Breaking News

Today’s Opinions and Order List

The Court delievered opinions today in the following four argued cases. (Many more details in Lyle’s post below.):

No. 05-130, Ebay Inc. v. Mercexchange, vacated and remanded 9-0, with Justice Thomas writing the majority opinion. The Chief Justice wrote a concurring opinion that Justices Scalia and Ginsburg joined, reminding the lower courts that they should apply the four-factor permanent injunction test in accord with historical legal standards in similar cases. Justice Kennedy also wrote a concurrence, which Justices Stevens, Souter, and Breyer joined. The Kennedy concurrence stressed that whereas historical analogies should certainly be a guide, history is only so useful because “[i]n cases now arising trial courts . . . in many instances the nature of the patent being enforced and the economic function of the patent holder present considerations quite unlike earlier cases.” Justice Alito did not join a concurrence.

No. 04-1527, S.D. Warren Co. v. Maine, unanimously affirmed. Justice Souter wrote the opinion, the legislative history subsection of which Justice Scalia did not join.

No. 04-1704, DaimlerChrysler v. Cuno, unanmously vacated in part and remanded, in an opinion written by the Chief Justice. Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which she signaled her non-endorsement of a good percentage of the long line of cases denying standing to taxpayers “presenting generalized grievances.”

No. 05-260, Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services
, unanimously affirmed in relevant part in an opinion written by the Chief Justice.

Here is today’s Orders List.

The Court invited the Solicitor General to file briefs expressing the views of the United States in two cases:

No. 05-983, Winkelman v. Parma City School District, in which the question presented is whether and under what circumstances non-lawyer parents of a disabled child may bring a pro se case in federal court to enforce the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.


No. 05-1006, Apotex Inc. v. Pfizer Inc., in which the question presented is whether
The Question Presented is whether a suit brought by a generic drug manufacturer seeking a declaratory judgment that a generic equivalent will not infringe a patent held by the brand-name manufacturer states a justiciable controversy when the failure to secure a court judgment prohibits the federal government from approving the generic equivalent and the prospect of massive patent liability deters the generic manufacturer from entering the marketplace. (The Chief Justice is not participating in this case.)

The Court granted certiorari in these cases:

No. 05-593, Osborn v. Haley. The petition raises the following questions: Whether the Westfall Act authorizes the Attorney General to certify that a federal employee was acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident solely by denying that such incident occurred at all, and whether the Act forbids a district court to remand an action to state court upon concluding that the Attorney General’s purported certification was not authorized by the Act. The Court directed the parties to brief and argue a third question, as well: Whether the court of appeals had jurisdiction to review the district court’s remand order, notwithstanding 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d).

No. 05-595, Whorton v. Bockting, in which the questions presented are whether Crawford v. Washington applies retroactively to cases on collateral review, and, if so, whether Teague v. Lane applies.

No. 05-746, Norfolk Southern Railway v. Sorrell, limited to the first question presented, namely, whether the causation standard for employee contributory negligence under the Federal Employers Liability Act differs from the causation standard for railroad negligence.

No. 05- 848, Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp.. In this case, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the EPA’s regulatory definition of emissions “increases” for purposes of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program violates the Clean Air Act because it differs from a regulatory definition EPA employs to measure emissions increases under another program under the Act, the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). The questions presented are whether that decision violated Section 307(b) of the Act, which provides that national Clean Air Act regulations are subject to challenge “only” in the D.C. Circuit by petition for review filed within 60 days of their promulgation, and “shall not be subject to judicial review” in enforcement proceedings, 42 U.S.C. 7607(b); and whether the Act’s definition of “modification” rendered unlawful EPA’s longstanding regulatory test defining PSD “increases” by reference to actual, annual emissions.