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October Term 2008

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October Sitting

Kennedy v. Plan Administrator for Dupont Savings (No. 07-636)10.07.08Arg: (Trans.) 01.26.2009

Holding: Whether ERISA’s Qualified Domestic Relations Order provision is the only valid way a divorcing spouse can waive her right to receive her ex-husband’s pension benefits under ERISA.
Locke v. Karass (No. 07-610)10.6.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.21.2009

Holding: Whether a public sector union may include in non-members’ agency fees costs for litigation outside the bargaining unit.
Vaden v. Discover Bank (No. 07-773)10.06.2008Arg: (Trans.) 03.09.2009

Holding: Whether, under the Federal Arbitration Act, a suit seeking to enforce a state-law arbitration obligation arises under federal law if the petition to compel itself raises no federal question but the dispute sought to be arbitrated involves federal law.
Altria Group v. Good (No. 07-562)10.06.2008Arg: (Trans.) 12.15.2008

Holding: Whether the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act preempts state law deceptive practice claims in connection with the advertising of cigarettes as “light” or containing “lower tar and nicotine.”
Herring v. U.S. (No. 07-513)10.07.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.14.2009

Holding: Whether the exclusionary rule should apply to evidence seized incident to an arrest unlawful under the Fourth Amendment due to erroneous information negligently provided by another law enforcement agency.
Arizona v. Gant (No. 07-542)10.07.2008Arg: (Trans.) 04.21.2009

Holding: Whether, under New York v. Belton (1981), police may conduct a warrantless search of a car if its recently arrested occupant poses no threat to officer safety or preservation of evidence.
Summers v. Earth Island Institute (No. 07-463)10.08.2008Arg: (Trans.) 03.03.2009

Holding: Whether a group of environmental organizations had established standing to contest a series of Forest Service regulations, and whether the challenge was ripe for review under the APA.
Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council (No. 07-1239)10.08.2008Arg: (Trans.) 11.12.2008

Holding: Whether courts below properly enjoined the Navy's use of sonar during certain training exercises for failure to conduct an environmental impact statement over a finding of emergency circumstances by the Council on Environmental Quality.
Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville (No. 06-1595)10.08.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.26.2009

Holding: Whether and to what extent Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision protects employees from being fired for cooperating with an employer’s internal sexual harassment investigation.
Bartlett v. Strickland (No. 07-689)10.14.2008Arg: (Trans.) 03.09.2009

Holding: Whether a racial minority group that constitutes less than 50% of a proposed district’s population can state a vote dilution claim under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Oregon v. Ice (No. 07-901)10.14.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.14.2009

Holding: Whether, under Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) and Blakely v. Washington (2004), a sentencing judge violates the Sixth Amendment by imposing consecutive sentences based on a fact not found by the jury or admitted by the defendant.
Pearson v. Callahan (No. 07-751)10.14.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.21.2009

Holding: Whether, for qualified immunity purposes, police officers may enter a home without a warrant on the theory that the owner consented to the entry by previously permitting an undercover informant into the home. (Note: in addition to the questions presented, the Court directed the parties to brief and argue the following question: “Whether the Court’s decision in Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194 (2001) should be overruled?”)
Waddington v. Sarausad (No. 07-772)10.15.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.21.2009

Holding: Whether, on federal habeas review, courts must accept state court determinations that jury instructions fully and correctly set out state law with regard to accomplice liability.
Hedgpeth v. Pulido (No. 07-544)10.15.2008Arg: (Trans.) 12.02.2008

Holding: Whether, on habeas review, the 9th Circuit erred in granting relief by deeming an erroneous jury instruction to constitute structural error requiring reversal because the jury may have relied upon it.

November Sitting

Ysursa v. Pocatello Education Association (No. 07-869)11.03.08Arg: (Trans.) 02.24.2009

Holding: Whether, under the First Amendment, a state legislature may bar political subdivisions from making payroll deductions for political activities.
Wyeth v. Levine (No. 06-1249)11.03.08Arg: (Trans.) 03.04.2009

Holding: Whether federal law preempts state torts claims imposing liability on drug labeling that the FDA had previously approved.
U.S. v. Hayes (No. 07-608)11.10.08Arg: (Trans.) 02.24.2009

Holding: Whether, to qualify as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under 18 USC 922(g)(9), the offense must have as an element a domestic relationship between the offender and the victim.
Carcieri v. Kempthorne (No. 07-526)11.03.2008Arg: (Trans.) 02.24.2009

Holding: Whether the Narrangansett Tribe may receive benefits under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 if the Tribe was not federally recognized on the date of enactment, and whether the Rhode Island Indian Claims Settlement Act foreclosed the Tribe’s right to exercise sovereignty over land in the state.
FCC v. Fox Television Stations (No. 07-582)11.04.2008Arg: (Trans.) 04.28.2009

Holding: Whether the FCC provided an adequate explanation, or instead acted arbitrarily and capriciously, in changing its policy to permit isolated uses of expletives on broadcast television to be considered “indecent” under federal law.
U.S. v. Eurodif (No. 07-1059)11.04.2008Arg: (Trans.) 1.26.2009

Holding: Whether contracts for uranium enrichment services are subject to federal anti-dumping laws.
Jimenez v. Quarterman (No. 07-6984)11.04.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.13.2009

Holding:
Van de Kamp v. Goldstein (No. 07-854)11.05.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.26.2009

Holding: Whether district attorney supervisors are entitled to civil immunity from allegations they failed to ensure line prosecutors were aware, and thus able to disclose to the defendant, that a jailhouse informant was to receive benefits in exchange for his testimony.
Negusie v. Mukasey (No. 07-499)11.06.2008Arg: (Trans.) 03.03.2009

Holding: Whether the provision of the Immigration and Naturalization Act that prohibits the granting of asylum to individuals found to have themselves engaged in persecution applies to those who were compelled to do so by threats of deaths or torture.
Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (No. 07-591)11.10.2008Arg: (Trans.) 06.25.2009

Holding: Whether a state forensic analyst’s laboratory report prepared for use in a criminal prosecution is “testimonial” evidence subject to the demands of the Confrontation Clause as set forth in Crawford v. Washington (2004).
Chambers v. U.S. (No. 06-11206)11.10.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.13.2009

Holding: Whether a failure to report to prison is the equivalent of escape for purposes of enhanced sentencing under the Armed Career Criminal Act.
Pleasant Grove City, UT v. Summum (No. 07-665)11.12.2008Arg: (Trans.) 02.25.2009

Holding: Whether, under the First Amendment, privately donated monuments placed in a public park qualify as private or government speech.
Bell v. Kelly (No. 07-1223)11.12.2008Arg: (Trans.) 11.17.2008

Holding: Whether 28 U.S.C 2254, the federal habeas provision governing claims adjudicated on the merits in state court, should be applied to claims based on evidence of ineffective assistance of counsel the state court refused to consider.

December Sitting

14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett (No. 07-581)12.01.2008Arg: (Trans.) 04.01.2009

Holding: Whether an arbitration clause in a collective bargaining agreement waiving employees’ right to file statutory discrimination claims is enforceable.
Kansas v. Colorado (No. 105 Orig)12.01.2008Arg: (Trans.) 03.09.2009

Holding: Whether 18 U.S.C. § 1821(b), which limits expert witness fees to $40 per day, applies to cases arising under the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction.
Entergy Corp. v. EPA (No. 07-588)12.02.2008Arg: (Trans.) 04.01.2009

Holding: Whether the Clean Water Act permits the EPA to undergo a cost-benefit analysis in determining the most environmentally friendly technology at cooling water intake structures, and to regulate such structures at existing as well as new facilities.
Fitzgerald, et vir v. Barnstable School Committee, et al. (No. 07-1125)12.02.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.21.2009

Holding: Whether Title IX precludes Section 1983 constitutional claims to remedy sex discrimination in educational settings.
Haywood v. Drown (No. 07-10374)12.03.2008Arg: (Trans.) 05.26.2009

Holding: Whether a state law barring state courts from hearing damages actions against corrections officers violates the Supremacy Clause by not permitting adjudication of claims under 42 USC 1983.
Philip Morris USA v. Williams (No. 07-1216)12.03.2008Arg: (Trans.) 03.31.2009

Holding: Whether the Supreme Court of Oregon, on remand from the Court’s 2007 decision on the constitutionality of a $79.5 million punitive damages award based on harms done to non-named plaintiffs, improperly asserted a state law procedural bar having the effect of precluding Phillip Morris from asserting a constitutional claim.
Pacific Bell Telephone Co., dba AT&T California v. linkLine Communications (No. 07-512)12.08.2008Arg: (Trans.) 02.25.2009

Holding: Whether Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act permits a “price squeeze” claim if the defendant has no duty to deal.
Shinseki v. Sanders (No. 07-1209)12.08.2008Arg: (Trans.) 04.21.2009

Holding: Whether courts must presume the failure of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to give notice to benefits’ claimants to be prejudicial.
Arizona v. Johnson (No. 07-1122)12.09.2008Arg: (Trans.) 01.26.2009

Holding: Whether, in the context of a vehicular stop for a minor traffic infraction, an officer may conduct a pat-down search of a passenger when the officer has an articulable basis to believe the passenger might be armed and presently dangerous, but had no reasonable grounds to believe that the passenger is committing, or has committed, a criminal offense.
Cone v. Bell (No. 07-1114)12.09.2008Arg: (Trans.) 04.28.2009

Holding: Whether a federal habeas claim is “procedurally defaulted” because it has been presented twice to the state courts, and whether a federal habeas court is powerless to recognize that a state court erred in holding that state law precludes reviewing a claim.
AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen (No. 07-543)12.10.2008Arg: (Trans.) 05.18.2009

Holding: Whether employers violate Title VII by not fully restoring service credit for pregnancy leaves taken before the 1978 passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Ashcroft, Former ATT’Y Gen. v. Iqbal (No. 07-1015)12.10.2008Arg: (Trans.) 05.18.2009

Holding: Whether current and former federal officials, including FBI Director Robert Mueller and former Attorney General John Ashcroft, are entitled to qualified immunity against allegations they knew of or condoned racial and religious discrimination against individuals detained in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

January Sitting

Ministry of Defense and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran v. Elahi (No. 07-615)01.12.2009Arg: (Trans.) 04.21.2009

Holding: Whether a disputed judgment against a military contractor at issue between Iran and the United States before the Claims Tribunal in The Hague is subject to attachment under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act.
Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, et al. and Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, et al. (No. 07-984)01.12.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.22.2009

Holding: Whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may not issue a permit for discharge of fill material otherwise subject to effluent limitations under Sections 301 or 306 of the Clean Water Act.
Harbison v. Bell (No. 07-8521)01.12.2009Arg: (Trans.) 04.01.2009

Holding: Whether the Terrorist Death Penalty Enhancement Act of 2005 provides prisoners sentenced under state law the right to federally appointed and funded counsel to pursue clemency under state law, and whether a district court’s denial of such a request may be appealed without a certificate of appealability.
Vermont v. Brillon (No. 08-88)01.13.2009Arg: (Trans.) 03.09.2009

Holding: Whether delays caused by a public defender can deprive a criminal defendant of his right to a speedy trial.
Knowles v. Mirzayance (No. 07-1315)01.13.2009Arg: (Trans.) 03.24.2009

Holding: Whether the defendant’s lawyer’s recommendation to withdraw an insanity plea constituted ineffective assistance of counsel for purposes of federal habeas law.
Montejo v. Louisiana (No. 07-1529)01.13.2009Arg: (Trans.) 05.26.2009

Holding: Whether an indigent defendant must affirmatively accept the appointment of counsel to preclude future police interrogation in the absence the attorney.
Boyle v. U.S. (No. 07-1309)01.14.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.08.2009

Holding:
Puckett v. U.S. (No. 07-9712)01.14.2009Arg: (Trans.) 03.25.2009

Holding: Whether forfeited claims that the government breach a plea agreement are subject to “plain error” review.
Corley v. U.S. (No. 07-10441)01.21.2009Arg: (Trans.) 04.06.2009

Holding: Whether federal law permits the suppression of a voluntary confession made more than six hours after arrest but before presentment to a magistrate, as a consequence of unreasonable delay in presentment.
Nken v. Holder (No. 08-681)01.21.2009Arg: (Trans.) 04.22.2009

Holding: Whether the decision of a court of appeals to stay an alien’s removal pending consideration of the alien’s petition for review is governed by the standard set forth in 8 U.S.C. 1252(f)(2) or instead by the traditional test for stays and preliminary injunctive relief.

February Sitting

U.S. v. Navajo Nation (No. 07-1410)02.23.2009Arg: (Trans.) 04.06.2009

Holding: Whether the Court’s prior decision in United States v. Navajo Nation (2003) foreclosed a finding that the government breached fiduciary duties in connection with Indian coal lease amendments.
Rivera v. Illinois (No. 07-9995)02.23.2009Arg: (Trans.) 03.31.2009

Holding: Whether the erroneous denial of a criminal defendant’s preemptory challenge that resulted in the challenged juror being seated requires automatic reversal of a conviction.
Carlsbad Technology v. HIF Bio (No. 07-1437)02.24.2009Arg: (Trans.) 05.04.2009

Holding: Whether a federal court order remanding a case to state court after declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction is subject to appellate review.
Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, et al. v. U.S.; Shell Oil Company v. U.S. (No. 07-1601)02.24.2009Arg: (Trans.) 05.04.2009

Holding: Whether the petitioners were incorrectly held jointly and severally liable for environmental cleanup costs under CERCLA.
Flores-Figueroa v. U.S. (No. 08-108)02.25.2009Arg: (Trans.) 05.04.2009

Holding: Whether an individual who used a false means of identification without knowing it belonged to another person can be convicted of “aggravated identity theft” under 18 U.S.C. 1028A(a)(1).
Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs (No. 07-1372)02.25.2009Arg: (Trans.) 03.31.2009

Holding: Whether a 1993 congressional resolution requires Hawaii to reach a political settlement with native Hawaiians before transferring some 1.2 million acres of state land.
Atlantic Sounding Co., et al. v. Townsend (No. 08-214)03.02.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.25.2009

Holding: Whether a seaman may recover punitive damages for the willful failure to pay maintenance and cure.
District Attorney’s Office for the Third Judicial District, et al. v. Osborne (No. 08-6)03.02.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.18.2009

Holding: Whether a defendant may access a state’s biological evidence following a conviction under 42 U.S.C. 1983 or the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Company, et al. (No. 08-22)03.03.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.08.2009

Holding: Whether a judge’s failure to recuse himself from a case in which he received substantial campaign donations from one of the parties violates the Due Process rights of the other party.
Dean v. U.S. (No. 08-5274)03.04.2009Arg: (Trans.) 04.29.2009

Holding: Whether, under 18 U.S.C.924(c)(1)(A)(iii), the mere discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence or drug trafficking, even if accidental, is subject to a ten-year sentencing enhancement.
Abuelhawa v. U.S. (No. 08-192)03.04.2009Arg: (Trans.) 05.26.2009

Holding: Whether a person who uses a cell phone to buy drugs solely for personal use (a misdemeanor) can be charged with the separate crime of using a phone to facilitate the sale of drugs (a felony).

March Sitting

Yeager v. U.S. (No. 08-67)03.23.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.18.2009

Holding: Whether, under the Double Jeopardy Clause, the government may retry defendants acquitted of some charges on factually related counts on which the jury failed to reach a verdict.
U.S. v. Denedo (No. 08-267)03.25.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.08.2009

Holding: Whether a military appellate court has jurisdiction to consider a petition for a writ of error coram nobis filed by a former service member following a final court-martial conviction.
Travelers Indemnity v. Bailey, et al.; Common Law Settlement Counsel v. Bailey, et al. (No. 08-295)03.30.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.18.2009

Holding: Whether a federal bankruptcy court can block private lawsuits that seek damages for injury and death due to exposure to asbestos.
Gross v. FBL Financial Services (No. 08-441)03.31.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.18.2009

Holding: Whether a plaintiff must present direct evidence of discrimination in order to obtain a mixed-motive instruction in a non-Title VII discrimination case.
Polar Tankers v. City of Valdez, Alaska (No. 08-310)04.01.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.15.2009

Holding: Whether a municipal tax that falls exclusively on large vessels in the city’s harbor violates the Tonnage Clause, Commerce Clause, or Due Process Clause.

April Sitting

Republic of Iraq v. Beaty, et al.; Republic of Iraq, et al. v. Robert Simon, et al. (No. 07-1090)04.20.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.08.2009

Holding: Whether U.S. Courts have jurisdiction over Iraq in claims involving alleged misdeeds that occurred during Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Horne v. Flores; Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives v. Flores (No. 08-289)04.20.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.25.2009

Holding: Whether the courts below improperly declined to modify an injunction against Arizona for failing to provide sufficient funding for non-English speaking school children.
Safford United School District #1 v. Redding (No. 08-479)04.21.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.25.2009

Holding: Whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits public school officials from conducting a strip search of a student suspected of possessing and distributing a prescription drug on campus in violation of school policy.
U.S. ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of New York (No. 08-660)04.21.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.08.2009

Holding: Whether the 30-day time limit in Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(1)(A) for filing a notice of appeal, or the 60-day time limit in Rule 4(a)(1)(B), applies to a qui tam action under the False Claims Act.
Ricci v. DeStefano (No. 07-1428)04.22.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.29.2009

Holding: Whether municipalities may decline to certify results of an exam that would make disproportionately more white applicants eligible for promotion than minority applicants, due to fears that certifying the results would lead to charges of racial discrimination.
Nijhawan v. Holder (No. 08-495)04.27.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.15.2009

Holding: Whether the petitioner’s conviction for mail, bank and wire fraud qualified as an aggravated felony under the immigration laws, the penalty for which is lifetime banishment from the country.
Bobby v. Bies (No. 08-598)04.27.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.01.2009

Holding: Whether the holding of a state post-conviction hearing to determine the mental capacity of a capital defendant whose death sentence was affirmed before Atkins v. Virginia (2002), which barred the execution of mentally retarded defendants, violates the Double Jeopardy clause.
Cuomo v. The Clearing House Ass’n, L.L.C. (No. 08-453)04.28.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.29.2009

Holding: Whether 12 USC § 484 and 12 CFR § 7.4000 prohibit measures taken by the New York State Attorney General to enforce state fair lending law against national banks by subjecting those entities to “visitorial powers.”
Forest Grove School District v. T.A. (No. 08-305)04.28.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.22.2009

Holding: Whether parents of a student who has never previously received special education services from a school district may be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for reimbursement of private school tuition.
Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (No. 08-322)04.29.2009Arg: (Trans.) 06.22.2009

Holding: Whether the appellant is eligible to bail out from the preclearance requirement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and whether Congress provided sufficient justification of current voting discrimination when extended the requirement in 2006 for another twenty-five years.

Cases Not (Yet) Set for Argument

Al-Marri v. Spagone (No. 08-368)03.06.2009

Holding: Whether Congress, in passing the Authorization for Use of Military Force after September 11, authorized the indefinite military detention of a legal immigrant seized on domestic soil whom the government alleged to have conspired with al Qaeda to carry out attacks against the United States.
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    In this five-part interview, Orin Kerr of the George Washington University Law School discusses his background in mechanical engineering and the law; clerking for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Judge Leonard I. Garth of the Third Circuit; working in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice; and teaching law. Kerr talks about how […]

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