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Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued three decisions, leaving 24 cases to be decided before the end of the term. In Quarles v. United States, the court ruled unanimously that, for a state-law burglary conviction to qualify as a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act, which imposes longer sentences on repeat offenders with guns, a defendant can form the intent required to commit burglary at any time after entering a structure unlawfully. Rory Little has this blog’s opinion analysis. Jordan Rubin reports for Bloomberg Law that “[i]t’s the justices’ third ruling on the law this term and the government’s third win.” Commentary comes from Kent Scheidegger at Crime & Consequences.

In Parker Drilling Management Services. Ltd. v. Newton, another unanimous opinion, the justices ruled that when federal law addresses the issue, state law is not adopted as surrogate federal law on the outer continental shelf. For AP, Jessica Gresko reports that the court “said that federal law applies” to workers on oil-drilling platforms off the California coast “and doesn’t require them to be paid for nonworking time spent at their work location on the Outer Continental Shelf.”

In Return Mail Inc. v. United States Postal Service, the court held 6-3 that the government is not a “person” who can challenge the validity of a patent under the America Invents Act. Subscript Law has a graphic explainer for the decision. Mark Walsh has a first-hand account of yesterday’s opinion announcements for this blog.

The court also issued orders from last week’s conference, adding five cases to its merits docket for next term and declining to review al-Alwi v. Trump, an appeal by a  Yemeni citizen who has been detained for 17 years at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without being charged. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Nina Totenberg reports at NPR that “Justice Stephen Breyer, in a two-page ‘statement’ accompanying the cert denial in al-Alwi, called attention to the case, declaring that it is ‘past time’ to examine the indefinite detention of prisoners there.” David Savage reports for the Los Angeles Times that, in Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, the court “will decide whether two large cable firms can be sued under the nation’s oldest civil rights law for having refused to carry the programs of an African American-owned network.”

At Bloomberg Law, Kimberly Robinson reports that another of the new grants, Monasky v. Taglieri, “centers around the central question in” international child-custody “cases of ‘habitual residence,’ which determines where a child will remain while divorce and custody proceedings play out.” At E&E News, Ellen Gilmer reports that “[t]he Supreme Court has another big environmental case on its docket, as the justices … agreed to review a Superfund fight that could affect cleanup efforts across the country,” Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian. For Capitol Media Services (via the Arizona Capitol Times), Howard Fischer reports that in McKinney v. Arizona, the justices will “decide whether someone convicted decades ago of two murders will get a chance now to present evidence of his abusive childhood to a jury.” Jess Bravin covers yesterday’s opinions and orders for The Wall Street Journal.


  • Ariane de Vogue reports at CNN that “[t]he Supreme Court signaled on Monday that it would meet behind closed doors Thursday to discuss whether to take up a case for next term concerning the phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.”
  • Subscript Law has a graphic explainer for last week’s decision in Fort Bend County v. Davis, in which the court held that Title VII’s requirement that a plaintiff exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit is a nonjurisdictional claim-processing rule that can be waived by an employer.
  • In an op-ed at Fox News, Kelly Shackelford urges the court “to provide clarity to businesses, large and small, on the fundamental question of whether they may operate in accordance with deeply held convictions – or be forced by the state to abandon their First Amendment rights when they enter the marketplace,” by reviewing Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which stems from two bakery owners’ refusal on religious grounds to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.
  • At Keen News Service, Lisa Keen notes that a similar clash between religious beliefs and anti-discrimination law, involving a florist from Washington State, will likely make a return trip to the Supreme Court, after the justices “said last year that the state court should reconsider its decision ‘in light of’ the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado” and the florist lost again below.
  • In this week’s episode of SCOTUStalk, Amy Howe and Tom Goldstein take a look at what’s ahead at the Supreme Court for the final weeks of June.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 11, 2019, 6:51 AM),