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October Term 2018

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Merits cases (to be) decided during OT 2017
Air and Liquid Systems Corp. v. Devries, No. 17-1104

Issue(s): Whether products-liability defendants can be held liable under maritime law for injuries caused by products that they did not make, sell or distribute.
Apple v. Pepper, No. 17-204

Issue(s): Whether consumers may sue anyone who delivers goods to them for antitrust damages, even when they seek damages based on prices set by third parties who would be the immediate victims of the alleged offense. CVSG: 05/08/2018.
BNSF Railway Company v. Loos, No. 17-1042

Issue(s): Whether a railroad’s payment to an employee for time lost from work is subject to employment taxes under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act.
Bucklew v. Precythe, No. 17-8151

Issue(s): (1) Whether a court evaluating an as-applied challenge to a state’s method of execution based on an inmate’s rare and severe medical condition should assume that medical personnel are competent to manage his condition and that procedure will go as intended; (2) whether evidence comparing a state’s method of execution with an alternative proposed by an inmate must be offered via a single witness, or whether a court at summary judgment must look to the record as a whole to determine whether a factfinder could conclude that the two methods significantly differ in the risks they pose to the inmate; (3) whether the Eighth Amendment requires an inmate to prove an adequate alternative method of execution when raising an as-applied challenge to the state’s proposed method of execution based on his rare and severe medical condition; and (4) whether petitioner Russell Bucklew met his burden under Glossip v. Gross to prove what procedures would be used to administer his proposed alternative method of execution, the severity and duration of pain likely to be produced, and how they compare to the state’s method of execution.
Culbertson v. Berryhill, No. 17-773

Issue(s): Whether fees subject to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b)’s 25-percent cap related to the representation of individuals claiming Social Security benefits include, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 9th, and 10th Circuits hold, only fees for representation in court or, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 5th, and 11th Circuits hold, also fees for representation before the agency.
Frank v. Gaos, No. 17-961

Issue(s): Whether, or in what circumstances, a cy pres award of class action proceeds that provides no direct relief to class members supports class certification and comports with the requirement that a settlement binding class members must be “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”
Garza v. Idaho, No. 17-1026

Issue(s): Whether the “presumption of prejudice” recognized in Roe v. Flores-Ortega applies when a criminal defendant instructs his trial counsel to file a notice of appeal but trial counsel decides not to do so because the defendant’s plea agreement included an appeal waiver.
Gundy v. U.S., No. 17-6086

Issue(s): Whether the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act’s delegation of authority to the attorney general to issue regulations under 42 U.S.C. § 16913 violates the nondelegation doctrine.
Jam v. Int'l Finance Corp., No. 17-1011

Issue(s): Whether the International Organizations Immunities Act—which affords international organizations the “same immunity” from suit that foreign governments have, 22 U.S.C. § 288a(b)—confers the same immunity on such organizations as foreign governments have under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1602-11.
Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, No. 17-647

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Supreme Court should reconsider the portion of Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank that requires property owners to exhaust state court remedies to ripen federal takings claims; and (2) whether Williamson County’s ripeness doctrine bars review of takings claims that assert that a law causes an unconstitutional taking on its face, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 10th Circuits hold, or whether facial claims are exempt from Williamson County, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st, 4th and 7th Circuits hold.
Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela, No. 17-988

Issue(s): Whether the Federal Arbitration Act forecloses a state-law interpretation of an arbitration agreement that would authorize class arbitration based solely on general language commonly used in arbitration agreements.
Lorenzo v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-1077

Issue(s): Whether a misstatement claim that does not meet the elements set forth in Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders can be repackaged and pursued as a fraudulent-scheme claim.
Madison v. Alabama, No. 17-7505

Issue(s): (1) Whether, consistent with the Eighth Amendment, and the Supreme Court’s decisions in Ford v. Wainwright and Panetti v. Quarterman, a state may execute a prisoner whose mental disability leaves him with no memory of his commission of the capital offense; and (2) whether evolving standards of decency and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment bar the execution of a prisoner whose competency has been compromised by vascular dementia and multiple strokes causing severe cognitive dysfunction and a degenerative medical condition that prevents him from remembering the crime for which he was convicted or understanding the circumstances of his scheduled execution.
Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido, No. 17-587

Issue(s): Whether, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the same 20-employee minimum that applies to private employers also applies to political subdivisions of a state, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits have held, or whether the ADEA applies instead to all state political subdivisions of any size, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held in this case.
New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, No. 17-340

Issue(s): (1) Whether a dispute over applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act's Section 1 exemption is an arbitrability issue that must be resolved in arbitration pursuant to a valid delegation clause; and (2) whether the FAA's Section 1 exemption, which applies on its face only to “contracts of employment,” is inapplicable to independent contractor agreements.
Nielsen v. Preap, No. 16-1363

Issue(s): Whether a criminal alien becomes exempt from mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) if, after the alien is released from criminal custody, the Department of Homeland Security does not take him into immigration custody immediately.
Royal v. Murphy, No. 17-1107

Issue(s): Whether the 1866 territorial boundaries of the Creek Nation within the former Indian Territory of eastern Oklahoma constitute an “Indian reservation” today under 18 U.S.C. § 1151(a).
Stokeling v. U.S., No. 17-5554

Issue(s): Whether a state robbery offense that includes “as an element” the common law requirement of overcoming “victim resistance” is categorically a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i), when the offense has been specifically interpreted by state appellate courts to require only slight force to overcome resistance.
Sturgeon v. Frost, No. 17-949

Issue(s): Whether the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act prohibits the National Park Service from exercising regulatory control over state, native corporation and private land physically located within the boundaries of the national park system in Alaska.
Timbs v. Indiana, No. 17-1091

Issue(s): Whether the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause is incorporated against the states under the Fourteenth Amendment.
U.S. v. Sims, No. 17-766

Issue(s): Whether burglary of a nonpermanent or mobile structure that is adapted or used for overnight accommodation can qualify as “burglary” under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii).
U.S. v. Stitt, No. 17-765

Issue(s): Whether burglary of a nonpermanent or mobile structure that is adapted or used for overnight accommodation can qualify as “burglary” under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(ii).
Virginia Uranium v. Warren, No. 16-1275

Issue(s): Whether the Atomic Energy Act pre-empts a state law that on its face regulates an activity within its jurisdiction (here, uranium mining), but has the purpose and effect of regulating the radiological safety hazards of activities entrusted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (here, the milling of uranium and the management of the resulting tailings). CVSG: 04/09/2018.
Weyerhaeuser Company v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, No. 17-71

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Endangered Species Act prohibits designation of private land as unoccupied critical habitat that is neither habitat nor essential to species conservation; and (2) whether an agency decision not to exclude an area from critical habitat because of the economic impact of designation is subject to judicial review.
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