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Petitions We’re Watching

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Petitions We're Watching
Docket Case Page Issue(s)
18-109 Ariosa Diagnostics Inc. v. Illumina Inc. Whether unclaimed disclosures in a published patent application and an earlier application it relies on for priority enter the public domain and thus become prior art as of the earlier application’s filing date, or, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held, does the prior art date of the disclosures depend on whether the published application also claims subject matter from the earlier application. CVSG: 05/21/2019.
18-1140 Avco Corp. v. Sikkelee Whether the Federal Aviation Act pre-empts state-law design-defect claims.
17-1530 Banca UBAE, S.p.A. v. Peterson Whether a federal appellate court is required to decide personal jurisdiction over a defendant when the record in the trial court and on appeal is complete, the parties briefed the issue in the trial court and on appeal, but the appellate court ignored the question.
17-1534 Bank Markazi v. Peterson Whether a foreign sovereign’s property outside of the United States is entitled to sovereign immunity.
18-1218 Buchwald Capital Advisors LLC v. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Whether the Bankruptcy Code abrogates the sovereign immunity of Indian tribes.
17-1529 Clearstream Banking S.A. v. Peterson Whether foreign sovereign property held by a foreign financial intermediary in a foreign country may, under any circumstances, be subject to execution in United States courts.
18-1469 Department of Homeland Security v. Casa de Maryland (1) Whether the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is judicially reviewable; and (2) whether DHS’s decision to wind down the DACA policy is lawful.
18-1195 Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue Whether it violates the religion clauses or the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution to invalidate a generally available and religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program affords students the choice of attending religious schools.
18-1048 GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC Whether the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards permits a nonsignatory to an arbitration agreement to compel arbitration based on the doctrine of equitable estoppel.
18-956 Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc. (1) Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface; and (2) whether, as the jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.
18-1362 Hall v. Merrill Whether, and under what circumstances, a candidate can continue to challenge a ballot-access rule after the election over which he originally sued has passed.
18-817 Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. Whether patents that claim a method of medically treating a patient automatically satisfy Section 101 of the Patent Act, even if they apply a natural law using only routine and conventional steps.
18-415 HP Inc. v. Berkheimer Whether patent eligibility is a question of law for the court based on the scope of the claims or a question of fact for the jury based on the state of the art at the time of the patent.
18-1285 Hyatt v. Iancu Whether the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure Section 1207.04 violates patent applicants’ statutory right of appeal following a second rejection.
18-1219 Illinois v. Bonilla (1) Whether a sniff by a drug-detection dog conducted in the common area of an apartment building is a Fourth Amendment search under Florida v. Jardines; and (2) whether, if the dog-sniff was an unreasonable search, the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies.
18-505 In re U.S. (1) Whether this suit is justiciable under article III; (2) whether this suit should be dismissed for failure to comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551, et seq.; and (3) whether this suit should be dismissed because there is no right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life” under the due process clause or a public-trust doctrine.
18-1154 Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. v. Busk (1) Whether the Portal-to-Portal Act modified the Fair Labor Standards Act’s broad, pre-1947 definition of “work”; and (2) whether the FLSA’s definition of “work” requires exertion beyond the minimal effort involved in passing through a security screening.
18-1276 Levert v. U.S. Whether, or under what circumstances, a criminal defendant pursuing a second or successive motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is entitled to relief under a retroactive constitutional decision invalidating a federal statutory provision, when the record is silent as to whether the district court based on its original judgment on that provision or another provision of the same statute.
18-1086 Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc. v. Marcel Fashion Group Inc. Whether, when a plaintiff asserts new claims, federal preclusion principles can bar a defendant from raising defenses that were not actually litigated and resolved in any prior case between the parties.
18-837 Marshall v. West Alabama Women’s Center Whether a state ban on dismemberment abortions is unconstitutional when there is a reasonable medical debate that alternatives to the banned procedure are safe.
18-1367 Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Sumner Whether the Federal Employers Liability Act permits liability when a plaintiff cannot meet the common-law standard of proof for but-for causation.
18-1224 NuStar Energy Services v. ING Bank N.V. Whether a party that physically supplies a vessel with fuel or other necessaries possesses a statutory maritime lien when the vessel owner or its authorized agent ordered those necessaries and directed the supplier to provide them, regardless of contractual relationships between the vessel owner and intermediate parties.
18-1211 NuStar Energy Services v. ING Bank N.V. Whether a party that physically supplies a vessel with fuel or other necessaries possesses a statutory maritime lien when the vessel owner or its authorized agent ordered those necessaries and directed the supplier to provide them, regardless of contractual relationships between the vessel owner and intermediate parties.
17-1268 Opati v. Republic of Sudan (1) Whether a party who knowingly and intentionally twice defaults; acts to delay, and not in good faith; and affirmatively elects not to contest a nonjurisdictional legal issue before judgment may nevertheless demonstrate “extraordinary” and “exceptional” circumstances warranting appellate review of the forfeited nonjurisdictional legal issue post-judgment; and (2) whether, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Republic of Austria v. Altmann, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act applies retroactively, thereby permitting recovery of punitive damages 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(c) against foreign states for terrorist activities occurring prior to the passage of the current version of the statute. CVSG: 05/21/2019.
18-1015 Ovalles v. Barr Whether the criminal alien bar, 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(C), tempered by 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D), prohibits a court from reviewing an agency decision finding that a movant lacked diligence for equitable tolling purposes, notwithstanding the lack of a factual dispute.
18-349 Patterson v. Walgreen Co. (1) Whether an accommodation that merely lessens or has the potential to eliminate the conflict between work and religious practice is “reasonable” per se, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st, 4th and 11th Circuits hold; does it instead create a jury question, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th and 10th Circuits hold; or must an accommodation fully eliminate the conflict in order to be “reasonable” as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th and 9th Circuits hold; (2) whether speculation about possible future burdens is sufficient to meet the employer’s burden in establishing “undue hardship,” as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th, 6th and 11th Circuits hold, or must the employer demonstrate an actual burden, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 8th, 9th and 10th Circuits hold; and (3) whether the portion of TWA v. Hardison opining that “undue hardship” simply means something more than a “de minimis cost” should be disavowed or overruled.
18-926 Putnam Investments, LLC v. Brotherston (1) Whether an ERISA plaintiff bears the burden of proving that “losses to the plan result[ed] from” a fiduciary breach, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th Circuits have held, or whether ERISA defendants bear the burden of disproving loss causation, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit concluded, joining the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 5th and 8th Circuits; and (2) whether, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit concluded, showing that particular investment options did not perform as well as a set of index funds, selected by the plaintiffs with the benefit of hindsight, suffices as a matter of law to establish “losses to the plan.”
17-1406 Republic of Sudan v. Opati (1) Whether the term “extrajudicial killing” means a summary execution by state actors, as is consistent with international law and the statutory text, context and purpose of 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(a); (2) whether foreign sovereign immunity may be withdrawn for emotional distress claims brought by family members of victims under 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(a)(2)(A)(ii); (3) whether 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(c) provides the exclusive remedy for actions brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(a), and forecloses state substantive causes of action previously asserted through the “pass-through” provision of 28 U.S.C. § 1606; (4) whether the statute of limitations contained in 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(b) is jurisdictional in nature and, if it is not, whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit should nonetheless have heard Sudan’s limitations defense asserted through its timely, direct appeal; and (5) whether the undisputed fact of civil war, internal strife and partitioning of Sudan into two counties constitutes excusable neglect or extraordinary circumstances for vacatur under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. CVSG: 05/21/2019.
18-1269 Rodriguez v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Whether courts should determine ownership of a tax refund paid to an affiliated group based on the federal common law “Bob Richards rule,” as three circuits hold, or based on the law of the relevant state, as four circuits hold.
18-1233 Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc. Whether, under Section 35 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), willful infringement is a prerequisite for an award of an infringer’s profits for a violation of Section 43(a), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).
18-921 Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico v. Feliciano Whether the First Amendment empowers courts to override the chosen legal structure of a religious organization and declare all of its constituent parts a single legal entity subject to joint and several liability.
18-540 Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit erred in holding that Arkansas’ statute regulating pharmacy benefit managers’ drug-reimbursement rates, which is similar to laws enacted by a substantial majority of states, is pre-empted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, in contravention of the Supreme Court’s precedent that ERISA does not pre-empt rate regulation.
18-1265 September Ends Co. v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. What is the proper standard for successor liability for unpaid Employee Retirement Income Security Act pension obligations?
17-1236 Sudan v. Owens (1) Whether plaintiffs suing a foreign state bear a “lighter burden” in establishing the facts necessary for jurisdiction than in proving a case on the merits despite the Supreme Court’s holding to the contrary — at the urging of the Solicitor General and the Department of State — in Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co.; (2) whether plaintiffs suing a foreign state can establish facts necessary for jurisdiction “based solely upon” the opinion testimony of so-called “terrorism experts,” when the record lacks admissible factual evidence sufficient to establish jurisdiction; and (3) whether plaintiffs’ failure to prove a foreign state “either specifically intended or directly advanced” a terrorist attack is “irrelevant to proximate cause and jurisdictional causation,” when (i) the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s “terrorism exception” establishes jurisdiction over a foreign state only when the foreign state provided material support “for” a specified act of terrorism, and (ii) proximate causation requires a “direct relationship” between the defendant’s conduct and the resultant injury. CVSG: 05/21/2019.
22O65 Texas v. New Mexico
17-1712 Thole v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (1) Whether an ERISA plan participant or beneficiary may seek injunctive relief against fiduciary misconduct under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(3) without demonstrating individual financial loss or the imminent risk thereof; and (2) whether an ERISA plan participant or beneficiary may seek restoration of plan losses caused by fiduciary breach under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(2) without demonstrating individual financial loss or the imminent risk thereof. CVSG: 05/21/2019.
18-486 Toshiba Corp. v. Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund Whether the Securities Exchange Act applies, without exception, whenever a claim is based on a domestic transaction, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held below, or whether in certain circumstances the Exchange Act does not apply, despite the claim being based on a domestic transaction, because other aspects of the claim make it impermissibly extraterritorial, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has held. CVSG: 05/20/2019.
18-1230 Zamudio v. U.S. Whether a search-warrant application that fails to provide any particularized nexus between an individual’s alleged drug-trafficking activity and the individual’s residence can provide probable cause for a warrant to search the residence.
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