October Term 2014

View this list sorted by case name.

October Sitting

Heien v. North Carolina, No. 13-604 [Arg: 10.6.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.15.2014]

Holding: A police officer’s reasonable mistake of law gives rise to reasonable suspicion that justifies a traffic stop under the Fourth Amendment.
Holt v. Hobbs, No. 13-6827 [Arg: 10.7.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.20.2015]

Holding: An Arkansas prison policy that prevents a Muslim prisoner from growing a half-inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens, No. 13-719 [Arg: 10.7.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.15.2014]

Holding: A defendant’s notice of removal of a case from state to federal court need include only a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold; it does not need to contain evidentiary submissions.
Warger v. Shauers, No. 13-517 [Arg: 10.8.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.8.2014]

Holding: Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b), which provides that certain juror testimony about events in the jury room is not admissible “during an inquiry into the validity of a verdict,” precludes a party seeking a new trial from using one juror’s affidavit of what another juror said in deliberations to demonstrate the other juror’s dishonesty during voir dire.
Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, No. 13-433 [Arg: 10.8.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.8.2014]

Holding: The time spent by warehouse workers waiting to undergo and undergoing security screenings is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act.
North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 13-534 [Arg: 10.14.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.25.2015]

Holding: When a controlling number of the decision makers on a state licensing board are active participants in the occupation the board regulates, the board can invoke state-action immunity only if it is subject to active supervision by the state.
Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, No. 126 Original [Arg: 10.14.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.24.2015]

Holding: In a dispute over states’ rights to the waters of the Republican River Basin, the Court adopts the special master’s recommendations that Nebraska had “knowingly failed” to comply with the Republican River Compact; awarding Kansas $3.7 million for its losses and $1.8 million in partial disgorgement; declining to order an injunction against Nebraska; and reforming accounting procedures to ensure that Nebraska would not be charged with using Platte River water.
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA v. Sandoz, No. 13-854 [Arg: 10.15.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.20.2015]

Holding: When reviewing a district court’s resolution of subsidiary factual matters made in the course of its construction of a patent claim, the Federal Circuit must apply a “clear error,” not a de novo, standard of review.
Jennings v. Stephens, No. 13-7211 [Arg: 10.15.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.14.2015]

Holding: A prisoner who sought federal habeas relief based on three theories of ineffective assistance of counsel and prevailed in the district court on two of them is not required to file a cross-appeal or seek a certificate of appealability on the third theory to rely on it as part of his defense against the state’s appeal.

November Sitting

Zivotofsky v. Kerry, No. 13-628 [Arg: 11.3.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.08.2015]

Holding: Because the power to recognize foreign states resides in the president alone, Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003 – which directs the Secretary of State, upon request, to designate “Israel” as the place of birth on the passport of a U.S. citizen who is born in Jerusalem – infringes on the executive’s consistent decision to withhold recognition with respect to Jerusalem.
Omnicare v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, No. 13-435 [Arg: 11.3.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.24.2015]

Holding: For purposes of Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, which allows a purchaser of securities to sue an issuer of a registration statement if the registration statement either “contain[s] an untrue statement of a material fact” or “omit[s] to state a material fact . . . necessary to make the statements therein not misleading,” a statement of opinion does not constitute an “untrue statement of fact” simply because the stated opinion ultimately proves incorrect. And if a registration statement omits material facts about the issuer’s inquiry into, or knowledge concerning, a statement of opinion, and if those facts conflict with what a reasonable investor, reading the statement fairly and in context, would take from the statement itself, then Section 11’s omissions clause creates liability.
Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean, No. 13-894 [Arg: 11.4.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.21.2015]

Holding: A federal air marshal who publicly disclosed that the TSA had decided to cut costs by removing air marshals from certain long-distance flights is entitled to protection under the federal whistleblower statute because his disclosure does not fall within the statute’s exception for disclosures “specifically prohibited by law.” Although the disclosure was specifically prohibited by a TSA regulation, the exception does not apply to rules and regulations, nor was it specifically prohibited by the statute that authorized the TSA to promulgate those regulations.
Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, No. 13-684 [Arg: 11.4.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.13.2015]

Holding: A borrower exercising his right to rescind under the Truth in Lending Act need only provide written notice to his lender within the three-year period; the statute does not require him to file suit within that period.
Yates v. U.S., No. 13-7451 [Arg: 11.5.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.25.2015]

Holding: For purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 1519, which imposes criminal liability on anyone who “knowingly . . . destroys . . . any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States,” a “tangible object” is one used to record or preserve information.
T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, No. 13-975 [Arg: 11.10.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.14.2015]

Holding: 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii), which provides that a locality’s denial of an application to build a cell phone tower “shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record,” requires localities to provide the reasons for such denials in writing. However, those reasons do not have to appear in the written denial letter as long as they appear in some other written record, are sufficiently clear, and are provided or made accessible to the applicant essentially contemporaneously with the written denial notice.
M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010 [Arg: 11.10.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.26.2015]

Holding: To determine whether retiree health-care benefits survive the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement, courts should apply ordinary contract principles. Those principles do not include the Sixth Circuit’s inference that parties to collective bargaining would intend retiree benefits to vest for life.
Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama, No. 13-1138 [Arg: 11.12.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.25.2015]

Holding: The district court’s analysis of the racial gerrymandering claim as referring to the state “as a whole,” rather than district by district, was legally erroneous; the district court also erred in holding that the Alabama Democratic Conference lacked standing. Moreover, the district court did not properly calculate “predominance” in its alternative holding that race was not the predominant motivating factor in the creation of any of the challenged districts. Finally, the district court’s other alternative holding – that the challenged districts would satisfy strict scrutiny – rests on a misperception of the law: Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act does not require a covered jurisdiction to maintain a particular numerical minority percentage. Instead, it requires the jurisdiction to maintain a minority’s ability to elect a preferred candidate of choice.
Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, No. 13-895 [Arg: 11.12.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.25.2015]

Holding: The district court’s analysis of the racial gerrymandering claim as referring to the state “as a whole,” rather than district by district, was legally erroneous; the district court also erred in holding that the Alabama Democratic Conference lacked standing. Moreover, the district court did not properly calculate “predominance” in its alternative holding that race was not the predominant motivating factor in the creation of any of the challenged districts. Finally, the district court’s other alternative holding – that the challenged districts would satisfy strict scrutiny – rests on a misperception of the law: Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act does not require a covered jurisdiction to maintain a particular numerical minority percentage. Instead, it requires the jurisdiction to maintain a minority’s ability to elect a preferred candidate of choice.
Comptroller v. Wynne, No. 13-485 [Arg: 11.12.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.18.2015]

Holding: Maryland’s personal income tax scheme, which taxes income that its residents earn both within and outside the state but does not provide residents with a full credit against the income taxes that they pay to other states, violates the dormant Commerce Clause.

December Sitting

Elonis v. U.S., No. 13-983 [Arg: 12.1.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.1.2015]

Holding: The Third Circuit’s instruction, requiring only negligence with respect to the communication of a threat, is not sufficient to support a conviction under 18 U.S.C. [needs a section symbol here, followed by a space] 875(c), which makes it a federal crime to transmit in interstate commerce “any communication containing any threat . . . to injure the person of another.”
Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, No. 13-1041 [Arg: 12.1.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.09.2015]

Holding: The D.C. Circuit’s Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, which requires agencies to use the notice-and-comment process before it can significantly revise an interpretive rule, is contrary to the clear text of the Administrative Procedure Act’s rulemaking provisions and improperly imposes on agencies an obligation beyond the Act’s maximum procedural requirements.
Nickols v. Mortgage Bankers Association, No. 13-1052 [Arg: 12.1.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.9.2015]

Holding: The D.C. Circuit’s Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, which requires agencies to use the notice-and-comment process before it can significantly revise an interpretive rule, is contrary to the clear text of the Administrative Procedure Act’s rulemaking provisions and improperly imposes on agencies an obligation beyond the Act’s maximum procedural requirements.
Whitfield v. U.S., No. 13-9026 [Arg: 12.2.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.13.2015]

Holding: A bank robber “forces [a] person to accompany him,” for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(e), when he forces that person to go somewhere with him, even if the movement occurs entirely within a single building or over a short distance.
B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries, No. 13-352 [Arg: 12.2.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.24.2015]

Holding: So long as the other ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met, when the usages adjudicated by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board are materially the same as those before a district court, issue preclusion should apply.
Hana Financial v. Hana Bank, No. 13-1211 [Arg: 12.3.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.21.2015]

Holding: The jury, rather than a court, determines whether the use of an older trademark may be tacked to a newer one.
Young v. United Parcel Service, No. 12-1226 [Arg: 12.3.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.25.2015]

Holding: A plaintiff alleging that the denial of an accommodation constituted disparate treatment under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which requires employers to treat “women affected by pregnancy . . . the same for all employment-related purposes . . . as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work,” may make out a prima facie case by showing that she belongs to the protected class, that she sought accommodation, that the employer did not accommodate her, and that the employer did accommodate others similar in their ability or inability to work. The employer may then seek to justify its refusal to accommodate the plaintiff by relying on “legitimate, nondiscriminatory” reasons for denying accommodation.
Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, No. 13-1032 [Arg: 12.8.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.03.2015]

Holding: A lawsuit by a trade association of retailers, alleging that a Colorado law requiring retailers that do not collect sales or use taxes to notify any Colorado customer of the state’s tax requirement and to report tax-related information to those customers and the Colorado Department of Revenue violates the federal and state constitutions, is not barred by the Tax Injunction Act.
Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads, No. 13-1080 [Arg: 12.8.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.09.2015]

Holding: For purposes of the validity of the “metrics and standards,” formulated together with the Federal Railroad Association, addressing the performance and scheduling of passenger railroad services, including Amtrak’s on-time performance and train delays caused by host railroads, Amtrak is a governmental entity.
Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, No. 13-553 [Arg: 12.9.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.04.2015]

Holding: The Eleventh Circuit properly concluded that CSX’s competitors are an appropriate comparison class for its claim under subsection (b)(4) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulation Reform Act of 1976, which prohibits states from imposing “another tax that discriminates against a rail carrier.” But the Eleventh Circuit erred in refusing to consider whether Alabama could justify its decision to exempt motor carriers from its sales and use taxes through its decision to subject motor carriers to a fuel excise tax.
Gelboim v. Bank of America Corporation, No. 13-1174 [Arg: 12.9.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 01.21.2015]

Holding: When a district court dismisses the only claim in a case that has been consolidated with other actions for pretrial proceedings in multidistrict litigation, the district court’s order is a final and appealable order, even if claims remained in other actions included in the MDL.
U.S. v. Wong, No. 13-1074 [Arg: 12.10.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.22.2015]

Holding: The time limits of the Federal Tort Claims Act, which provides that a tort claim against the United States "shall be forever barred" unless it is presented to the appropriate federal agency for administrative review within two years after the claim accrues and, if it is denied, the claimant files suit in federal court within six months of the denial, are subject to equitable tolling.
U.S. v. June, No. 13-1075 [Arg: 12.10.2014 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.22.2015]

Holding: The time limits of the Federal Tort Claims Act, which provides that a tort claim against the United States "shall be forever barred" unless it is presented to the appropriate federal agency for administrative review within two years after the claim accrues and, if it is denied, the claimant files suit in federal court within six months of the denial, are subject to equitable tolling.

January Sitting

Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, No. 13-502 [Arg: 1.12.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2015]

Holding: The provisions of a municipality’s sign code that impose more stringent restrictions on signs directing the public to the meeting of a non-profit group than on signs conveying other messages are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny.
Oneok Inc. v. Learjet, No. 13-271 [Arg: 1.12.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.21.2015]

Holding: State antitrust law claims are allowed to proceed against gas pipelines for alleged manipulation of market price indices, notwithstanding federal regulation of pipelines under the Natural Gas Act.
Mach Mining v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 13-1019 [Arg: 1.13.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.29.2015]

Holding: A court may review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission satisfied its statutory obligation to attempt conciliation before filing suit. But, because the EEOC has extensive discretion to determine what kind and amount of communication with an employer is appropriate in any given case, the scope of that review is narrow.
Kellogg Brown & Root Services v. U.S. ex rel. Carter, No. 12-1497 [Arg: 1.13.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2015]

Holding: As shown by the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act’s text, structure, and history, the Act applies only to criminal offenses, not to civil claims like those in this case. Moreover, the False Claims Act’s “first to file” bar keeps new claims out of court only while related claims are still alive, not in perpetuity.”
Mellouli v. Lynch, No. 13-1034 [Arg: 1.14.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.1.2015]

Holding: A non-citizen’s state conviction for concealing unnamed pills in his sock did not trigger removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), which authorizes the deportation of an alien "convicted of a violation of . . . any law or regulation of a state, the United States, or a foreign country related to a controlled substance."
Wellness Int'l Network, Limited v. Sharif, No. 13-935 [Arg: 1.14.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2105]

Holding: Article III permits bankruptcy judges to adjudicate Stern claims with the parties’ knowing and voluntary consent.
Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, No. 14-15 [Arg: 1.20.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.31.2015]

Holding: Medicaid providers do not have a cause of action to challenge a state’s reimbursement rates.
Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, No. 13-1499 [Arg: 1.20.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.29.2015]

Holding: Florida’s ban on the personal solicitation of campaign funds by candidates for judgeships does not violate the First Amendment.
Rodriguez v. U.S., No. 13-9972 [Arg: 1.21.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.21.2015]

Holding: Absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures.
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, No. 13-1371 [Arg: 1.21.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.25.2015]

Holding: Disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.

February Sitting

Coleman-Bey v. Tollefson, No. 13-1333 [Arg: 2.23.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.18.2015]

Holding: The “three strikes” provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act prevents a court from granting in forma pauperis status to a prisoner who “has, on three or more prior occasions, while incarcerated . . . , brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” A prior dismissal on one of the provision’s statutorily enumerated grounds counts as a strike, even if the dismissal is the subject of an ongoing appeal.
Kerry v. Din, No. 13-1402 [Arg: 2.23.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.15.2015]

Holding: The Ninth Circuit’s decision holding that a U.S. citizen has a protected liberty interest in her marriage that entitled her to review of the denial of a visa to her non-U.S.-citizen spouse, as well its holding that the government deprived her of that liberty interest when it denied the spouse’s visa application without providing a more detailed explanation of its reasons, is vacated.
Henderson v. U.S., No. 13-1487 [Arg: 2.24.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.18.2015]

Holding: A court-ordered transfer of a felon’s lawfully owned firearms from government custody to a third party is not barred by a federal law that prohibits felons from possessing guns if the court is satisfied that the recipient will not give the felon control over the firearms, so that he could either use them or direct their use.
Tibble v. Edison Int'l, No. 13-550 [Arg: 2.24.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.18.2015]

Holding: Because a fiduciary normally has a continuing duty to monitor investments and remove imprudent ones, a plaintiff may allege that a fiduciary breached a duty of prudence by failing to properly monitor investments and remove imprudent ones. Such a claim is timely as long it is filed within six years of the alleged breach of continuing duty.
Baker Botts, L.L.P. v. ASARCO, L.L.C., No. 14-103 [Arg: 2.25.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.15.2015]

Holding: Section 330(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code does not permit bankruptcy courts to award fees for defending fee applications to professionals hired under Section 327(a) of the Bankruptcy Code.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, No. 14-86 [Arg: 2.25.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.1.2015]

Holding: To prevail in a disparate-treatment claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an applicant need show only that his need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision, not that the employer actually knew of his need.
Ohio v. Clark, No. 13-1352 [Arg: 3.2.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2015]

Holding: The introduction at trial of statements made by a three-year-old boy to his teachers identifying his mother’s boyfriend as the source of his injuries did not violate the Confrontation Clause, when the child did not testify at trial, because the statements were not made with the primary purpose of creating evidence for prosecution.
Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, No. 13-1314 [Arg: 3.2.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.29.2015]

Holding: The Elections Clause and 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c) permit Arizona’s use of an independent commission to adopt congressional districts.
City of Los Angeles v. Patel, No. 13-1175 [Arg: 3.3.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2015]

Holding: Los Angeles Municipal Code § 41.49, which requires hotel operators to record and keep specific information about their guests on the premises for a ninety-day period and to make those records available to "any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection" on demand, is facially unconstitutional because it fails to provide the operators with an opportunity for pre-compliance review.
Davis v. Ayala, No. 13-1428 [Arg: 3.3.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2015]

Holding: Any federal constitutional error that may have occurred by excluding the attorney for a defendant in a capital murder trial from part of the Batson hearing was harmless.
King v. Burwell, No. 14-114 [Arg: 3.4.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.25.2015]

Holding: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Section 36B's tax credits are available to individuals who purchase health insurance on an exchange created by the federal government.

March Sitting

City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan, No. 13-1412 [Arg: 3.23.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.18.2015]

Holding: Police officers who forcibly entered the room of a woman with a mental disability and shot her are entitled to qualified immunity from a lawsuit seeking redress for the woman’s injuries, because there was no clearly established law requiring them to accommodate her mental illness.
Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, No. 14-144 [Arg: 3.23.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2015]

Holding: Because Texas’s specialty license plate designs constitute government speech, it was entitled to reject a proposal for plates featuring a Confederate battle flag.
Bank of America, N.A. v. Toledo-Cardona, No. 14-163 [Arg: 3.24.2015; Decided 6.1.2015]

Holding: A debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien under 11 U.S.C. § 506(d) when the debt owed on a senior mortgage lien exceeds the current value of the collateral if the creditor’s claim is both secured by a lien and allowed under Section 502 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Bank of America, N.A. v. Caulkett, No. 13-1421 [Arg: 3.24.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.1.2015]

Holding: A debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may not void a junior mortgage lien under 11 U.S.C. § 506(d) when the debt owed on a senior mortgage lien exceeds the current value of the collateral if the creditor’s claim is both secured by a lien and allowed under Section 502 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-47 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans.; Decided 06.29.2015]

Holding: The Environmental Protection Agency interpreted 42 U.S.C. §7412(n)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act, which requires the agency to regulate power plants when “appropriate and necessary,” unreasonably when it refused to consider cost when making that decision.
Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-46 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.29.2015]

Holding: The Environmental Protection Agency interpreted 42 U.S.C. §7412(n)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act, which requires the agency to regulate power plants when “appropriate and necessary,” unreasonably when it refused to consider cost when making that decision.
National Mining Association v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-49 [Arg: 3.25.2015 Trans.; Decided 06.29.2015]

Holding: The Environmental Protection Agency interpreted 42 U.S.C. §7412(n)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act, which requires the agency to regulate power plants when “appropriate and necessary,” unreasonably when it refused to consider cost when making that decision.
Brumfield v. Cain, No. 13-1433 [Arg: 3.30.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2015]

Holding: Because the inmate’s evidence of intellectual disability satisfied the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2), he was entitled to have his claim based on Atkins v. Virginia, in which the Court held that the Constitution prohibits the execution of the mentally disabled, considered on the merits in federal court.
Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, No. 13-720 [Arg: 3.31.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2015]

Holding: The Court declined to overrule its 1964 decision in Brulotte v. Thys Co., holding that a patent holder cannot charge royalties for the use of his invention after its patent term has expired.
Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, No. 13-896 [Arg: 3.31.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.26.2015]

Holding: A defendant’s belief regarding patent validity is not a defense to an induced infringement claim.
Harris v. Viegelahn, No. 14-400 [Arg: 4.1.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.18.2015]

Holding: Whether, when a debtor in good faith converts a bankruptcy case to Chapter 7 after confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan, undistributed funds held by the Chapter 13 trustee are refunded to the debtor (as the Third Circuit held in In re Michael), or distributed to creditors (as the Fifth Circuit held below).
Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank, No. 14-116 [Arg: 4.1.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.04.2015]

Holding: A bankruptcy court’s order denying confirmation of a debtor’s proposed repayment plan is not a final order that the debtor can immediately appeal.

April Sitting

Johnson v. U.S., No. 13-7120 [Arg: 4.20.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.26.2015]

Holding: Imposing an increased sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause violates due process.
McFadden v. U.S., No. 14-378 [Arg: 4.21.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2015]

Holding: Section 841(a)(1) of the Controlled Substances Act, which makes it unlawful knowingly to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, requires the government to establish that the defendant knew he was dealing with a substance regulated under the Controlled Substances Act or the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986.
Horne v. Department of Agriculture, No. 14-275 [Arg: 4.22.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2015]

Holding: The Fifth Amendment requires the government to pay just compensation when it takes personal property, just as when it takes real property. In this case, any net proceeds the raisin growers receive from the sale of the reserve raisins goes to the amount of compensation they have received for that taking; it does not mean the raisins have not been appropriated for government use. Nor can the government make raisin growers relinquish their property without just compensation as a condition of selling their raisins in interstate commerce.
Kingsley v. Hendrickson, No. 14-6368 [Arg: 4.27.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2015]

Holding: To prove an excessive force claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a pretrial detainee must show only that the officers’ use of that force was objectively unreasonable; he does not need to show that the officers were subjectively aware that their use of force was unreasonable.
DeBoer v. Snyder, No. 14-571 [Arg: 4.28.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.26.2015]

Holding: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.
Tanco v. Haslam, No. 14-562 [Arg: 4.28.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.26.2015]

Holding: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.
Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 [Arg: 4.28.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.26.2015]

Holding: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.
Bourke v. Beshear, No. 14-574 [Arg: 4.28.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.26.2015]

Holding: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.
Reyes Mata v. Lynch, No. 14-185 [Arg: 4.29.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.15.2015]

Holding: A court of appeals has jurisdiction to review the rejection by the Board of Immigration Appeals of a non-citizen’s motion to reopen, even when the Board rejects the motion as untimely or it rejects a motion requesting equitable tolling of the time limit.
Glossip v. Gross, No. 14-7955 [Arg: 4.29.2015 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.29.2015]

Holding: The death-row inmates have failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the use of midazolam, a sedative, as the first drug in Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol violates the Eighth Amendment because it fails to render a person insensate to pain.

Decided without oral argument

Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS, No. 13-640 [ Decided 9.29.2014]

Holding: Dismissed as improvidently granted.
Lopez v. Smith, No. 13-946 [ Decided 10.6.2014]

Holding: Because the Supreme Court’s caselaw does not clearly establish that a prosecutor’s focus on one theory of liability can render earlier notice of another theory of liability inadequate, the decision of the court of appeals granting habeas relief is reversed.
Johnson v. City of Shelby, No. 13-1318 [ Decided 11.10.2014]

Holding: The court of appeals erred in entering summary judgment against the petitioners, police officers who filed a lawsuit against the city where they worked, for failure to invoke 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in their complaint. Federal pleading rules do not countenance the dismissal of a complaint for imperfect statement of the legal theory supporting the claim. And in particular, no heightened pleading rule requires plaintiffs seeking damages for violations of constitutional rights to invoke § 1983 expressly in order to state a claim.
Chen v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, Maryland, No. 13-10400 [ Decided 1.9.2015]

Holding: Dismissed after petitioner neither filed a brief on the merits within forty-five days of the order granting review, requested an extension of time, nor responded to correspondence sent to him.
Glebe v. Frost, No. 14-95 [ Decided 11.17.2014]

Holding: Even if, at Frost’s robbery trial, the state trial court violated the Constitution when it held that state law prohibited Frost from simultaneously contesting his liability and arguing duress during closing arguments, it was not clearly established that such a mistake constitutes a structural error requiring the automatic reversal of Frost’s conviction.
Carroll v. Carman, No. 14-212 [ Decided 11.10.2014]

Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit erred when it concluded that a police officer is not entitled to qualified immunity from a lawsuit under Section 1983 that alleged, among other things, that he entered their property in violation of the Fourth Amendment when he went into their backyard and onto their deck without a warrant. The police officer did not violate clearly established federal law when he went to a sliding glass door that he believed was a customary entryway that was open to visitors.
Grady v. North Carolina, No. 14-593 [ Decided 3.30.2015]

Holding: For purposes of the Fourth Amendment, a state conducts a search when it attaches a device to a person’s body, without consent, to allow it to track that person’s movements.
Woods v. Donald, No. 14-618 [ Decided 3.30.2015]

Holding: The lower court’s decision holding that an attorney provided per se ineffective assistance of counsel under United States v. Cronic when he was briefly absent during testimony concerning other defendants, is reversed, because no Supreme Court decision clearly establishes that the respondent in this case is entitled to relief under Cronic.
Toca v. Louisiana, No. 14-6381

Issue(s): Case on whether the Court’s 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama, holding that the Constitution prohibits a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a defendant who was under the age of eighteen at the time of the crime, dismissed as moot after a settlement that included the inmate’s release from prison.
Christeson v. Roper, No. 14-6873 [ Decided 1.20.2015]

Holding: When a death row inmate’s appointed attorneys had missed the filing deadline for his first federal habeas petition and could not be expected to argue that the inmate was entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations, the district court erred in denying (and the court of appeals erred in affirming the denial of) a motion for the appointment of substitute, conflict-free counsel.

Cases Not (Yet) Set for Argument

Taylor v. Barkes, No. 14-939 [ Decided 6.1.2015]

Holding: Prison officials have qualified immunity from a lawsuit, filed by the family of an inmate who committed suicide, which alleged that they had failed to adequately supervise the private contractor that provided medical treatment at the prison facility, because at the time of the incident there was no clearly established law requiring the proper implementation of adequate suicide prevention protocols.
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