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October Term 2017

View this list sorted by case name.

October Sitting

Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, No. 16-300 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.21.2018]

Holding: Congress has instructed in the Federal Arbitration Act that arbitration agreements providing for individualized proceedings must be enforced, and neither the Arbitration Act’s saving clause nor the National Labor Relations Act suggests otherwise.
Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.21.2018]

Holding: Congress has instructed in the Federal Arbitration Act that arbitration agreements providing for individualized proceedings must be enforced, and neither the Arbitration Act’s saving clause nor the National Labor Relations Act suggests otherwise.
Sessions v. Dimaya, No. 15-1498 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.17.2018]

Holding: 18 U. S. C. §16(b), which defines “violent felony” for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s removal provisions, is unconstitutionally vague.
National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, No. 16-307 [Arg: 10.02.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.21.2018]

Holding: Congress has instructed in the Federal Arbitration Act that arbitration agreements providing for individualized proceedings must be enforced, and neither the Arbitration Act’s saving clause nor the National Labor Relations Act suggests otherwise.
Gill v. Whitford, No. 16-1161 [Arg: 10.03.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2018]

Holding: Plaintiffs -- Wisconsin Democratic voters who rested their claim of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering on statewide injury -- have failed to demonstrate Article III standing.
Jennings v. Rodriguez, No. 15-1204 [Arg: 10.03.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.27.2018]

Holding: Sections 1225(b), 1226(a) and 1226(c) of Title 8 of the U.S. Code do not give detained aliens the right to periodic bond hearings during the course of their detention; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit misapplied the canon of constitutional avoidance in holding otherwise.
District of Columbia v. Wesby, No. 15-1485 [Arg: 10.04.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.22.2018]

Holding: (1) The police officers had probable cause to arrest several partygoers who later sued for false arrest under the Fourth Amendment and District of Columbia law, and (2) the officers are entitled to qualified immunity.
Class v. U.S., No. 16-424 [Arg: 10.04.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.21.2018]

Holding: A guilty plea, by itself, does not bar a federal criminal defendant from challenging the constitutionality of the statute of conviction on direct appeal.
Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, No. 16-658 [Arg: 10.10.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 11.8.2017]

Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit erred in treating as jurisdictional Rule 4(a)(5)(C)’s limitation on extensions of time to file a notice of appeal.
Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 16-499 [Arg: 10.11.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.24.2018]

Holding: Foreign corporations may not be defendants in suits brought under the Alien Tort Statute.
National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, No. 16-299 [Arg: 10.11.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.22.2018]

Holding: Because the Waters of the United States Rule – a definition of the statutory term “waters of the United States” proffered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers in a 2015 regulation – falls outside the ambit of Section 1369(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act, challenges to the rule must be filed in federal district courts.

November Sitting

Ayestas v. Davis, No. 16-6795 [Arg: 10.30.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.21.2018]

Holding: The district court’s denial of Carlos Ayestas’ request for funding for “reasonably necessary” services of experts, investigators and the like, under 18 U. S. C. §3599(f), to develop his claim that both his trial and state habeas counsel were ineffective was a judicial decision subject to appellate review under the standard jurisdictional provisions; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit did not apply the correct legal standard in affirming the denial of that request.
Wilson v. Sellers, No. 16-6855 [Arg: 10.30.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.17.2018]

Holding: A federal habeas court reviewing an unexplained state-court decision on the merits should “look through” that decision to the last related state-court decision that provides a relevant rationale and presume that the unexplained decision adopted the same reasoning; the state may rebut the presumption by showing that the unexplained decision most likely relied on different grounds than the reasoned decision below.
U.S. Bank National Association v. Village at Lakeridge, No. 15-1509 [Arg: 10.31.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.05.2018]

Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit was right to review the Bankruptcy Court’s determination of non-statutory insider status for clear error (rather than de novo).
Artis v. District of Columbia, No. 16-460 [Arg: 11.1.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 1.22.2018]

Holding: In the instruction in 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d), which provides that the “period of limitations for” refiling in state court a state claim dismissed along with related federal claims by a federal district court exercising supplemental jurisdiction, “shall be tolled while the claim is pending [in federal court] and for a period of 30 days after it is dismissed unless State law provides for a longer tolling period,” to “toll” a state-law statute-of-limitations period means to hold it in abeyance, i.e., to stop the clock.
Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, No. 16-784 [Arg: 11.6.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.27.2018]

Holding: The Bankruptcy Code allows trustees to set aside and recover certain transfers for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate, including certain fraudulent transfers “of an interest of the debtor in property”; the Bankruptcy Code also sets out a number of limits on the exercise of these avoiding powers, including the Section 546(e) safe harbor – which, inter alia, provides that a “trustee may not avoid a transfer that is a … settlement payment … made by or to (or for the benefit of) a … financial institution .. or that is a transfer made by or to (or for the benefit of) a … financial institution … in connection with a securities contract.” In the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by Valley View Downs and its parent company, the only relevant transfer for purposes of the Section 546(e) safe harbor is the transfer that the trustee, FTI Consulting Inc., seeks to avoid, i.e., the transfer from Valley View to Merit Management Group for the sale of Bedford Downs Management’s stock.
Patchak v. Zinke, No. 16-498 [Arg: 11.7.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.27.2018]

Holding: David Patchak filed suit challenging the authority of the secretary of the Interior Department to take into trust a property (Bradley Property) on which Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians wished to build a casino. In an earlier appeal in the case, the Supreme Court held that the secretary lacked sovereign immunity and that Patchak had standing, and it remanded the case for further proceedings. Congress subsequently enacted the Gun Lake Act, which “reaffirmed as trust land” the Bradley Property, Section 2(a), and provided that “an action . . . relating to [that] land shall not be filed or maintained in a Federal court and shall be promptly dismissed,” Section 2(b). The court of appeals properly affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Patchak’s lawsuit pursuant to that statute.

December Sitting

Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, No. 16-712 [Arg: 11.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.24.2018]

Holding: Inter partes review -- which authorizes the United States Patent and Trademark Office to reconsider and cancel an already-issued patent claim, under 35 U. S. C. §§311–319 -- does not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution.
SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, No. 16-969 [Arg: 11.27.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.24.2018]

Holding: When the United States Patent and Trademark Office institutes an inter partes review to reconsider an already-issued patent claim, under 35 U. S. C. §§311–319, it must decide the patentability of all of the claims the petitioner has challenged.
Digital Realty Trust v. Somers, No. 16-1276 [Arg: 11.28.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.21.2018]

Holding: The anti-retaliation provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act does not extend to an individual who has not reported a violation of the securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, No. 15-1439 [Arg: 11.28.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.20.2018]

Holding: The Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 did not strip state courts of jurisdiction to adjudicate class actions alleging only 1933 Securities Act violations; nor did it authorize removing such suits from state to federal court.
Carpenter v. U.S., No. 16-402 [Arg: 11.29.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2018]

Holding: The government’s acquisition of Timothy Carpenter’s cell-site records from his wireless carriers was a Fourth Amendment search; the government did not obtain a warrant supported by probable cause before acquiring those records.
Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran, No. 16-534 [Arg: 12.4.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.21.2018]

Holding: Section 1610(g) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 does not provide a freestanding basis for parties holding a judgment under Section 1605A to attach and execute against the property of a foreign state; rather, for Section 1610(g) to apply, the immunity of the property at issue must be rescinded under a separate provision within Section 1610.
Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 16-476 [Arg: 12.4.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.14.2018]

Holding: Provisions of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that prohibit state authorization and licensing of sports gambling schemes violate the Constitution’s anticommandeering rule; no other PASPA provisions are severable from the provisions at issue.
New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Inc. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 16-477 [Arg: 12.4.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.14.2018]

Holding: Provisions of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that prohibit state authorization and licensing of sports gambling schemes violate the Constitution’s anticommandeering rule; no other PASPA provisions are severable from the provisions at issue.
Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111 [Arg: 12.5.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.04.2018]

Holding: The Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s actions in assessing a cakeshop owner’s reasons for declining to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration violated the free exercise clause.
Murphy v. Smith, No. 16-1067 [Arg: 12.6.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 02.21.2018]

Holding: In cases governed by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d), district courts must apply as much of a judgment in a federal civil rights suit as necessary, up to 25 percent, to satisfy an award of attorney’s fees.
Marinello v. U.S., No. 16-1144 [Arg: 12.6.2017 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.21.2018]

Holding: To convict a defendant under 26 U. S. C. §7212(a) -- which forbids “corruptly or by force or threats of force . . . obstruct[ing] or imped[ing], or endeavor[ing] to obstruct or impede, the due administration of [the Internal Revenue Code]” -- the federal government must prove the defendant was aware of a pending tax-related proceeding, such as a particular investigation or audit, or could reasonably foresee that such a proceeding would commence.

January Sitting

Florida v. Georgia, No. 22o142 [Arg: 1.8.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.27.2018]

Holding: Florida has made a legally sufficient showing as to the possibility of fashioning an effective remedial decree equitably apportioning the water from an interstate river basin.
Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado, No. 22o141 [Arg: 1.8.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.05.2018]

Holding: The United States may pursue its complaint in intervention asserting a claim that New Mexico has violated the Rio Grande Compact.
Byrd v. U.S., No. 16-1371 [Arg: 1.9.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.14.2018]

Holding: The mere fact that a driver in lawful possession or control of a rental car is not listed on the rental agreement will not defeat his or her otherwise reasonable expectation of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment.
Collins v. Virginia, No. 16-1027 [Arg: 1.9.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.29.2018]

Holding: The Fourth Amendment’s automobile exception does not permit the warrantless entry of a home or its curtilage in order to search a vehicle therein.
Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, No. 16-980 [Arg: 1.10.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.11.2018]

Holding: The process that Ohio uses to remove voters on change-of-residence grounds does not violate the National Voter Registration Act.
Hall v. Hall, No. 16-1150 [Arg: 1.16.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 03.27.2018]

Holding: When one of several cases consolidated under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) is finally decided, that decision confers upon the losing party the immediate right to appeal, regardless of whether any of the other consolidated cases remain pending.
Cox v. U.S., No. 16-1017 [Arg: 1.16.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.22.2018]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in holding that petitioners' claims—which asserted that a judge's service on the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review disqualifies him or her from continuing to serve on either the Army or Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals under 10 U.S.C. § 973(b)(2)(A)(ii)—were moot; (2) whether these judges' service on the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review disqualifies them from continuing to serve on the Army or Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals under 10 U.S.C. § 973(b)(2)(A)(ii); (3) whether the judges' simultaneous service on both the U.S Court of Military Commission Review and the Army or Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals violates the appointments clause; and (4) whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review this case and Dalmazzi v. United States under 28 U.S.C. § 1259(3).
Dalmazzi v. U.S., No. 16-961 [Arg: 1.16.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2018]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in holding that the petitioner's challenge to Judge Martin T. Mitchell's continued service on the U.S. Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, after he was nominated and confirmed to the Article I U.S. Court of Military Commission Review, was moot – because his CMCR commission had not been signed until after the U.S. Air Force CCA decided her case on the merits, even though she moved for reconsideration after the commission was signed; (2) whether Judge Mitchell's service on the CMCR disqualified him from continuing to serve on the AFCCA under 10 U.S.C. § 973(b)(2)(A)(ii), which requires express authorization from Congress before active-duty military officers may hold a “civil office,” including positions that require “an appointment by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate”; (3) whether Judge Mitchell's simultaneous service on both the CMCR and the AFCCA violated the appointments clause; and (4) whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review this case and Cox v. United States under 28 U.S.C. § 1259(3).
Ortiz v. U.S., No. 16-1423 [Arg: 1.16.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2018]

Holding: Military judge Colonel Martin Mitchell’s simultaneous service on an Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Military Commission Review violated neither 10 U. S. C. §973(b)(2)(A) nor the appointments clause of the Constitution.
McCoy v. Louisiana, No. 16-8255 [Arg: 1.17.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.14.2018]

Holding: The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the objective of his defense and to insist that his counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel’s experienced-based view is that confessing guilt offers the defendant the best chance to avoid the death penalty.
Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, No. 16-1362 [Arg: 1.17.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.02.2018]

Holding: Because service advisors at car dealerships are “salesm[e]n . . . primarily engaged in . . . servicing automobiles,” 29 U. S. C. §213(b)(10)(A), they are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime-pay requirement.

February Sitting

Currier v. Virginia, No. 16-1348 [Arg: 2.20.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2018]

Holding: Because Michael Currier consented to a severance of the multiple charges against him, his second trial and resulting conviction, following an acquittal at his first trial, did not violate the double jeopardy clause.
City of Hays, Kansas v. Vogt, No. 16-1495 [Arg: 2.20.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.29.2018]

Issue(s): Whether the Fifth Amendment is violated when statements are used at a probable cause hearing but not at a criminal trial.
Rosales-Mireles v. U.S., No. 16-9493 [Arg: 2.21.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2018]

Holding: A miscalculation of a Federal Guidelines sentencing range that has been determined to be plain and to affect a defendant’s substantial rights calls for a court of appeals to exercise its discretion under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 52(b) to vacate the defendant’s sentence in the ordinary case.
Dahda v. U.S., No. 17-43 [Arg: 2.21.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.14.2018]

Holding: Wiretap orders authorized by a judge for the federal district of Kansas in the government’s investigation of a suspected Kansas drug distribution ring were not facially insufficient, since they were not lacking any information that the wiretap statute required them to include and since the challenged language authorizing interception outside the court’s territorial jurisdiction was surplus.
Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, No. 16-1466 [Arg: 2.26.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.27.2018]

Holding: The state of Illinois’ extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment; Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., which concluded otherwise, is overruled.
Ohio v. American Express Co., No. 16-1454 [Arg: 2.26.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.25.2018]

Holding: American Express’ anti-steering provisions in its merchant contracts—which prohibit merchants from avoiding fees by discouraging customers’ American Express card use at the point of sale—do not violate federal antitrust law.
U.S. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-2 [Arg: 2.27.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 04.17.2018]

Issue(s): Whether a United States provider of email services must comply with a probable-cause-based warrant issued under 18 U.S.C. § 2703 by making disclosure in the United States of electronic communications within that provider's control, even if the provider has decided to store that material abroad.
Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Florida, No. 17-21 [Arg: 2.27.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2018]

Holding: The existence of probable cause for Fane Lozman’s arrest for disrupting a city council meeting does not bar his First Amendment retaliatory arrest claim under the circumstances of this case.
Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, No. 16-1435 [Arg: 2.28.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.14.2018]

Holding: Minnesota’s ban on political apparel at polling places violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause.

March Sitting

Sveen v. Melin, No. 16-1432 [Arg: 3.19.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.11.2018]

Holding: The retroactive application of Minnesota’s revocation-on-divorce statute -- which automatically nullifies an ex-spouse’s beneficiary designation on a life-insurance policy or other will substitute -- does not violate the Constitution’s contracts clause.
National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, No. 16-1140 [Arg: 3.20.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.26.2018]

Holding: Petitioners are likely to succeed on their claim that the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT Act) violates the First Amendment.
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v. Lundgren, No. 17-387 [Arg: 3.21.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.21.2018]

Holding: County of Yakima v. Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakima Nation, 502 U. S. 251, addressed only a question of statutory interpretation of the Indian General Allotment Act of 1887, not the question whether Indian tribes have sovereign immunity in in rem lawsuits. The Lundgrens now ask the Supreme Court to affirm on an alternative, common-law ground: that the tribe cannot assert sovereign immunity because this suit relates to immovable property located in Washington state, purchased by the tribe in the same manner as a private individual. Because this alternative argument did not emerge until late in this case, the Washington Supreme Court should address it in the first instance.
U.S. v. Sanchez-Gomez, No. 17-312 [Arg: 3.26.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.14.2018]

Holding: The defendants’ appeals challenging the use of full restraints during nonjury pretrial proceedings became moot when their underlying criminal cases came to an end before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit could render its decision.
China Agritech Inc. v. Resh, No. 17-432 [Arg: 3.26.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.11.2018]

Holding: Upon denial of class certification, a putative class member may not, in lieu of promptly joining an existing suit or promptly filing an individual action, commence a class action anew beyond the time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations.
Hughes v. U.S., No. 17-155 [Arg: 3.27.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.04.2018]

Holding: A Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement is “based on” the defendant’s Federal Sentencing Guidelines range so long as that range was part of the framework the district court relied on in imposing the sentence or accepting the agreement; thus, Erik Hughes may seek a sentencing reduction under 18 U. S. C. §3582(c)(2).
Koons v. U.S., No. 17-5716 [Arg: 3.27.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.04.2018]

Holding: Petitioners do not qualify for sentence reductions under 18 U. S. C. §3582(c)(2) because their sentences were not “based on” their lowered Federal Sentencing Guidelines ranges but, instead, were “based on” their mandatory minimums and their substantial assistance to the government.
Benisek v. Lamone, No. 17-333 [Arg: 3.28.18 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2018]

Holding: Because the balance of equities and the public interest tilt against the preliminary injunction motion of plaintiffs claiming that a Maryland congressional district was gerrymandered to retaliate against them for their political views, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion.

April Sitting

WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011 [Arg: 4.16.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.22.2018]

Holding: The focus of the Patent Act’s general damages provision, 35 U. S. C. §284, in a case involving infringement under Section 271(f)(2) is on the act of exporting components from the United States; therefore, WesternGeco’s award for lost profits was a permissible domestic application of Section 284, not an impermissible extraterritorial one.
Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. U.S., No. 17-530 [Arg: 4.16.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.21.2018]

Holding: Employee stock options are not taxable “compensation” under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937.
Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling, No. 16-1215 [Arg: 4.17.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.04.2018]

Holding: Single-asset statements qualify as “statement[s] respecting the debtor’s . . . financial condition” for purposes of Bankruptcy Code §523(a)(2)’s exceptions to discharge; where, as here, a single-asset statement is not in writing, the associated debt may be discharged.
South Dakota v. Wayfair, No. 17-494 [Arg: 4.17.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.21.2018]

Holding: Quill Corp. v. North Dakota and National Bellas Hess Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Illinois -- which held that a state cannot require an out-of-state seller with no physical presence in the state to collect and remit sales taxes on goods the seller ships to consumers in the state -- are overruled.
Lagos v. U.S., No. 16-1519 [Arg: 4.18.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 05.29.2018]

Holding: In a provision of the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 that requires certain convicted defendants to “reimburse the victim for . . . expenses incurred during participation in the investigation or prosecution of the offense or attendance at proceedings related to the offense,” 18 U. S. C. §3663A(b)(4), the words “investigation” and “proceedings” are limited to government investigations and criminal proceedings and do not include private investigations and civil or bankruptcy proceedings.
Washington v. U.S., No. 17-269 [Arg: 4.18.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.11.2018]

Issue(s): (1) Whether a treaty “right of taking fish, at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations ... in common with all citizens” guaranteed “that the number of fish would always be sufficient to provide a ‘moderate living’ to the tribes”; (2) whether the district court erred in dismissing the state's equitable defenses against the federal government where the federal government signed these treaties in the 1850’s, for decades told the state to design culverts a particular way, and then filed suit in 2001 claiming that the culvert design it provided violates the treaties it signed; and (3) whether the district court’s injunction violates federalism and comity principles by requiring Washington to replace hundreds of culverts, at a cost of several billion dollars, when many of the replacements will have no impact on salmon, and plaintiffs showed no clear connection between culvert replacement and tribal fisheries.
Pereira v. Sessions, No. 17-459 [Arg: 4.23.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.21.2018]

Holding: A putative notice sent to a nonpermanent resident to appear at a removal proceeding that fails to designate a specific time or place for that proceeding does not end the continuous residence period calculation necessary for possible cancellation of the individual’s removal.
Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-130 [Arg: 4.23.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.21.2018]

Holding: Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judges are “officers of the United States,” subject to the Constitution’s appointments clause.
Chavez-Meza v. U.S., No. 17-5639 [Arg: 4.23.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.18.2018]

Holding: Because the record in this case demonstrates that the judge had a reasoned basis for his decision, the judge’s explanation for reducing, under 18 U. S. C. §3582(c)(2), Adaucto Chavez-Meza’s sentence to the middle rather than the bottom of the amended Federal Guidelines range was adequate.
Abbott v. Perez, No. 17-586 [Arg: 4.24.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.25.2018]

Holding: The district court disregarded the presumption of legislative good faith and improperly reversed the burden of proof when it required the state to show a lack of discriminatory intent in adopting new districting plans; one of the challenged state house districts is an impermissible racial gerrymander.
Animal Science Products v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., No. 16-1220 [Arg: 4.24.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.14.2018]

Holding: A federal court determining foreign law under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 44.1 should accord respectful consideration to a foreign government’s submission, but the court is not bound to accord conclusive effect to the foreign government’s statements.
Abbott v. Perez, No. 17-626 [Arg: 4.24.2018 Trans.; Decided 06.25.2018]

Holding: The district court disregarded the presumption of legislative good faith and improperly reversed the burden of proof when it required the state to show a lack of discriminatory intent in adopting new districting plans; one of the challenged state house districts is an impermissible racial gerrymander.
Trump v. Hawaii, No. 17-965 [Arg: 4.25.2018 Trans./Aud.; Decided 06.26.2018]

Holding: The president has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him under 8 U. S. C. §1182(f) to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States; respondents have not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 violates the establishment clause.

Decided without oral argument

Kernan v. Cuero, No. 16-1468 [ Decided 11.6.2017]

Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals erred when it held that “federal law” as interpreted by the Supreme Court “clearly” establishes that specific performance of the lower sentence that the parties had originally expected is constitutionally required.
Dunn v. Madison, No. 17-193 [ Decided 11.6.2017]

Holding: Because the state court’s determinations of law and fact were not “so lacking in justification” as to give rise to error “beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement,” Vernon Madison’s claim to federal habeas relief must fail.
Kisela v. Hughes, No. 17-467 [ Decided 04.02.2018]

Holding: Police officer Andrew Kisela is entitled to qualified immunity because his actions did not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.
CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese, No. 17-515 [ Decided 2.20.2018]

Holding: The Supreme Court has long held that collective-bargaining agreements must be interpreted “according to ordinary principles of contract law,” as stated in M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett. A contract is not ambiguous unless it is subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, and the inferences made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit under its own precedent, International Union, United Auto, Aerospace, & Agricultural Implement Workers of America v. Yard-Man Inc., cannot generate a reasonable interpretation because they are not “ordinary principles of contract law.” The only reasonable interpretation of the 1998 agreement between retirees and their former employer is that the health care benefits expired when the collective-bargaining agreement expired in May 2004.
Azar v. Garza, No. 17-654 [ Decided 6.4.2018]

Holding: The litigation over Jane Doe’s temporary restraining order allowing her to obtain an abortion despite the policy of the Office of Refugee Resettlement falls squarely within established practice to reverse or vacate the judgment below and remand with a direction to dismiss when a civil case from a court in the federal system has become moot while on its way to the Supreme Court.
Sause v. Bauer, No. 17-742 [ Decided 6.28.2018]

Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit erred in holding that police officers were entitled to qualified immunity without considering the ground on which the officers were present in Mary Anne Sause’s home and the nature of any legitimate law enforcement interests that might have justified their order that Sause stop praying at the specific time in question.
Sexton v. Beaudreaux, No. 17-1106 [ Decided 6.28.2018]

Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit erred in reversing a denial of federal habeas relief on the ground that the state court had unreasonably rejected Nicholas Beaudreaux’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim.
North Carolina v. Covington, No. 17-1364 [ Decided 6.28.2018]

Holding: The district court’s order is affirmed insofar as it provided a court-drawn remedy for Senate Districts 21 and 28 and House Districts 21 and 57 and reversed as to the court’s actions concerning the legislature’s redrawing of House districts in Wake and Mecklenburg Counties.
Tharpe v. Sellers, No. 17-6075 [ Decided 1.8.2018]

Holding: On the unusual facts of this case, the court of appeals should not have rested its review of Keith Tharpe’s application for a certificate of appealability on the ground that it was indisputable among reasonable jurists that Barney Gattie’s service on the jury did not prejudice Tharpe.

Cases dismissed from merits docket

PEM Entities LLC v. Levin, No. 16-492

Issue(s): Whether bankruptcy courts should apply a federal rule of decision (as five circuits have held) or a state law rule of decision (as two circuits have held, expressly acknowledging a split of authority) when deciding to recharacterize a debt claim in bankruptcy as a capital contribution.
Leidos Inc. v. Indiana Public Retirement System, No. 16-581

Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit erred in holding – in direct conflict with the decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd and 9th Circuits – that Item 303 of Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation S-K creates a duty to disclose that is actionable under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5.
Trump v. Int'l Refugee Assistance Project, No. 16-1436

Issue(s): (1) Whether respondents' challenge to the temporary suspension of entry of aliens abroad under Section 2(c) of Executive Order No. 13,780 is justiciable; (2) whether Section 2(c)'s temporary suspension of entry violates the Establishment Clause; (3) whether the global injunction, which rests on alleged injury to a single individual plaintiff, is impermissibly overbroad; and (4) whether the challenges to Section 2(c) became moot on June 14, 2017.
Trump v. Hawaii, No. 16-1540

Issue(s): (1) Whether respondents' challenge to the temporary suspension of entry of aliens abroad under Section 2(c) of Executive Order No. 13,780 is justiciable; (2) whether Section 2(c)'s temporary suspension of entry violates the Establishment Clause; (3) whether the global injunction, which rests on alleged injury to a single individual plaintiff, is impermissibly overbroad; and (4) whether the challenges to Section 2(c) became moot on June 14, 2017.
Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. Tesla Energy Operations Inc., No. 17-368

Issue(s): Whether orders denying state-action immunity to public entities are immediately appealable under the collateral-order doctrine.
Term Snapshot
Awards