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This Term’s pending cases

So far, the Court has decided sixty-six of its argued cases this Term, including all cases argued during the October Sitting. However, eleven argued cases are still pending and are expected to be decided before the end of the Term. Below the jump, you’ll find a list of all this Term’s outstanding cases and the issues involved, organized by sitting. (Links to additional materials, including commentary and the briefs in the case, are available on our sister site, SCOTUSwiki; you can access them by clicking on the case name below.)


Bilski v. Kappos (08-964)
Argued: Nov. 9, 2009
Issue: Whether a “process” must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or transform a particular article into a different state or thing (”machine-or-transformation” test), to be eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101, and whether the “machine-or-transformation” test for patent eligibility, contradicts Congress’s intent that patents protect “method[s] of doing business” in 35 U.S.C. § 273.


Free Enterprise Fund and Beckstead and Watts, LLP v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (08-861)
Argued: Dec. 7, 2009
Issue: Whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is consistent with separation-of-powers principles – as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is in turn overseen by the President – or contrary to the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, as the PCAOB members are appointed by the SEC.

Black v. United States (08-876)
Argued: Dec. 8, 2009
Issue: Whether the “honest services” clause of 18 U.S.C. § 1346 applies in cases in which the jury did not find – nor did the district court instruct it that it had to find – that the defendants “reasonably contemplated identifiable economic harm,” and whether the defendants’ reversal claim is preserved for review after they objected to the government’s request for a special verdict.

Weyhrauch v. United States (08-1196)
Argued: Dec. 8, 2009
Issue: Whether, to convict a state official for depriving the public of its right to the defendant’s honest services through the non-disclosure of material information, in violation of the mail-fraud statute (18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1346), the government must prove that the defendant violated a disclosure duty imposed by state law.


Granite Rock Company v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters (08-1214)
Argued: Jan. 19, 2010
Issue: Whether a federal court has jurisdiction to determine collective bargaining agreement formation and whether a Section 301(a) action is available against a union that is not a direct signatory to the collective bargaining agreement.


Skilling v. United States (08-1394)
Argued: Mar. 1, 2010
Issue: Whether the federal “honest services” fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1346, requires the government to prove that the defendant’s conduct was intended to achieve “private gain” rather than to advance the employer’s interests, and, if not, whether Section 1346 is unconstitutionally vague; whether the government must rebut the presumption of jury prejudice, which arose because of pretrial publicity and community impact of the alleged conduct, and, if so, whether the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that no juror was actually prejudiced.

McDonald v. City of Chicago (08-1521)
Argued: Mar. 2, 2010
Issue: Whether the Second Amendment is incorporated into the Due Process Clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment so as to be applicable to the States, thereby invalidating ordinances prohibiting possession of handguns in the home.


Magwood v. Patterson (09-198)
Argued: Mar. 24, 2010
Issue: Whether, when a person is resentenced after having obtained federal habeas relief from an earlier sentence, a claim in a federal habeas petition challenging that new sentencing judgment is a “second or successive” claim under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b) if the petitioner could have challenged his previous sentence on the same constitutional grounds.  [Disclosure:  Akin Gump and Howe & Russell represent the petitioner in the case.]

Morrison v. National Australia Bank (08-1191)
Argued: Mar. 29, 2010
Issue: Whether the judicially implied private right of action under Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 should, in the absence of any expression of congressional intent, be extended to permit fraud-on-the-market claims by a class of foreign investors who purchased, on a foreign securities exchange, foreign stock issued by a foreign company.


Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (08-1371)
Argued: Apr. 19, 2010
Issue: Whether a public university law school may deny school funding and other benefits to a religious student organization because the group requires its officers and voting members to agree with its core religious viewpoints.

Doe v. Reed (09-559)
Argued: Apr. 28, 2010
Issue: (1) Whether the First Amendment right to privacy in political speech, association, and belief requires strict scrutiny when a state compels public release of identifying information about petition signers; and (2) whether compelled public disclosure of identifying information about petition signers is narrowly tailored to a compelling interest.