October Term 2016

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Merits cases (to be) decided during OT 2016
Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, No. 16-74 [Arg: 3.27.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974's church-plan exemption applies so long as a pension plan is maintained by an otherwise-qualifying church-affiliated organization, or whether the exemption applies only if, in addition, a church initially established the plan.
Amgen Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., No. 15-1195 [Arg: 4.26.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether a biosimilar applicant is required by 42 U.S.C. § 262(l)(2)(A) to provide the reference product sponsor with a copy of its biologics license application and related manufacturing information, which the statute says the applicant “shall provide;” and (2) whether, where an applicant fails to provide that required information, the sponsor's sole recourse is to commence a declaratory judgment under 42 U.S.C. § 262(l)(9)(C) and/or a patent-infringement action under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2)(C)(ii). CVSG: 12/07/2016.
Ashcroft v. Abbasi, No. 15-1359 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the judicially inferred damages remedy under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, should be extended to the novel context of this case, which seeks to hold the former Attorney General and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personally liable for policy decisions made about national-security and immigration in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; and (2) whether the former Attorney General and FBI Director are entitled to qualified immunity for their alleged role in the treatment of respondents, because it was not clearly established that aliens legitimately arrested during the September 11 investigation could not be held in restrictive conditions until the FBI confirmed that they had no connections with terrorism; and (3) whether respondents' allegations that the Attorney General and FBI Director personally condoned the implementation of facially constitutional policies because of an invidious animus against Arabs and Muslims are plausible, as required by Ashcroft v. Iqbal, in light of the obvious alternative explanation—identified by the Court in Iqbal—that their actions were motivated by a concern that, absent fuller investigation, the government would unwittingly permit a dangerous individual to leave the United States.
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.
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.
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.
BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, No. 16-405 [Arg: 4.25.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a state court may decline to follow the Supreme Court's decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, which held that the due process clause forbids a state court from exercising general personal jurisdiction over a defendant that is not at home in the forum state, in a suit against an American defendant under the Federal Employers' Liability Act.
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.
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.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, No. 16-466 [Arg: 4.25.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a plaintiff's claims arise out of or relate to a defendant's forum activities when there is no causal link between the defendant's forum contacts and the plaintiff's claims – that is, where the plaintiff's claims would be exactly the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts.
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.
California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, No. 16-373 [Arg: 4.17.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the filing of a putative class action serves, under the American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah rule, to satisfy the three-year time limitation in Section 13 of the Securities Act with respect to the claims of putative class members (Question granted in Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS, Inc.).
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.
County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, No. 16-369 [Arg: 3.22.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's “provocation” rule should be barred as it conflicts with Graham v. Connor regarding the manner in which a claim of excessive force against a police officer should be determined in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for a violation of a plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights, and has been rejected by other courts of appeals; and (2) whether, in an action brought under Section 1983, an incident giving rise to a reasonable use of force is an intervening, superseding event which breaks the chain of causation from a prior, unlawful entry in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
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.
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.
Davila v. Davis, No. 16-6219 [Arg: 4.24.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the rule established in Martinez v. Ryan and Trevino v. Thaler, that ineffective state habeas counsel can be seen as cause to overcome the procedural default of a substantial ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim, also applies to procedurally defaulted, but substantial, ineffective assistance of appellate counsel claims.
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.
Dignity Health v. Rollins, No. 16-258 [Arg: 3.27.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974's church-plan exemption applies so long as a pension plan is maintained by an otherwise-qualifying church-affiliated organization, or whether the exemption applies only if, in addition, a church initially established the plan.
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.
Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, No. 16-54 [Arg: 2.27.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a conviction under one of the seven state statutes criminalizing consensual sexual intercourse between a 21-year-old and someone almost 18 constitutes an “aggravated felony” of “sexual abuse of a minor” under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act – and therefore constitutes grounds for mandatory removal.
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.
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.
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.
Hasty v. Abbasi, No. 15-1363 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether, as the Second Circuit held, the judicially implied cause of action for damages against individual officials recognized in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, extends to detentions of foreign nationals after the September 11 attacks; (2) whether qualified immunity was property denied, notwithstanding the specific circumstances confronted by petitioners—including the FBI's terrorism designations for respondents—because the Constitution “clearly” prohibits any “condition of pretrial detention not reasonably related to a legitimate governmental objective,” or imposed “because of . . . race, ethnicity, religion, and/or national origin;” and (3) whether the allegations against Hasty and Sherman (the Warden and Associate Warden at the Metropolitan Detention Center)—such as the assertion that they “knew” the FBI's terrorism designations for respondents were wrong but imposed otherwise mandatory confinement conditions because they had discriminatory intent—are sufficiently plausible to state a claim under Ashcroft v. Iqbal.
Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, No. 16-349 [Arg: 4.18.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a company that regularly attempts to collect debts it purchased after the debts had fallen into default is a “debt collector” subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Hernández v. Mesa, No. 15-118 [Arg: 2.21.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether a formalist or functionalist analysis governs the extraterritorial application of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unjustified deadly force, as applied to a cross-border shooting of an unarmed Mexican citizen in an enclosed area controlled by the United States; (2) whether qualified immunity may be granted or denied based on facts – such as the victim’s legal status – unknown to the officer at the time of the incident; and (3) whether the claim in this case may be asserted under Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents. CVSG: 03/01/2016.
Honeycutt v. U.S., No. 16-142 [Arg: 3.29.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether 21 U.S.C. § 853(a)(1) mandates joint and several liability among co-conspirators for forfeiture of the reasonably foreseeable proceeds of a drug conspiracy.
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.
Impression Products v. Lexmark Int'l, No. 15-1189 [Arg: 3.21.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether a “conditional sale” that transfers title to the patented item while specifying post-sale restrictions on the article's use or resale avoids application of the patent-exhaustion doctrine and therefore permits the enforcement of such post-sale restrictions through the patent law’s infringement remedy; and (2) whether, in light of this court’s holding in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. that the common-law doctrine barring restraints on alienation that is the basis of exhaustion doctrine “makes no geographical distinctions,” a sale of a patented article – authorized by the U.S. patentee – that takes place outside the United States exhausts the U.S. patent rights in that article. CVSG: 10/12/2016.
Jennings v. Rodriguez, No. 15-1204 [Arg: 11.30.2016 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.
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.
Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 16-529 [Arg: 4.18.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the five-year statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C. § 2462 applies to claims for “disgorgement.”
Lee v. Tam, No. 15-1293 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which provides that no trademark shall be refused registration on account of its nature unless, inter alia, it “[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute” is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
Lee v. U.S., No. 16-327 [Arg: 3.28.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether it is always irrational for a noncitizen defendant with longtime legal resident status and extended familial and business ties to the United States to reject a plea offer notwithstanding strong evidence of guilt when the plea would result in mandatory and permanent deportation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maslenjak v. U.S., No. 16-309 [Arg: 4.26.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit erred by holding, in direct conflict with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st, 4th, 7th and 9th Circuits, that a naturalized American citizen can be stripped of her citizenship in a criminal proceeding based on an immaterial false statement.
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.
McWilliams v. Dunn, No. 16-5294 [Arg: 4.24.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether, when this court held in Ake v. Oklahoma that an indigent defendant is entitled to meaningful expert assistance for the “evaluation, preparation, and presentation of the defense,” it clearly established that the expert should be independent of the prosecution.
Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, No. 15-457 [Arg: 3.21.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a federal court of appeals has jurisdiction to review an order denying class certification after the named plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their claims with prejudice.
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.
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.
Murr v. Wisconsin, No. 15-214 [Arg: 3.20.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether, in a regulatory taking case, the “parcel as a whole” concept as described in Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, establishes a rule that two legally distinct but commonly owned contiguous parcels must be combined for takings analysis purposes.
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.
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.
Overton v. U.S., No. 15-1504 [Arg: 3.29.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the petitioners' convictions must be set aside under Brady v. Maryland.
Packingham v. North Carolina, No. 15-1194 [Arg: 2.27.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether, under the court’s First Amendment precedents, a law that makes it a felony for any person on the state's registry of former sex offenders to “access” a wide array of websites – including Facebook, YouTube, and nytimes.com – that enable communication, expression, and the exchange of information among their users, if the site is “know[n]” to allow minors to have accounts, is permissible, both on its face and as applied to petitioner, who was convicted based on a Facebook post in which he celebrated dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring “God is Good!”
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.
Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 16-399 [Arg: 4.17.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a Merit Systems Protection Board decision disposing of a “mixed” case (one which challenges certain adverse employment actions and also involves a claim under the federal anti-discrimination laws) on jurisdictional grounds is subject to judicial review in district court or in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
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.
Saint Peter’s Healthcare System v. Kaplan, No. 16-86 [Arg: 3.27.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974's church-plan exemption applies so long as a pension is maintained by an otherwise-qualifying church-affiliated organization, or whether the exemption applies only if, in addition, a church initially established the plan.
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.
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.
Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc., No. 15-1039 [Arg: 4.26.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether notice of commercial marketing given before Food and Drug Administration approval can be effective; and (2) whether, in any event, it is improper to treat Section 262(l)(8)(A) – the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009's “Notice of commercial marketing” provision which states that a biosimilar applicant shall provide notice to the incumbent seller of the biological product “not later than 180 days before the date of the first commercial marketing of the biological product licensed under” an abbreviated pathway for biosimilars – as a stand-alone requirement and as creating an injunctive remedy that delays all biosimilars by 180 days after approval. CVSG: 12/07/2016.
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.
Sessions v. Dimaya, No. 15-1498 [Arg: 1.17.2017 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.
Sessions v. Morales-Santana, No. 15-1191 [Arg: 11.9.2016 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether Congress’s decision to impose a different physical-presence requirement on unwed citizen mothers of foreign-born children than on other citizen parents of foreign-born children through 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409 (1958) violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection; and (2) whether the court of appeals erred in conferring U.S. citizenship on respondent, in the absence of any express statutory authority to do so.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, No. 16-605 [Arg: 4.17.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether intervenors participating in a lawsuit as of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) must have Article III standing (as three circuits have held), or whether Article III of the Constitution is satisfied so long as there is a valid case or controversy between the named parties (as seven circuits have held).
Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, No. 15-577 [Arg: 4.19.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the exclusion of churches from an otherwise neutral and secular aid program violates the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses when the state has no valid Establishment Clause concern.
Turner v. U.S., No. 15-1503 [Arg: 3.29.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the petitioners' convictions must be set aside under Brady v. Maryland.
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.
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.
Weaver v. Massachusetts, No. 16-240 [Arg: 4.19.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a defendant asserting ineffective assistance that results in a structural error must, in addition to demonstrating deficient performance, show that he was prejudiced by counsel's ineffectiveness, as held by four circuits and five state courts of last resort; or whether prejudice is presumed in such cases, as held by four other circuits and two state high courts.
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.
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.
Ziglar v. Abbasi, No. 15-1358 [Arg: 1.18.2017 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Court of Appeals, in finding that Respondents' Fifth Amendment claims did not arise in a “new context” for purposes of implying a remedy under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, erred by defining “context” at too high a level of generality where Respondents challenge the actions taken in the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001 regarding the detention of persons illegally in the United States whom the FBI had arrested in connection with its investigation of the September 11 attacks, thereby implicating concerns regarding national security, immigration, and the separation of powers; (2) whether the Court of Appeals, in denying qualified immunity to Petitioner Ziglar erred: (A) by failing to focus on the specific context of the case to determine whether the violative nature of Mr. Ziglar's specific conduct was at the time clearly established, instead defining the “established law” at the high level of generality that this Court has warned against; and (B) by finding that even though the applicability of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) to the actions of federal officials like Petitioner Ziglar was not clearly established at the time in question, Respondents nevertheless could maintain a § 1985(3) claim against him so long as his conduct violated some other clearly established law; and (3) whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding that Respondents' Fourth Amended Complaint met the pleading requirements of Ashcroft v. Iqbal , and related cases, because that complaint relied on allegations of hypothetical possibilities, conclusional assumptions, and unsupported insinuations of discriminatory intent that, at best, are merely consistent with Petitioner Ziglar's liability, but fall short of stating plausible claims.
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