October Term 2016

View this list sorted by case name.

October Sitting

Shaw v. U.S., No. 15-5991 [Arg: 10.4.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.12.2016]

Holding: (1) The defendant's arguments that subsection (1) of the bank fraud statute, which covers schemes to deprive a bank of money in a customer's deposit account, does not apply to him because he intended to cheat only a bank depositor, not a bank, are unpersuasive; and (2) with regard to the parties' dispute over whether the district court improperly instructed the jury that a scheme to defraud a bank must be one to deceive the bank or deprive it of something of value, instead of one to deceive and deprive, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is left to determine whether that question was properly presented and if so, whether the instruction given is lawful, and, if not, whether any error was harmless.
Bravo-Fernandez v. U.S., No. 15-537 [Arg: 10.4.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 11.29.2016]

Holding: The issue-preclusion component of the double jeopardy clause, which bars a second contest of an issue of fact or law raised and necessarily resolved by a prior judgment, does not bar the government from retrying defendants after a jury has returned irreconcilably inconsistent verdicts of conviction and acquittal and the convictions are later vacated for legal error unrelated to the inconsistency.
Salman v. U.S., No. 15-628 [Arg: 10.5.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.6.2016]

Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit properly applied the court's decision in Dirks v. Securities and Exchange Commission to affirm Bassam Salman's conviction because, under Dirks, the jury could infer that Salman's tipper personally benefited from making a gift of confidential information to a trading relative.
Buck v. Davis, No. 15-8049 [Arg: 10.5.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 2.22.2017]

Holding: (1) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit exceeded the limited scope of analysis for a certificate of appealability, which, by statute, follows a two-step process: an initial determination whether a claim is reasonably debatable, and, if so, an appeal in the normal course; and (2) petitioner Duane Buck has demonstrated ineffective assistance of counsel under Strickland v. Washington; and (3) the district court's denial of Buck's motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) was an abuse of discretion.
Manuel v. City of Joliet, No. 14-9496 [Arg: 10.5.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.21.2017]

Holding: (1) Elijah Manuel may challenge his pretrial detention on Fourth Amendment grounds; and (2) on remand, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit should determine the accrual date of Manuel's Fourth Amendment claim, unless it finds that the city of Joliet has previously waived its timeliness argument.
Manrique v. U.S., No. 15-7250 [Arg: 10.11.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.19.2017]

Holding: A defendant wishing to appeal an order imposing restitution in a deferred restitution case must file a notice of appeal from that order; if he fails to do so and the government objects, he may not challenge the restitution order on appeal.
Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, No. 15-606 [Arg: 10.11.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.6.2017]

Holding: When a juror makes a clear statement indicating that he or she relied on racial stereotypes or animus to convict a criminal defendant, the Sixth Amendment requires that the no-impeachment rule give way in order to permit the trial court to consider the evidence of the juror's statement and any resulting denial of the jury trial guarantee.
Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple, No. 15-777 [Arg: 10.11.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.6.2016]

Holding: In the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant article of manufacture for arriving at a damages award under Section 289 of the Patent Act need not be the end product sold to the consumer but may be only a component of that product.

November Sitting

Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497 [Arg: 10.31.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 2.22.2017]

Holding: (1) Exhaustion of the administrative procedures established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is unnecessary when the gravamen of the plaintiff's suit is something other than the denial of the IDEA's core guarantee of a "free appropriate public education"; and (2) the case is remanded to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit for a proper analysis of whether the gravamen of E.F.'s complaint -- which alleges only disability-based discrimination, without making any reference to the adequacy of the special-education services E.F.'s school provided -- charges, and seeks relief for, the denial of a FAPE.
Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, No. 15-866 [Arg: 10.31.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.22.2017]

Holding: A feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection under the Copyright Act of 1976 only if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic or sculptural work -- either on its own or fixed in some other tangible medium of expression -- if it were imagined separately from the useful article into which it is incorporated; that test is satisfied here.
SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, No. 15-927 [Arg: 11.1.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.21.2017]

Holding: Laches cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for damages brought within the six-year limitations period of Section 286 of the Patent Act.
State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby, No. 15-513 [Arg: 11.1.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.6.2016]

Holding: A seal violation does not mandate dismissal of a relator's complaint under the False Claims Act.
Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne Int'l, No. 15-423 [Arg: 11.2.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.1.2017]

Holding: A case falls within the scope of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s expropriation exception only if the property in which a party claims to hold rights was indeed "property taken in violation of international law"; simply making a nonfrivolous argument to that effect is not sufficient; a court should resolve any factual disputes about a foreign sovereign's immunity defense as near to the outset of the case as is reasonably possible.
National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, No. 15-1251 [Arg: 11.7.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.21.2017]

Holding: (1) Subsection (b)(1) of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, which prevents a person who has been nominated to fill a vacant office requiring presidential appointment and Senate confirmation from performing the duties of that office in an acting capacity, applies to anyone performing acting service under the FVRA and is not limited to first assistants performing acting service under Subsection (a)(1); and (2) Subsection (b)(1) prohibited Lafe Solomon from continuing his service as acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board once the president nominated him to fill the position permanently.
Wells Fargo & Co. v. City of Miami, No. 15-1112 [Arg: 11.8.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.1.2017]

Holding: (1) The city of Miami is an "aggrieved person" authorized to bring suit under the Fair Housing Act; and (2) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit erred in concluding that the city's complaints, charging that the banks engaged in discriminatory conduct that led to a disproportionate number of foreclosures and vacancies in majority-minority neighborhoods, which diminished the city’s property-tax revenue and increased the demand for police, fire, and other municipal services, met the FHA's proximate-cause requirement based solely on the finding that the city's alleged financial injuries were foreseeable results of the banks' misconduct; proximate cause under the FHA requires “some direct relation between the injury asserted and the injurious conduct alleged”; the lower courts should define, in the first instance, the contours of proximate cause under the FHA and decide how that standard applies to the city's claims for lost property-tax revenue and increased municipal expenses.
Lightfoot v. Cendant Mortgage Corporation, No. 14-1055 [Arg: 11.8.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.18.2017]

Holding: Fannie Mae's sue-and-be-sued clause does not grant federal courts jurisdiction over all cases involving Fannie Mae.
Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami, No. 15-1111 [Arg: 11.8.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.1.2017]

Holding: (1) The city of Miami is an "aggrieved person" authorized to bring suit under the Fair Housing Act; and (2) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit erred in concluding that the city's complaints, charging that the banks engaged in discriminatory conduct that led to a disproportionate number of foreclosures and vacancies in majority-minority neighborhoods, which diminished the city’s property-tax revenue and increased the demand for police, fire, and other municipal services, met the FHA's proximate-cause requirement based solely on the finding that the city's alleged financial injuries were foreseeable results of the banks' misconduct; proximate cause under the FHA requires “some direct relation between the injury asserted and the injurious conduct alleged”; the lower courts should define, in the first instance, the contours of proximate cause under the FHA and decide how that standard applies to the city's claims for lost property-tax revenue and increased municipal expenses.
Sessions v. Morales-Santana, No. 15-1191 [Arg: 11.9.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.12.2017]

Holding: (1) The gender line Congress drew in Section 1409(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act -- which creates an exception for an unwed U.S.-citizen mother, but not for such a father, to the physical-presence requirement for the transmission of U.S. citizenship to a child born abroad -- is incompatible with the Fifth Amendment's requirement that the government accord to all persons "the equal protection of the laws"; and (2) because the Supreme Court is not equipped to convert Section 1409(c)'s exception into the main rule displacing other relevant provisions of the statute, it falls to Congress to select a uniform prescription that neither favors nor disadvantages any person on the basis of gender.

December Sitting

Beckles v. U.S., No. 15-8544 [Arg: 11.28.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.6.2017]

Holding: The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, including Section 4B1.2(a)'s residual clause, are not subject to vagueness challenges under the due process clause.
Moore v. Texas, No. 15-797 [Arg: 11.29.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.28.2017]

Holding: By rejecting the habeas court's application of current medical diagnostic standards and by following the standard under Ex parte Briseno, including the nonclinical Briseno factors, the decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals does not comport with the Eighth Amendment and Supreme Court precedents.
Cooper v. Harris, No. 15-1262 [Arg: 12.5.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.22.2017]

Holding: (1) North Carolina's victory in a similar state-court lawsuit does not dictate the disposition of this case or alter the applicable standard of review; (2) the district court did not err in concluding that race furnished the predominant rationale for District 1's redesign and that the state's interest in complying with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 could not justify that consideration of race; and (3) the district court also did not clearly err by finding that race predominated in the redrawing of District 12.
Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, No. 15-680 [Arg: 12.5.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.1.2017]

Holding: (1) The district court employed an incorrect legal standard in determining that race did not predominate in 11 of 12 new state legislative districts drawn by the Virginia State Legislature after the 2010 census; and (2) the district court's judgment regarding District 75 -- that the legislature had good reason to believe that a 55 percent target for black voting-age population was necessary to avoid diminishing the ability of black voters to elect their preferred candidates, which at the time would have violated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 -- is consistent with the basic narrow tailoring analysis explained in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama.
Life Technologies Corporation v. Promega Corporation, No. 14-1538 [Arg: 12.6.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 2.22.2017]

Holding: The supply of a single component of a multicomponent invention for manufacture abroad does not give rise to liability under Section 271(f)(1) of the Patent Act, which prohibits the supply from the United States of "all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention" for combination abroad.
Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corporation, No. 15-649 [Arg: 12.7.2016 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.22.2017]

Holding: (1) The petitioners -- a group of former truck-drivers for Jevic Transportation, the respondent -- have Article III standing; and (2) bankruptcy courts may not approve structured dismissals of Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases that provide for asset distributions which do not follow ordinary priority rules established by the Bankruptcy Code without the consent of affected creditors.

January Sitting

Nelson v. Colorado, No. 15-1256 [Arg: 1.9.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.19.2017]

Holding: The scheme under Colorado's Exoneration Act -- which permits the state to retain conviction-related assessments unless and until the prevailing defendant institutes a discrete civil proceeding and proves her innocence by clear and convincing evidence -- does not comport with the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process.
Lewis v. Clarke, No. 15-1500 [Arg: 1.9.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.25.2017]

Holding: (1) In a suit brought against a tribal employee in his individual capacity, the employee, not the tribe, is the real party in interest and the tribe's sovereign immunity is not implicated; and (2) an indemnification provision cannot, as a matter of law, extend sovereign immunity to individual employees who would otherwise not be protected.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, No. 15-1406 [Arg: 1.10.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.18.2017]

Holding: When a federal court exercises its inherent authority to sanction bad-faith conduct by ordering a litigant to pay the other side's legal fees, the award is limited to the fees the innocent party incurred solely because of the misconduct.
Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, No. 15-1391 [Arg: 1.10.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.29.2017]

Holding: (1) The Supreme Court's review is limited to whether New York General Business Law Section 518 is unconstitutional as applied to the particular pricing scheme that, before this court, petitioners, five New York businesses and their owners, have argued they seek to employ: a single-sticker regime, in which merchants post a cash price and an additional credit card surcharge; (2) Section 518 prohibits the pricing regime petitioners wish to employ; (3) In regulating the communication of prices rather than prices themselves, Section 518 regulates speech. On remand the court of appeals should determine whether Section 518 survives First Amendment scrutiny as a speech regulation; and (4) Section 518 is not vague as applied to petitioners.
Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, No. 15-827 [Arg: 1.11.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.22.2017]

Holding: To meet its substantive obligation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a school must offer an "individualized education program" reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances.
Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, No. 16-348 [Arg: 1.17.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.15.2017]

Holding: The filing of a proof of claim that is obviously time barred is not a false, deceptive, misleading, unfair or unconscionable debt-collection practice within the meaning of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: The disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment's free speech clause.
Ziglar v. Abbasi, No. 15-1358 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: (1) The limited reach of the Bivens action informs the decision whether an implied damages remedy should be recognized in this case; (2) considering the relevant special factors in this case, a Bivens-type remedy should not be extended to the "detention policy claims" -- the allegations that the executive officials and wardens violated the detainees' due process and equal protection rights by holding them in restrictive conditions of confinement, and the allegation that the wardens violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by subjecting the detainees to frequent strip searches -- challenging the confinement conditions imposed on the detainees pursuant to the formal policy adopted by the executive officials in the wake of the September 11 attacks; (3) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in allowing the prisoner-abuse claim against Warden Dennis Hasty to go forward without conducting the required special-factors analysis; and (4) the executive officials and wardens are entitled to qualified immunity with respect to respondents' claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3).
Ashcroft v. Abbasi, No. 15-1359 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: (1) The limited reach of the Bivens action informs the decision whether an implied damages remedy should be recognized in this case; (2) considering the relevant special factors in this case, a Bivens-type remedy should not be extended to the "detention policy claims" -- the allegations that the executive officials and wardens violated the detainees' due process and equal protection rights by holding them in restrictive conditions of confinement, and the allegation that the wardens violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by subjecting the detainees to frequent strip searches -- challenging the confinement conditions imposed on the detainees pursuant to the formal policy adopted by the executive officials in the wake of the September 11 attacks; (3) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in allowing the prisoner-abuse claim against Warden Dennis Hasty to go forward without conducting the required special-factors analysis; and (4) the executive officials and wardens are entitled to qualified immunity with respect to respondents' claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3).
Hasty v. Abbasi, No. 15-1363 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: (1) The limited reach of the Bivens action informs the decision whether an implied damages remedy should be recognized in this case; (2) considering the relevant special factors in this case, a Bivens-type remedy should not be extended to the "detention policy claims" -- the allegations that the executive officials and wardens violated the detainees' due process and equal protection rights by holding them in restrictive conditions of confinement, and the allegation that the wardens violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by subjecting the detainees to frequent strip searches -- challenging the confinement conditions imposed on the detainees pursuant to the formal policy adopted by the executive officials in the wake of the September 11 attacks; (3) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in allowing the prisoner-abuse claim against Warden Dennis Hasty to go forward without conducting the required special-factors analysis; and (4) the executive officials and wardens are entitled to qualified immunity with respect to respondents' claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3).

February Sitting

McLane Co. v. EEOC, No. 15-1248 [Arg: 2.21.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.3.2017]

Holding: A district court's decision whether to enforce or quash a subpoena issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission should be reviewed for abuse of discretion, not de novo.
Hernández v. Mesa, No. 15-118 [Arg: 2.21.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.26.2017]

Holding: (1) A Bivens remedy is not available when there are "special factors counselling hesitation in the absence of affirmative action by Congress," and the court recently clarified in Ziglar v. Abbasi what constitutes a special factor counselling hesitation; the court of appeals should consider how the reasoning and analysis in Ziglar bear on the question whether the parents of a victim shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent may recover damages for his death; (2) It would be imprudent for the Supreme Court to decide Jesus Hernandez’s Fourth Amendment claim when, in light of the intervening guidance provided in Abbasi, doing so may be unnecessary to resolve this particular case; and (3) with respect to Hernandez’s Fifth Amendment claim, because it is undisputed that the victim's nationality and the extent of his ties to the United States were unknown to the agent at the time of the shooting, the en banc court of appeals erred in granting qualified immunity based on those facts.
Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark, No. 16-32 [Arg: 2.22.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.15.2017]

Holding: The Kentucky Supreme Court's clear-statement rule – under which an agent could deprive her principal of the rights of access to the courts and trial by jury through an arbitration agreement only if expressly provided in the power of attorney – violates the Federal Arbitration Act by singling out arbitration agreements for disfavored treatment.
Packingham v. North Carolina, No. 15-1194 [Arg: 2.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: The North Carolina statute, which makes it a felony for a registered sex offender "to access a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal Web pages," impermissibly restricts lawful speech in violation of the First Amendment.
Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, No. 16-54 [Arg: 2.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.30.2017]

Holding: In the context of statutory rape offenses that criminalize sexual intercourse based solely on the ages of the participants, the generic federal definition of "sexual abuse of a minor" requires the age of the victim to be less than 16.
Dean v. U.S., No. 15-9260 [Arg: 2.28.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.3.2017]

Holding: 18 U. S. C. §924(c), which criminalizes using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, or possessing a firearm in furtherance of such an underlying crime, does not prevent a sentencing court from considering a mandatory minimum imposed under that provision when calculating an appropriate sentence for the predicate offense.
Coventry Health Care of Missouri v. Nevils, No. 16-149 [Arg: 3.1.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.18.2017]

Holding: (1) Because contractual subrogation and reimbursement prescriptions plainly "relate to ... payments with respect to benefits," as stated in the Section 8902(m)(1) of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959, they override state laws barring subrogation and reimbursement; and (2) the regime Congress enacted is compatible with the supremacy clause.

March Sitting

Howell v. Howell, No. 15-1031 [Arg: 3.20.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.15.2017]

Holding: A state court may not order a veteran to indemnify a divorced spouse for the loss in the divorced spouse's portion of the veteran's retirement pay caused by the veteran's waiver of retirement pay to receive service-related disability benefits.
Murr v. Wisconsin, No. 15-214 [Arg: 3.20.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2017]

Holding: The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin was correct to analyze the lot owners' property as a single unit in assessing the effect of the challenged governmental action.
Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, No. 15-457 [Arg: 3.21.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.12.2017]

Holding: Federal courts of appeals lack jurisdiction under 28 U. S. C. §1291 to review an order denying class certification (or, as in this case, an order striking class allegations) after the named plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice.
Impression Products v. Lexmark Int'l, No. 15-1189 [Arg: 3.21.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.30.2017]

Holding: (1) Lexmark exhausted its patent rights in toner cartridges sold in the United States through its "Return Program"; and (2) Lexmark cannot sue Impression Products for patent infringement with respect to cartridges Lexmark sold abroad, which Impression Products acquired from purchasers and imported into the United States, because an authorized sale outside the United States, just as one within the United States, exhausts all rights under the Patent Act.
Water Splash v. Menon, No. 16-254 [Arg: 3.22.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.22.2017]

Holding: The Hague Service Convention does not prohibit service of process by mail.
County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, No. 16-369 [Arg: 3.22.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.30.2017]

Holding: The Fourth Amendment provides no basis for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's "provocation rule," which makes an officer's otherwise reasonable use of force unreasonable if (1) the officer "intentionally or recklessly provokes a violent confrontation" and (2) "the provocation is an independent Fourth Amendment violation."
Saint Peter’s Healthcare System v. Kaplan, No. 16-86 [Arg: 3.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.5.2017]

Holding: Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a defined-benefit pension plan maintained by a principal-purpose organization -- one controlled by or associated with a church for the administration or funding of a plan for the church's employees -- qualifies as a "church plan," regardless of who established it.
TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341 [Arg: 3.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.22.2017]

Holding: The patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), provides that "[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business." As applied to domestic corporations, “reside[nce]” in Section 1400(b) refers only to the state of incorporation; the amendments to Section 1391 did not modify the meaning of Section 1400(b) as interpreted in Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products.
Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, No. 16-74 [Arg: 3.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.5.2017]

Holding: Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a defined-benefit pension plan maintained by a principal-purpose organization -- one controlled by or associated with a church for the administration or funding of a plan for the church's employees -- qualifies as a "church plan," regardless of who established it.
Dignity Health v. Rollins, No. 16-258 [Arg: 3.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.5.2017]

Holding: Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a defined-benefit pension plan maintained by a principal-purpose organization -- one controlled by or associated with a church for the administration or funding of a plan for the church's employees -- qualifies as a "church plan," regardless of who established it.
Lee v. U.S., No. 16-327 [Arg: 3.28.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2017]

Holding: Jae Lee has demonstrated that he was prejudiced by his counsel's erroneous advice that he would not be deported as a result of pleading guilty to an aggravated felony.
Turner v. U.S., No. 15-1503 [Arg: 3.29.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.22.2017]

Holding: The withheld evidence is not material under Brady v. Maryland.
Honeycutt v. U.S., No. 16-142 [Arg: 3.29.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.5.2017]

Holding: Because forfeiture pursuant to Section 853(a)(1) of the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act of 1984 is limited to property the defendant himself actually acquired as the result of the crime, that provision does not permit forfeiture with regard to Terry Honeycutt, who had no ownership interest in his brother's store and did not personally benefit from the illegal sales.
Overton v. U.S., No. 15-1504 [Arg: 3.29.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.22.2017]

Holding: The withheld evidence is not material under Brady v. Maryland.

April Sitting

Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 16-399 [Arg: 4.17.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2017]

Holding: The proper review forum when the Merit Systems Protection Board dismisses a mixed case -- a complaint by an employee of a serious adverse employment action attributable, in whole or in part, to bias based on race, gender, age or disability -- on jurisdictional grounds is district court.
California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, No. 16-373 [Arg: 4.17.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.26.2017]

Holding: The public pension fund's untimely filing of its individual complaint under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 more than three years after the relevant securities offering is ground for dismissal under Section 13 of the act.
Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, No. 16-605 [Arg: 4.17.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.5.2017]

Holding: (1) A litigant seeking to intervene as of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) must meet the requirements of Article III standing if the intervenor wishes to pursue relief not requested by a plaintiff; and (2) the court of appeals is to address on remand the question whether Laroe Estates seeks different relief than Steven Sherman: If Laroe wants only a money judgment of its own running directly against the town of Chester, then it seeks damages different from those sought by Sherman and must establish its own Article III standing in order to intervene.
Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, No. 16-349 [Arg: 4.18.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.12.2017]

Holding: A company may collect debts that it purchased for its own account without triggering the statutory definition of a "debt collector" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 16-529 [Arg: 4.18.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.5.2017]

Holding: Because disgorgement sought by the Securities and Exchange Commission operates as a penalty under 28 U.S.C. § 2462, in that it is imposed by the courts as a consequence for violating public laws and for punitive purposes, any claim for disgorgement in an SEC enforcement action must be commenced within five years of the date the claim accrued.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, No. 15-577 [Arg: 4.19.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.26.2017]

Holding: The Missouri Department of Natural Resources' express policy of denying grants to any applicant owned or controlled by a church, sect or other religious entity violated the rights of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc., under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment by denying the church an otherwise available public benefit on account of its religious status.
Weaver v. Massachusetts, No. 16-240 [Arg: 4.19.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.22.2017]

Holding: (1) In the context of a public-trial violation during jury selection, when the error is neither preserved nor raised on direct review but is raised later via an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, the defendant must demonstrate prejudice to secure a new trial; (2) Because Kentel Weaver has not shown a reasonable probability of a different outcome but for counsel's failure to object or that counsel's shortcomings led to a fundamentally unfair trial, he is not entitled to a new trial.
Davila v. Davis, No. 16-6219 [Arg: 4.24.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.26.2017]

Holding: The ineffective assistance of postconviction counsel does not provide cause to excuse the procedural default of ineffective-assistance-of-appellate-counsel claims.
McWilliams v. Dunn, No. 16-5294 [Arg: 4.24.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: The Alabama courts' determination that James McWilliams received all the assistance to which Ake v. Oklahoma entitled him -- when certain threshold criteria are met, access to a state-provided mental health expert who is sufficiently available to the defense and independent from the prosecution to effectively "conduct an appropriate examination and assist in evaluation, preparation, and presentation of the defense" -- was contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law; and (2) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit should determine on remand whether the Alabama courts' error had the "substantial and injurious effect or influence" required to warrant a grant of habeas relief under Davis v. Ayala, specifically considering whether access to the type of meaningful assistance in evaluating, preparing, and presenting the defense that Ake requires could have made a difference.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, No. 16-466 [Arg: 4.25.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: California courts lack specific jurisdiction to entertain the claims in this case brought by plaintiffs who are not California residents, because there is an insufficient connection between the forum and the specific claims at issue.
BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, No. 16-405 [Arg: 4.25.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.30.2017]

Holding: (1) Section 56 of the Federal Employers' Liability Act -- which provides that "an action may be brought in a district court of the United States," in, among other places, the district "in which the defendant shall be doing business at the time of commencing such action" -- does not address personal jurisdiction over railroads; and (2) the Montana courts' exercise of general personal jurisdiction under Montana law does not comport with the 14th Amendment's due process clause.
Maslenjak v. U.S., No. 16-309 [Arg: 4.26.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.22.2017]

Holding: (1) The text of 18 U.S.C. § 1425(a) -- which prohibits "procur[ing], contrary to law, the naturalization of any person" -- makes clear that, to secure a conviction, the federal government must establish that the defendant's illegal act played a role in her acquisition of citizenship; (2) when the underlying illegality alleged in a Section 1425(a) prosecution is a false statement to government officials, a jury must decide whether the false statement so altered the naturalization process as to have influenced an award of citizenship; and (3) measured against this analysis, the jury instructions in this case were in error, and the government's assertion that any instructional error was harmless is left for resolution on remand.
Amgen Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., No. 15-1195 [Arg: 4.26.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.12.2017]

Holding: Section 262(l)(2)(A) of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 is not enforceable by injunction under federal law, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on remand should determine whether a state-law injunction is available; an applicant may provide notice of commercial marketing under Section 262(l)(8)(A) prior to obtaining licensure.
Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc., No. 15-1039 [Arg: 4.26.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.12.2017]

Holding: Section 262(l)(2)(A) of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 is not enforceable by injunction under federal law, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on remand should determine whether a state-law injunction is available; an applicant may provide notice of commercial marketing under Section 262(l)(8)(A) prior to obtaining licensure.

Decided without oral argument

Bosse v. Oklahoma, No. 15-9173 [ Decided 10.11.2016]

Holding: The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals erred in concluding that it was not bound by the Supreme Court’s holding in Booth v. Maryland that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a capital-sentencing jury from considering testimony by a victim’s family members about the crime, the defendant, and the appropriate sentence.
White v. Pauly, No. 16-67 [ Decided 1.9.2017]

Holding: The police officer did not violate clearly established law on the record described by the panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which relied for its analysis on too high a level of generality rather than giving particularized consideration to the facts and circumstances of this case.
Pavan v. Smith, No. 16-992 [ Decided 6.26.2017]

Holding: Having chosen to make its birth certificates more than mere markers of biological relationships and to use them to give married parents a form of legal recognition that is not available to unmarried parents, Arkansas may not, consistent with Obergefell v. Hodges, deny married same-sex couples that recognition.
North Carolina v. Covington, No. 16-1023 [ Decided 06.05.2017]

Holding: In ordering special elections and suspending residency requirements in the state constitution after holding that 28 majority-black districts drawn by the North Carolina General Assembly were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, the district court did not adequately grapple with the case-specific interests -- such as the severity and nature of the particular constitutional violation, the extent of the likely disruption to the ordinary processes of governance if early elections are imposed, and the need to act with proper judicial restraint when intruding on state sovereignty -- on both sides of the remedial question.
Jenkins v. Hutton, No. 16-1116 [ Decided 6.19.2017]

Holding: On the facts of this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit was wrong to hold that it could review Percy Hutton's claim -- that the trial court violated his due process rights during the penalty phase of his trial -- under the miscarriage-of-justice exception to procedural default.
Virginia v. LeBlanc, No. 16-1177 [ Decided 6.12.2017]

Holding: The Virginia trial court's ruling denying Dennis LeBlanc's motion to vacate his sentence in light of the Supreme Court's requirement in Graham v. Florida that a state give juvenile offenders convicted of a nonhomicide crime "some meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation" -- a ruling which rested on the Virginia Supreme Court's earlier ruling in Angel v. Commonwealth that the state's geriatric release program satisfies this requirement -- was not objectively unreasonable in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's current case law.
Rippo v. Baker, No. 16-6316 [ Decided 3.6.2017]

Holding: In reviewing Michael Rippo's application for state postconviction relief -- contending under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment that his trial judge, the target of a federal bribery probe, could not have impartially adjudicated the case -- the Nevada Supreme Court did not ask the question required by precedent: whether, considering all the circumstances alleged, the risk of bias was too high to be constitutionally tolerable.

Argued but rescheduled for next term

Jennings v. Rodriguez, No. 15-1204 [Arg: 10.03.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether aliens seeking admission to the United States who are subject to mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release into the United States, if detention lasts six months; (2) whether criminal or terrorist aliens who are subject to mandatory detention under Section 1226(c) must be afforded bond hearings, with the possibility of release, if detention lasts six months; and (3) whether, in bond hearings for aliens detained for six months under Sections 1225(b), 1226(c), or 1226(a), the alien is entitled to release unless the government demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the alien is a flight risk or a danger to the community, whether the length of the alien’s detention must be weighed in favor of release, and whether new bond hearings must be afforded automatically every six months.
Sessions v. Dimaya, No. 15-1498 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether 18 U.S.C. 16(b), as incorporated into the Immigration and Nationality Act's provisions governing an alien's removal from the United States, is unconstitutionally vague.
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