencing for a child who confronts a sentence of life in prison is satisfied by the possibility that a future parole board may exercise its discretion to release him early; and (2) whether the imposition of a mandatory life sentence on a child convicted on a joint venture theory, without any individualized sentencing consideration, violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
16-577 Shelton v. McQuiggin Whether, under Schriro v. Landigran, a habeas petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing where his allegations would entitle him to relief and are not contravened by the record, as at least three circuits have held, or whether the petitioner must already have factual support for his allegations, as four other circuits have now held.
16-572 Citizens Against Reservation Shopping v. Jewell (1) Whether, under the Indian Reorganization Act, to have been a “recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction” in 1934, a tribe must have been “recognized” at that time; and (2) whether, to have been “under Federal jurisdiction” in 1934, a tribe must have been located in Indian country—that is, on land over which the United States exercised jurisdiction to the exclusion of state jurisdiction.
16-567 American Business USA Corp. v. Florida Department of Revenue Whether a state can collect sales tax on out-of-state property ordered over the internet for out-of-state delivery, by relying on this court's decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota and the state's connection to the corporation that accepts the order and arranges the sale, or whether such a tax violates both the due process clause and dormant commerce clause of the United States Constitution by imposing a sales tax on the out-of-state transfer of tangible personal property.
16-564 Darin v. U.S. (1) Whether the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment permits the government to prosecute a defendant who lacks minimum contacts to the United States; and (2) whether foreign criminal defendants must voluntarily travel to the United States, and subject themselves to jurisdiction here, to challenge the government's constitutional authority to hale them into court in this country.
16-548 Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG Whether Sections 14(3) and 43(a) of the Lanham Act allow a foreign business that has neither used nor registered its trademark in the United States to sue the owner of a U.S. trademark for conduct relating to the owner's use of its U.S. mark.
16-543 Mickelson v. County of Ramsey Whether due process allows governments to confiscate money from innocent people on the basis of an arrest and then force those people to prove that they are entitled to have their money returned.
16-535 Huse v. Texas (1) Whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, along with other state and federal regulations, provides the basis for an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy in his medical records sufficient to invoke Fourth Amendment protections; and (2) whether HIPAA preempts Texas's law that a prosecutor may independently obtain the medical records of a person suspected of committing a crime because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in those records.
16-521 Marshall v. Honeywell Technology Systems Inc. Whether a debtor's oral disclosure to the bankruptcy trustee of a pending administrative matter is material evidence of mistake or inadvertence sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment on the ground of judicial estoppel in civil litigation arising out of the administrative matter.
16-499 Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC Whether the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, categorically forecloses corporate liability.
16-497 Smith v. Internal Revenue Service Whether a taxpayer who files a return after assessment has filed a “return” under Section 523(a)(1)(B) of the Bankruptcy Code.
16-492 PEM Entities LLC v. Levin Whether bankruptcy courts should apply a federal rule of decision (as five circuits have held) or a state law rule of decision (as two circuits have held, expressly acknowledging a split of authority) when deciding to recharacterize a debt claim in bankruptcy as a capital contribution.
16-481 TV Azteca v. Ruiz (1) Whether a defendant's general business contacts or sporadic and involuntary contacts in the forum state that have no causal connection to the plaintiff's cause of action can establish specific personal jurisdiction consistent with the due process clause; and (2) whether, under the “effects test” described in Calder v. Jones and Walden v. Fiore, the forum state must be the “focal point” of the alleged defamatory statements and the injury suffered, or whether the defendant's more general efforts to “serve the market” are sufficient to establish specific jurisdiction.
16-467 Taylor v. Maryland (1) Under the exception to the warrant requirement announced in Arizona v. Gant, permitting a vehicular search incident to a recent occupant's arrest “when it is reasonable to believe evidence relevant to the crime of arrest might be found in the vehicle,” what quantum of particularized suspicion is required by the Fourth Amendment to justify the search; and (2) whether the unquantified experience of the arresting officer, alone, may supply the necessary particularized suspicion to justify the vehicular search.
16-464 Lavigne v. Cajun Deep Foundations, L.L.C. (1) Whether a plaintiff is required to show that he or she was replaced by someone outside his or her protected group in order to establish a prima facie case of discriminatory termination; and (2) whether, where a claimant files a timely Title VII charge asserting that employer conduct was the result of a particular unlawful motive, the claimant may, after the end of the charge-filing period, amend that charge, or bring a civil action, asserting that the conduct was also the result of a second unlawful motive.
16-460 Artis v. District of Columbia Whether the tolling provision in 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d) suspends the limitations period for the state-law claim while the claim is pending and for thirty days after the claim is dismissed, or whether the tolling provision does not suspend the limitations period but merely provides 30 days beyond the dismissal for the plaintiff to refile.
16-445 Sims v. Tennessee Whether this court's decision in Hall v. Florida must be applied retroactively on collateral review.
16-424 Class v. U.S. Whether a guilty plea inherently waives a defendant's right to challenge the constitutionality of his statute of conviction.
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.
16-395 Payne v. Tennessee Whether this court's decision in Hall v. Florida must be applied on collateral review.
16-368 Noble Energy v. Jewell (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in refusing to apply the presumption that congress intends positive law to retain common law principles absent clear evidence to the contrary, United States v. Texas, and instead deferring under Auer v. Robbins to an agency's conclusion that its general regulations implicitly displace the common law; (2) whether the “general” Auer presumption that Congress intended deference to the agency applies when this court has recognized a specific countervailing presumption of congressional intent; and (3) whether Auer and Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co. should be overruled.
16-364 Blackman v. Gascho (1) Whether it is permissible to approve a “claims-made” settlement by calculating its value based on the value of payments to all potential claimants, rather than only payments to actual claimants, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2); and (2) whether it is permissible to approve a settlement that intentionally provides a disproportionate allocation of its pecuniary benefit to class counsel, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2).
16-333 Brown v. Buhman (1) Whether the government can seek to moot a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a statute by adopting a new non-enforcement policy during the pendency of litigation; (2) whether the government can later moot by voluntary cessation a subsequently filed lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a statute under which the government publicly threatened a party with prosecution; and (3) when a district court makes underlying findings of fact in the course of adjudicating a claim under the voluntary cessation doctrine, under what standard of review those findings should be examined on appeal.
16-317 Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Robert R. McCormick Foundation (1) Whether the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit correctly held—contrary to several other courts of appeals—that the presumption against federal preemption of state law does not apply in the bankruptcy context; (2) whether the 2nd Circuit correctly held—following the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 6th, and 8th Circuits, but contrary to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 7th and 11th Circuits—that a fraudulent transfer is exempt from avoidance under 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) when a financial institution acts as a mere conduit for fraudulently transferred property, or whether instead the safe harbor applies only when the financial institution has its own beneficial interest in the transferred property; and (3) whether the 2nd Circuit correctly held—contrary to this court's decisions holding that it is for Congress, and not the courts, to balance the multiple purposes of the Bankruptcy Code, and that courts must therefore rely first and foremost on the text of the Code—that 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) is properly construed to extend far beyond its text and impliedly preempt fraudulent-transfer actions brought by private parties (as opposed to the “trustee” expressly mentioned in the statute).
16-308 Dot Foods v. Department of Revenue for the State of Washington Whether, or under what circumstances, imposing additional tax beyond the year preceding the legislative session in which the law was enacted violates due process.
16-257 Hawkins v. Woods (1) Whether a state court “adjudicat[es] on the merits” a petitioner's ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim where it neither considers a material part of the record supporting the claim nor grants a timely request for an evidentiary hearing to develop that claim; and (2) whether a federal court that gives deference to a state court decision under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) may hypothesize ways to find important evidence unpersuasive, where the state court's reasoned decision did not consider that evidence.
16-202 Romag Fasteners v. Fossil (1) Whether, under Section 35 of the Lanham Act, willful infringement is a prerequisite for an award of infringer's profits for a violation of Section 43(a), which prohibits trademark infringement through false representations regarding the origin, endorsement, or association of goods through the use of another's distinctive mark; and (2) whether and to what extent the defense of laches may bar an award for patent infringement brought within the Patent Act's six-year statutory limitations period, 35 U.S.C. § 286—the same issue this Court granted for plenary review in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC.
16-199 Denelsbeck v. New Jersey Whether the New Jersey Legislature has packed the consequences of a conviction of a third or subsequent traffic offense under New Jersey Statutes Annotated 39:4-50 so as to render the offense “serious” and to entitle offenders to the right to a jury trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the decisional law of this Court.
16-152 Denault v. U.S. (1) Whether the government fails to satisfy the “money or property” requirement of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343, when a misrepresentation deprives the purported victim of information about a potential economic benefit, but the purported victim has no contractual right or other legal entitlement to that benefit; and (2) whether the court of appeals must actually determine, and not merely presume, that a sentencing court has discharged its duty under 18 U.S.C. § 3553 and Rita v. United States to state its reasons for imposing a particular sentence after having considered the defendant's arguments and the statutory factors.
16-141 Hyosung D&P Co., Ltd. v. U.S. (1) Whether deference under Auer v. Robbins should be afforded to the interpretation of an agency regulation offered by the agency's lawyers in a case in which the agency is itself a party; and (2) whether Auer and Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co. should be overruled.
16-111 Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Whether applying Colorado's public accommodations law to compel 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.
15-1539 Kaley v. U.S. (1) Whether, where an acquitted defendant contested multiple elements of the offense, was acquitted by a general verdict, and can demonstrate that the evidence of a particular element was constitutionally insufficient, the Double Jeopardy Clause collaterally estops the government from prosecuting the defendant for another offense that also requires proof of that particular element; and (2) where an acquitted defendant contested multiple elements of the offense, what burden of proof must he shoulder to establish that a particular element was “necessarily decided” in his favor for purposes of collateral estoppel.
15-1461 Meshal v. Higgenbotham Whether a U.S. citizen may bring a Bivens claim in the absence of any other remedy when federal law enforcement officers unlawfully detain and grossly mistreat him during a criminal counterterrorism investigation abroad.

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.
16-534 Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran (1) Whether 28 U.S.C. § 1610(g) provides a freestanding attachment immunity exception that allows terror victim judgment creditors to attach and execute upon assets of foreign state sponsors of terrorism regardless of whether assets are otherwise subject to execution under Section 1610; and (2) whether the commercial use exception to execution immunity, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1610(a), applies to a foreign sovereign's property located in the United States only when the property is used by the foreign state itself.
16-477 New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association v. National Collegiate Athletic Association Whether a federal statute that prohibits adjustment or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States and Printz v. United States.
16-476 Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association Whether a federal statute that prohibits modification or repeal of state-law prohibitions on private conduct impermissibly commandeers the regulatory power of states in contravention of New York v. United States.
16-334 Bank Melli v. Bennett (1) Whether Section 1610(g) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act establishes a freestanding exception to sovereign immunity, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held below, or instead merely supersedes First National City Bank v. Banco Para El Comercio Exterior de Cuba’s presumption of separate status while still requiring a plaintiff to satisfy the criteria for overcoming immunity elsewhere in Section 1610, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has held and the United States has repeatedly urged; and (2) whether a court should apply federal or state law to determine whether assets constitute “property of” or “assets of” the sovereign under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and Section 1610(g), and whether those provisions require that the sovereign own the property in question, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held and the United States has repeatedly urged, contrary to the decision below.
16-217 Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in concluding that the affirmation of good faith belief that a given use of material use is not authorized “by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law,” required under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), may be purely subjective and, therefore, that an unreasonable belief—such as a belief formed without consideration of the statutory fair use factors—will not subject the sender of a takedown notice to liability under Section 512(f) of the DMCA.
16-130 U.S. ex rel. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality v. U.S. Bank, N.A. Whether, under the public disclosure bar of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A), which prohibits qui tam actions when “substantially the same allegations or transactions” have been publicly disclosed, unless the qui tam plaintiff is an original source of the information, a qui tam action may proceed where it is based on specific allegations of fraud that were not the subject of prior public disclosures and that add substantial material information to the public disclosures, and when the publicly disclosed allegations “encompass” the qui tam allegations only if both sets of allegations are characterized at a very high level of generality.
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.
15-1509 U.S. Bank National Association v. Village at Lakeridge (1) Whether an assignee of an insider claim acquires the original claimant's insider status, such that his or her vote to confirm a cramdown plan cannot be counted under 11 U.S.C. § 1129(a)(10); (2) whether the appropriate standard of review for determining non-statutory insider status is the de novo standard of review applied by the Third, Seventh, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, or the clearly erroneous standard of review adopted for the first time by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in this action; and (3) whether the proper test for determining non-statutory insider status requires bankruptcy courts to conduct an “arm's length” analysis as applied by the Third, Seventh and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, or to apply a “functional equivalent” test which looks to factors comparable to those enumerated for statutory insider classifications as erroneously applied for the first time by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in this action.
15-1464 Warfaa v. Ali Whether a claim against an individual defendant who committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international law abroad touches and concerns the United States such that the Alien Tort Statute that confers federal jurisdiction over the claim where that defendant sought safe haven in the United States, obtained lawful permanent residency in the United States, and continues to reside in the United States, availing himself of the benefits and privileges associated with living in the United States.
15-1439 Cyan v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund Whether state courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over covered class actions that allege only Securities Act of 1933 claims.
15-1345 Ali v. Warfaa Whether a foreign official's common-law immunity for acts performed on behalf of a foreign state is abrogated by plaintiff's allegations that those official acts violated jus cogens norms of international law.
15-1305 BeavEx Inc. v. Costello Whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act preempts generally-applicable state laws that force motor carriers to treat and pay all drivers as “employees” rather than as independent contractors.
15-1223 Southwest Securities v. Segner Whether, under Section 506(c) of the Bankruptcy Code, which authorizes the trustee to “recover from property securing an allowed secured claim the reasonable, necessary costs and expenses of preserving, or disposing of such property to the extent of any benefit to the holder of such claim[,]” secured creditors are obliged to shoulder the trustee's maintenance costs when retaining encumbered property in the hope of benefiting other creditors for the period a trustee abandons encumbered property.
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