October Term 2013

View this list sorted by case name.

October Sitting

Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice (No. 12-79)10.7.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 02.26.2014

Holding: The Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1988 does not preclude the plaintiffs' state-law class actions contending that the defendants assisted in perpetrating a Ponzi scheme by falsely representing that uncovered securities that plaintiffs were purchasing were backed by covered securities.
Proskauer Rose LLP v. Troice (No. 12-88)10.7.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 02.26.2014

Holding: The Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1988 does not preclude the plaintiffs' state-law class actions contending that the defendants assisted in perpetrating a Ponzi scheme by falsely representing that uncovered securities that plaintiffs were purchasing were backed by covered securities.
Madigan v. Levin (No. 12-872)10.7.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 10.15.2013

Holding: Whether the Seventh Circuit erred in holding, in an acknowledged departure from the rule in at least four other circuits, that state and local government employees may avoid the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act’s comprehensive remedial regime by bringing age discrimination claims directly under the Equal Protection Clause and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Willis of Colorado Inc. v. Troice (No. 12-86)10.7.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 02.26.2014

Holding: The Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1988 does not preclude the plaintiffs' state-law class actions contending that the defendants assisted in perpetrating a Ponzi scheme by falsely representing that uncovered securities that plaintiffs were purchasing were backed by covered securities.
Burt v. Titlow (No. 12-414)10.8.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 11.5.2013

Holding: The Sixth Circuit failed to apply the "doubly deferential" standard of review recognized by the Court's case law when it refused to credit the state court's reasonable factual finding and assumed that counsel was ineffective where the record was silent.
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (No. 12-536)10.8.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 04.02.2014

Holding: Because aggregate limits restricting how much money a donor may contribute to candidates for federal office, political parties, and political action committees do not further the government’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of such corruption, while at the same time seriously restricting participation in the democratic process, they are invalid under the First Amendment.
U.S. v. Woods (No. 12-562)10.9.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 12.3.2013

Holding: The district court had jurisdiction to determine whether the partnerships’ lack of economic substance could justify imposing a valuation-misstatement penalty on the partners.
Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court (No. 12-929)10.9.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 12.3.2013

Holding: A forum-selection clause may be enforced by a motion to transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), which provides that, “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.”
Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (No. 12-682)10.15.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 04.22.2014

Holding: An amendment to Michigan’s constitution that prohibits state universities from considering race as part of its admissions process does not violate the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. (No. 12-729)10.15.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 12.16.2013

Holding: Absent a controlling statute to the contrary, a participant in an employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the plan may agree by contract to a particular limita­tions period, even one that starts to run before the cause of action accrues, as long as the period is reasonable.
Daimler AG v. Bauman (No. 11-965)10.15.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 1.14.2014

Holding: Daimler cannot be sued in California for injuries allegedly caused by conduct of its Argentinian subsidiary when that conduct took place entirely outside of the United States.
Kaley v. U.S. (No. 12-464)10.16.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 2.25.2014

Holding: When challenging the legality of a pre-trial asset seizure under 21 U.S.C. § 853(e)(1), a criminal defendant who has been indicted is not constitutionally entitled to contest a grand jury’s determination of probable cause to believe that he committed the crimes charged.
Kansas v. Cheever (No. 12-609)10.16.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 12.11.2013

Holding: When a defense expert who has examined the defendant testifies that the defendant lacked the requisite mental state to commit a crime, the prosecution may offer evidence from a court-ordered psychological examination for the limited purpose of rebutting the defendant's evidence.

November Sitting

Walden v. Fiore (No. 12-574)11.4.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 2.25.2014

Holding: When the conduct of the defendant, a Georgia police officer, occurred entirely in Georgia, the mere fact that his conduct affected plaintiffs with connections to Nevada does not authorize jurisdiction over him in Nevada.
Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corporation (No. 12-417)11.4.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 1.27.2014

Holding: The time petitioners spend donning and doffing their protective gear is not compensable by operation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U. S. C. § 203(o).
Sprint Communications Company v. Jacobs (No. 12-815)11.5.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 12.10.2013

Holding: Sprint’s lawsuit against members of the Iowa Utilities Board, seeking a declaration that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 preempted a decision by the IUB holding that intrastate fees applied to long-distance Voice over Internet Protocol calls, does not fall within any of the three classes of exceptional cases for which Younger abstention is appropriate; federal court abstention is not in order simply because a pending state-court proceeding involves the same subject matter.
Medtronic v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC (No. 12-1128)11.05.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 1.22.2014

Holding: When a licensee seeks a declaratory judgment against a patentee to establish that its products do not infringe the licensed patent, the patentee bears the burden of persuasion on the issue of infringement.
Bond v. U.S. (No. 12-158)11.5.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Constitution’s structural limits on federal authority impose any constraints on the scope of Congress’ authority to enact legislation to implement a valid treaty, at least in circumstances where the federal statute, as applied, goes far beyond the scope of the treaty, intrudes on traditional state prerogatives, and is concededly unnecessary to satisfy the government’s treaty obligations; and (2) whether the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act, 18 U.S.C. § 229, can be interpreted not to reach ordinary poisoning cases, which have been adequately handled by state and local authorities since the Framing, in order to avoid the difficult constitutional questions involving the scope of and continuing vitality of this Court’s decision in Missouri v. Holland.
Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp. (No. 12-1036)11.6.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 1.14.2014

Holding: Under the Class Action Fairness Act, because Mississippi is the only named plaintiff, the suit does not qualify as a "mass actions" – that is, a civil action "in which monetary relief claims of 100 or more persons are proposed to be tried jointly on the ground that the plaintiff's claims involve common questions of law or fact."
Town of Greece v. Galloway (No. 12-696)11.6.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that a legislative prayer practice violates the Establishment Clause notwithstanding the absence of discrimination in the selection of prayer-givers or forbidden exploitation of the prayer opportunity.
Burrage v. U.S. (No. 12-7515)11.12.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 1.27.2014

Holding: At least when the use of a drug distributed by the defendant is not an independently sufficient cause of the victim's death or serious bodily injury, a defendant cannot be liable for penalty enhancement under the penalty enhancement provision of the Controlled Substance Act unless such use is a but-for cause of the death or injury.
Rosemond v. U.S. (No. 12-895)11.12.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.05.2014

Holding: For purposes of “aiding and abetting” liability under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), which prohibits “us[ing] or carr[ying] a firearm “during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime,” the government must show that the defendant actively participated in the underlying drug trafficking or violent crime with advance knowledge that a confederate would use or carry a gun during the crime’s commission. The Court vacated the decision below and remanded the case because the trial court failed to instruct the jury that the defendant must have “advance knowledge” – that is, knowledge sufficiently in advance to have some “realistic opportunity to quit the crime” – that the gun would be used or carried.
Lawson v. FMR LLC (No. 12-3)11.12.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.04.2014

Holding: The anti-retaliation protection that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 provides to whistleblowers applies to employees of a public company's private contractors and subcontractors.
Fernandez v. California (No. 12-7822)11.13.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 2.25.2014

Holding: The Court’s decision in Georgia v. Randolph, holding that the consent of one occupant is insufficient to authorize police to search a premises if another occupant is present and objects to the search, does not apply when an occupant provides consent well after the objecting occupant has been removed from the premises.
Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall (No. 12-99)11.13.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 12.10.2013

Holding: Whether an employer and union may violate Section 302 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 186, by entering into an agreement under which the employer exercises its freedom of speech by promising to remain neutral to union organizing, its property rights by granting union representatives limited access to the employer’s property and employees, and its freedom of contract by obtaining the union’s promise to forego its rights to picket, boycott, or otherwise put pressure on the employer’s business.

December Sitting

BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina (No. 12-138)12.2.2013Arg: (Trans.) 03.05.2014

Holding: When reviewing an arbitration award made under an international treaty, U.S. courts should interpret and apply "threshold" provisions concerning arbitration using the framework developed for interpreting similar provisions in ordinary contracts. Under that framework, the local litigation requirement is a matter for arbitrators primarily to interpret and apply, and courts should review their interpretation with deference.
Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community (No. 12-515)12.2.2013Arg: (Trans.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether a federal court has jurisdiction to enjoin activity that violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq., but takes place outside of Indian lands; and (2) whether tribal sovereign immunity bars a state from suing in federal court to enjoin a tribe from violating IGRA outside of Indian lands.
Northwest v. Ginsberg (No. 12-462)12.3.2013Arg: (Trans.) 04.02.2014

Holding: The Airline Deregulation Act preempts a state-law claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing if it seeks to enlarge the contractual obligation that the parties voluntarily adopt.
Lexmark Int'l v. Static Control Components (No. 12-873)12.3.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.25.2014

Holding: Static Control has adequately pleaded the elements of a Lanham Act cause of action for false advertising: an injury to a commercial interest in sales or business reputation proximately caused by the defendant’s misrepresentation.
U.S. v. Apel (No. 12-1038)12.4.2013Arg: (Trans.) 02.26.2014

Holding: For purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 1382, which makes it a crime to re-enter a “military installation” after having been ordered not to do so, a portion of an Air Force base that contains a designated protest area and an easement for a public road qualifies as a “military installation.”
Ray Haluch Gravel Co. v. Central Pension Fund (No. 12-992)12.9.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 1.15.2014

Holding: A decision on the merits is a "final decision" even if the award or amount of attorney's fees remains to be determined.
Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper (No. 12-315)12.9.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 1.27.2014

Holding: Under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, airlines and their employees are immune from civil liability for reporting suspicious behavior, but – pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 44941(b) – that immunity is not available for disclosures “made with actual knowledge that the disclosure was false, inaccurate, or misleading” or “with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity of that disclosure.” Immunity under the ATSA may not be denied under Section 44941(b) without a determination that a disclosure was materially false. applies to materially true statements.
Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio (No. 12-930)12.10.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether Section 1153(h)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act– which provides rules for determining whether particular aliens qualify as “children” so that they can obtain visas or adjustments of their immigration status as derivative beneficiaries of sponsored family member immigrants (also known as “primary beneficiaries”) – unambiguously grants relief to all aliens who qualify as “child” derivative beneficiaries at the time a visa petition is filed but age out of qualification by the time the visa becomes available to the primary beneficiary; and (2) whether the Board of Immigration Appeals reasonably interpreted Section 1153(h)(3).
Environmental Protection Agency v. EME Homer City Generation (No. 12-1182)12.10.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the court of appeals lacked jurisdiction to consider the challenges to the Clean Air Act on which it granted relief; (2) whether states are excused from adopting state implementation plans prohibiting emissions that “contribute significantly” to air pollution problems in other states until after the EPA has adopted a rule quantifying each state’s inter-state pollution obligations; and (3) whether the EPA permissibly interpreted the statutory term “contribute significantly” so as to define each upwind state’s “significant” interstate air pollution contributions in light of the cost-effective emission reductions it can make to improve air quality in polluted downwind areas, or whether the Act instead unambiguously requires the EPA to consider only each upwind state’s physically proportionate responsibility for each downwind air quality problem.
American Lung Association v. EME Homer City Generation (No. 12-1183)12.10.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the statutory challenges to EPA’s methodology for defining upwind states’ “significant contributions” were properly before the court, given the failure of anyone to raise these objections at all, let alone with the requisite “reasonable specificity,” “during the period for public comment,” 42 U.S.C. § 7607(d)(7)(B); (2) whether the court’s imposition of its own detailed methodology for implementing the Good Neighbor provision violated foundational principles governing judicial review of administrative decision-making; and (3) whether an upwind state that is polluting a downwind state is free of any obligations under the Good Neighbor provision unless and until EPA has quantified the upwind state’s contribution to downwind states’ air pollution problems.
White v. Woodall (No. 12-794)12.11.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 04.23.2014

Holding: (1) Whether the Sixth Circuit violated 28 U.S.C. 2254(d)(1) by granting habeas relief on the trial court's failure to provide a no adverse inference instruction even though the Supreme Court has not "clearly established" that such an instruction is required in a capital penalty phase when a non-testifying defendant has pled guilty to the crimes and aggravating circumstances; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit violated the harmless error standard in Brecht v. Abrahamson in ruling that the absence of a no adverse interference instruction was not harmless in spite of overwhelming evidence of guilt and in the face of a guilty pleas to the crimes and aggravators.
Lozano v. Alvarez (No. 12-820)12.11.2013Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.05.2014

Holding: The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction creates a near-automatic return remedy for children who have been abducted to another country. To invoke that return remedy, the parent seeking the child’s return must file a petition seeking the return within one year of the child’s abduction. After one year has passed, the Convention still directs the court to order the child’s return, “unless it is demonstrated that the child is settled in its new environment.” The Court holds that the one-year period may not be equitably tolled, even if the abducting parent has concealed the child’s whereabouts until after the one-year period has passed.

January Sitting

Law v. Siegel (No. 12-5196)1.13.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.04.2014

Holding: The bankruptcy court exceeded its authority when it ordered that a debtor’s exempt assets be used to pay administrative expenses incurred as a result of the debtor’s misconduct.
National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (No. 12-1281)1.13.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the President’s recess-appointment power may be exercised during a recess that occurs within a session of the Senate, or is instead limited to recesses that occur between enumerated sessions of the Senate; (2) whether the President’s recess-appointment power may be exercised to fill vacancies that exist during a recess, or is instead limited to vacancies that first arose during that recess; and (3) whether the President's recess-appointment power may be exercised when the Senate is convening every three days in pro forma sessions.
Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (No. 12-1200)1.14.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether Article III permits the exercise of the judicial power of the United States by bankruptcy courts on the basis of litigant consent, and, if so, whether "implied consent" based on a litigant’s conduct, where the statutory scheme provides the litigant no notice that its consent is required, is sufficient to satisfy Article III; and (2) whether a bankruptcy judge may submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law for de novo review by a district court in a “core” proceeding under 28 U.S.C. 157(b).
U.S. v. Quality Stores (No. 12-1408)1.14.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.25.2014

Holding: Severance payments to employees who are involuntarily terminated issue are taxable wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.
Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S. (No. 12-1173)1.14.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.10.2014

Holding: When a railroad abandons the right of way granted under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875, the private party who acquired the land underlying the right of way obtains full rights over the right of way, which was an easement terminated by the railroad’s abandonment.
U.S. v. Castleman (No. 12-1371)1.15.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 03.26.2014

Holding: Castleman's state conviction for misdemeanor domestic assault qualifies as a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" for purposes of possessing a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9).
McCullen v. Coakley (No. 12-1168)1.15.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the First Circuit erred in upholding Massachusetts’s selective exclusion law – which makes it a crime for speakers other than clinic “employees or agents . . . acting within the scope of their employment” to “enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk” within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of “a reproductive health care facility” – under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, on its face and as applied to petitioners; (2) whether, if Hill v. Colorado permits enforcement of this law, Hill should be limited or overruled.
Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (No. 12-1315)1.21.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the nonstatutory defense of laches is available without restriction to bar all remedies for civil copyright claims filed within the three-year statute of limitations prescribed by Congress, 17 U.S.C. § 507(b).
Navarette v. California (No. 12-9490)1.21.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 04.22.2014

Holding: Under the totality of the circumstances, the traffic stop precipitated by an anonymous but reliable tip to 911 complied with the Fourth Amendment because the officer had reasonable suspicion that the truck’s driver was intoxicated.
Harris v. Quinn (No. 11-681)1.21.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether a state may, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, compel personal care providers to accept and financially support a private organization as their exclusive representative to petition the state for greater reimbursements from its Medicaid programs; and (2) whether the lower court erred in holding that the claims of providers in the Home Based Support Services Program are not ripe for judicial review.
Paroline v. U.S. (No. 12-8561)1.22.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.) 04.23.2014

Holding: What, if any, causal relationship or nexus between the defendant's conduct and the victim's harm or damages must the government or the victim establish in order to recover restitution under 18 U.S.C. § 2259?
Abramski v. U.S. (No. 12-1493)1.22.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether a gun buyer’s intent to sell a firearm to another lawful buyer in the future a fact is “material to the lawfulness of the sale” of the firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6); and (2) whether a gun buyer’s intent to sell a firearm to another lawful buyer in the future is a piece of information “required . . . to be kept” by a federally licensed firearm dealer under Section 924(a)(1)(A).

February Sitting

Southeastern Legal Foundation v. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 12-1268)2.24.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.
Texas v. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 12-1269)2.24.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.
Energy-Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation v. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 12-1254)2.24.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.
Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 12-1272)2.24.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.
American Chemistry Council v. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 12-1248)2.24.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.
Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 12-1146)2.24.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.
Robers v. U.S. (No. 12-9012)2.25.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether a defendant – who has fraudulently obtained a loan and thus owes restitution for the loan under 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(1)(B) – returns “any part” of the loan money by giving the lenders the collateral that secures the money.
Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness (No. 12-1184)2.26.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the Federal Circuit’s promulgation of a rigid and exclusive two-part test for determining whether a case is “exceptional” under 35 U.S.C. § 285 improperly appropriates a district court’s discretionary authority to award attorney fees to prevailing accused infringers in contravention of statutory intent and this Court’s precedent, thereby raising the standard for accused infringers (but not patentees) to recoup fees and encouraging patent plaintiffs to bring spurious patent cases to cause competitive harm or coerce unwarranted settlements from defendants.
Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management Systems (No. 12-1163)2.26.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether a district court’s exceptional-case finding under 35 U.S.C. § 285 (which permits the court to award attorney’s fees in exceptional cases), based on its judgment that a suit is objectively baseless, is entitled to deference.
Hall v. Florida (No. 12-10882)3.3.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the Florida scheme for identifying mentally retarded defendants in capital cases violates Atkins v. Virginia.
Plumhoff v. Rickard (No. 12-1117)3.4.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Sixth Circuit wrongly denied qualified immunity to the petitioners by analyzing whether the force used in 2004 was distinguishable from factually similar force ruled permissible three years later in Scott v. Harris. Stated otherwise, the question presented is whether, for qualified immunity purposes, the Sixth Circuit erred in analyzing whether the force was supported by subsequent case decisions as opposed to prohibited by clearly established law at the time the force was used; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit erred in denying qualified immunity by finding the use of force was not reasonable as a matter of law when, under the respondent's own facts, the suspect led police officers on a high-speed pursuit that began in Arkansas and ended in Tennessee, the suspect weaved through traffic on an interstate at a high rate of speed and made contact with the police vehicles twice, and the suspect used his vehicle in a final attempt to escape after he was surrounded by police officers, nearly hitting at least one police officer in the process.
Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund (No. 13-317)3.5.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether this Court should overrule or substantially modify the holding of Basic Inc. v. Levinson, to the extent that it recognizes a presumption of classwide reliance derived from the fraud-on-themarket theory; and (2) whether, in a case where the plaintiff invokes the presumption of reliance to seek class certification, the defendant may rebut the presumption and prevent class certification by introducing evidence that the alleged misrepresentations did not distort the market price of its stock.

March Sitting

Clark v. Rameker (No. 13-299)3.24.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether an individual retirement account that a debtor has inherited is exempt from the debtor's bankruptcy estate under Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 522, which exempts "retirement funds to the extent that those funds are in a fund or account that is exempt from taxation" under certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius (No. 13-356)3.25.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the religious owners of a family business, or their closely held, for-profit corporation, have free exercise rights that are violated by the application of the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores (No. 13-354)3.25.2014Arg: (Trans.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb et seq., which provides that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest, allows a for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners.
Wood v. Moss (No. 13-115)3.26.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the court of appeals erred in denying qualified immunity to Secret Service agents protecting the president by evaluating the claim of viewpoint discrimination at a high level of generality and concluding that pro- and anti-Bush demonstrators needed to be positioned an equal distance from the President while he was dining on the outdoor patio and then while he was travelling by motorcade; and (2) whether respondents have adequately pleaded viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment when no factual allegations support their claim of discriminatory motive and there was an obvious security-based rationale for moving the nearby anti-Bush group and not the farther-away pro-Bush group.
Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l (No. 13-298)3.31.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether claims to computer-implemented inventions – including claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of manufacture – are directed to patent-eligible subject matter within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 101 as interpreted by this Court.
Loughrin v. U.S. (No. 13-316)4.1.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the government must prove that the defendant intended to defraud a bank and expose it to risk of loss in every prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 1344.
Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (No. 12-751)4.2.2014Arg: (Trans. / Aud.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the Sixth Circuit erred by holding that respondents were not required to plausibly allege in their complaint that the fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan abused their discretion by remaining invested in employer stock, in order to overcome the presumption that their decision to invest in employer stock was reasonable, as required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq. (“ERISA”), and every other circuit to address the issue.

April Sitting

Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital (No. 12-842)4.21.2014Arg: (Trans.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether post-judgment discovery in aid of enforcing a judgment against a foreign state can be ordered with respect to all assets of a foreign state regardless of their location or use, as held by the Second Circuit, or is limited to assets located in the United States that are potentially subject to execution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1602 et seq., as held by the Seventh, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits.
POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca Cola Company (No. 12-761)4.21.2014Arg: (Trans.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that a private party cannot bring a Lanham Act claim challenging a product label regulated under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. (Justice Breyer is recused)
Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus (No. 13-193)4.22.2014Arg: (Trans.)Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether, to challenge a speech-suppressive law, a party whose speech is arguably proscribed must prove that authorities would certainly and successfully prosecute him, as the Sixth Circuit holds, or should the court presume that a credible threat of prosecution exists absent desuetude or a firm commitment by prosecutors not to enforce the law, as seven other Circuits hold; and (2) whether the Sixth Circuit erred by holding, in direct conflict with the Eighth Circuit, that state laws proscribing “false” political speech are not subject to pre-enforcement First Amendment review so long as the speaker maintains that its speech is true, even if others who enforce the law manifestly disagree.
American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo (No. 13-461)4.22.2014Arg: (Trans.)Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether a company “publicly performs” a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.
U.S. v. Clarke (No. 13-301)4.23.2014Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether an unsupported allegation that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a summons for an improper purpose entitles an opponent of the summons to an evidentiary hearing to question IRS officials about their reasons for issuing the summons.
CTS Corp. v. Waldburger (No. 13-339)4.23.2014Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the Fourth Circuit correctly interpreted the preemption provision of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9658, to apply to state statutes of repose in addition to state statutes of limitations.
Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments (No. 13-369)4.28.2014Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Federal Circuit’s acceptance of ambiguous patent claims with multiple reasonable interpretations – so long as the ambiguity is not “insoluble” by a court – defeats the statutory requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming; and (2) whether the presumption of validity dilutes the requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming.
Lane v. Franks (No. 13-483)4.28.2014Not Decided

Issue(s): (1) Whether the government is categorically free under the First Amendment to retaliate against a public employee for truthful sworn testimony that was compelled by subpoena and was not a part of the employee’s ordinary job responsibilities; and (2) whether qualified immunity precludes a claim for damages in such an action.
Riley v. California (No. 13-132)4.29.2014Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether evidence admitted at petitioner's trial was obtained in a search of petitioner's cell phone that violated petitioner's Fourth Amendment rights.
U.S. v. Wurie (No. 13-212)4.29.2014Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the Fourth Amendment permits the police, without obtaining a warrant, to review the call log of a cellphone found on a person who has been lawfully arrested.
Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies (No. 12-786)4.30.2014Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a defendant may be held liable for inducing patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) even though no one has committed direct infringement under Section 271(a). (Justice Alito is recused.)

Decided without oral argument

Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action (No. 11-1507)11.13.2013

Holding: Whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.
U.S. Forest Service v. Pacific Rivers Council (No. 12-623)6.17.2013

Holding: (1) Whether respondent Pacific Rivers Council (PRC) has Article III standing to challenge the Forest Service’s 2004 programmatic amendments to the forest plans governing management of 11 Sierra Nevada Forests when PRC failed to establish that any of its members was imminently threatened with cognizable harm because he or she would come into contact with any parcel of forest affected by the amendments; (2) whether PRC’s challenge to the Forest Service’s programmatic amendments is ripe when PRC failed to identify any site-specific project authorized under the amended plan provisions to which PRC objects; and (3) whether the National Environmental Policy Act required the Forest Service, when adopting the programmatic amendments, to analyze every type of environmental effect that any project ultimately authorized under the amendments throughout the 11 affected forests might have if it was reasonably possible to do so when the programmatic amendments were adopted, even though any future site-specific project would require its own appropriate environmental analysis before going forward.
Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice (No. 12-1094)11.4.2013

Holding: Whether the Oklahoma Supreme Court erred in holding – without analysis or discussion – that the Oklahoma law requiring that abortion-inducing drugs be administered according to the protocol described on the drugs’ FDA-approved labels is facially unconstitutional under Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Pursuant to the Revised Uniform Certification of Questions of Law Act, Okla. Stat., Tit. 20, §1601 et seq. (West 2002), respectfully certifies to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma the following question: Whether H.B. No. 1970, Section 1, Chapter 216, O.S.L. 2011 prohibits: (1) the use of misoprostol to induce abortions, including the use of misoprostol in conjunction with mifepristone according to a protocol approved by the Food and Drug Administration; and (2) the use of methotrexate to treat ectopic pregnancies. Further proceedings in this case are reserved pending receipt of a response from the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
UBS v. Union de Empleados (No. 12-1208)— —Not Decided

Issue(s): Whether, consistent with the standard of review employed by other Circuit Courts of Appeals, but in direct conflict with the decision below, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit should have reviewed for abuse of discretion the District Court’s determination, pursuant to Rule 23.1, that the particularized facts alleged in a shareholder derivative complaint were insufficient to excuse a pre-suit demand on the corporation's board of directors.
Stanton v. Sims (No. 12-1217)11.04.2013

Holding: Reversed and remanded
Ford Motor Company v. U.S. (No. 13-113)12.2.2013

Holding: When, if ever, may a court exercising jurisdiction pursuant to a waiver of sovereign immunity invoke the strict construction canon applicable to such waivers to construe a separate statutory provision that creates the substantive rights at issue.
Hinton v. Alabama (No. 13-6440)2.24.2014

Holding: The failure of the lawyer for a defendant in a capital murder trial to seek additional funds to hire, as a replacement for an expert whom he knew to be inadequate, an expert to rebut the core of the prosecution's case was unreasonable, and therefore constitutionally deficient, when that failure was based not on any strategic decision, but rather on a mistaken belief that available funding was capped at $1,000. The Court therefore summarily vacated the judgment below and remanded the case for reconsideration of whether the attorney's deficient performance was prejudicial.
Term Snapshot
Awards