October Term 2019

View this list sorted by case name.

October Sitting

Kahler v. Kansas, No. 18-6135 [Arg: 10.7.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Eighth and 14th Amendments permit a state to abolish the insanity defense.
Ramos v. Louisiana, No. 18-5924 [Arg: 10.7.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the 14th Amendment fully incorporates the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a unanimous verdict.
Peter v. NantKwest Inc., No. 18-801 [Arg: 10.7.2019 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.11.2019]

Holding: The PTO cannot recover the salaries of its legal personnel under Section 145 of the Patent Act.
R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 18-107 [Arg: 10.8.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.
Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 [Arg: 10.8.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether discrimination against an employee because of sexual orientation constitutes prohibited employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2.
Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623 [Arg: 10.8.2019]

Issue(s): Whether the prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1), against employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” encompasses discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation.
UTIER v. Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, No. 18-1521 [Arg: 10.15.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the de facto officer doctrine allows for unconstitutionally appointed principal Officers of the United States to continue acting, leaving the party that challenges their appointment with an ongoing injury and without an appropriate relief.
U.S. v. Aurelius Investment, LLC, No. 18-1514 [Arg: 10.15.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether members of Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico are “Officers of the United States” within the meaning of the appointments clause of the United States Constitution, Art. II, § 2, Cl. 2.
Aurelius Investment, LLC v. Puerto Rico, No. 18-1475 [Arg: 10.15.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the de facto officer doctrine allows courts to deny meaningful relief to successful separation-of-powers challengers who are suffering ongoing injury at the hands of unconstitutionally appointed principal officers.
Official Committee of Debtors v. Aurelius Investment, LLC, No. 18-1496 [Arg: 10.15.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the appointments clause governs the appointment of members of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico.
Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, LLC, No. 18-1334 [Arg: 10.15.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the appointments clause governs the appointment of members of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico.
Rotkiske v. Klemm, No. 18-328 [Arg: 10.16.2019 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.10.2019]

Holding: Absent the application of an equitable doctrine, the statute of limitations in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §1692k(d), begins to run when the alleged FDCPA violation occurs, not when the violation is discovered.
Mathena v. Malvo, No. 18-217 [Arg: 10.16.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit erred in concluding—in direct conflict with Virginia’s highest court and other courts—that a decision of the Supreme Court, Montgomery v. Louisiana, addressing whether a new constitutional rule announced in an earlier decision, Miller v. Alabama, applies retroactively on collateral review may properly be interpreted as modifying and substantively expanding the very rule whose retroactivity was in question.
Kansas v. Garcia, No. 17-834 [Arg: 10.16.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Immigration Reform and Control Act expressly pre-empts the states from using any information entered on or appended to a federal Form I-9, including common information such as name, date of birth, and social security number, in a prosecution of any person (citizen or alien) when that same, commonly used information also appears in non-IRCA documents, such as state tax forms, leases, and credit applications; and (2) whether the Immigration Reform and Control Act impliedly preempts Kansas’ prosecution of respondents.

November Sitting

Barton v. Barr, No. 18-725 [Arg: 11.4.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether a lawfully admitted permanent resident who is not seeking admission to the United States can be “render[ed] ... inadmissible” for the purposes of the stop-time rule, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1).
Kansas v. Glover, No. 18-556 [Arg: 11.4.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether, for purposes of an investigative stop under the Fourth Amendment, it is reasonable for an officer to suspect that the registered owner of a vehicle is the one driving the vehicle absent any information to the contrary.
Allen v. Cooper, No. 18-877 [Arg: 11.5.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether Congress validly abrogated state sovereign immunity via the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act in providing remedies for authors of original expression whose federal copyrights are infringed by states.
CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co., Ltd., No. 18-565 [Arg: 11.5.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether under federal maritime law a safe-berth clause in a voyage charter contract is a guarantee of a ship's safety, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd and 3rd Circuits have held, or a duty of due diligence, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has held.
Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander, No. 18-1165 [Arg: 11.6.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer’s “more harm than good” pleading standard can be satisfied by generalized allegations that the harm of an inevitable disclosure of an alleged fraud generally increases over time.
County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, No. 18-260 [Arg: 11.6.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the Clean Water Act requires a permit when pollutants originate from a point source but are conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater.
Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, No. 18-587 [Arg: 11.12.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): (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.
Hernandez v. Mesa, No. 17-1678 [Arg: 11.12.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether, when the plaintiffs plausibly allege that a rogue federal law-enforcement officer violated clearly established Fourth and Fifth amendment rights for which there is no alternative legal remedy, the federal courts can and should recognize a damages claim under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
McAleenan v. Vidal, No. 18-589 [Arg: 11.12.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): (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.
Trump v. NAACP, No. 18-588 [Arg: 11.12.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): (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.
Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, No. 18-1171 [Arg: 11.13.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether a claim of race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 fails in the absence of but-for causation.
Ritzen Group Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC, No. 18-938 [Arg: 11.13.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether an order denying a motion for relief from the automatic stay is a final order under 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1).

December Sitting

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, No. 18-280 [Arg: 12.2.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether New York City’s ban on transporting a licensed, locked and unloaded handgun to a home or shooting range outside city limits is consistent with the Second Amendment, the commerce clause and the constitutional right to travel.
Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150 [Arg: 12.2.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the government edicts doctrine extends to—and thus renders uncopyrightable—works that lack the force of law, such as the annotations in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, No. 17-1498 [Arg: 12.3.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether a common-law claim for restoration seeking cleanup remedies that conflict with remedies the Environmental Protection Agency ordered is a jurisdictionally barred “challenge” to the EPA’s cleanup under 42 U.S.C. § 9613 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act; (2) whether a landowner at a Superfund site is a “potentially responsible party” that must seek EPA approval under 42 U.S.C. § 9622(e)(6) of CERCLA before engaging in remedial action, even if the EPA has never ordered the landowner to pay for a cleanup; and (3) whether CERCLA pre-empts state common-law claims for restoration that seek cleanup remedies that conflict with EPA-ordered remedies.
Rodriguez v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., No. 18-1269 [Arg: 12.3.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): 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.
Banister v. Davis, No. 18-6943 [Arg: 12.4.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether and under what circumstances a timely Rule 59(e) motion should be recharacterized as a second or successive habeas petition under Gonzalez v. Crosby.
Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 [Arg: 12.4.2019 Trans./Aud.]

Issue(s): Whether the three-year limitations period in Section 413(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which runs from “the earliest date on which the plaintiff had actual knowledge of the breach or violation,” bars suit when all the relevant information was disclosed to the plaintiff by the defendants more than three years before the plaintiff filed the complaint, but the plaintiff chose not to read or could not recall having read the information.
Ovalles v. Barr, No. 18-1015 [Arg: 12.9.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): 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.
Thryv v. Click-To-Call Technologies, LP, No. 18-916 [Arg: 12.9.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether 35 U.S.C. § 314(d) permits appeal of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision to institute an inter partes review upon finding that 35 U.S.C. § 315(b)’s time bar did not apply.
Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr, No. 18-776 [Arg: 12.9.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether a request for equitable tolling, as it applies to statutory motions to reopen, is judicially reviewable as a “question of law.”
Maine Community Health Options v. U.S., No. 18-1023 [Arg: 12.10.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether—given the “cardinal rule” disfavoring implied repeals, which applies with “especial force” to appropriations acts and requires that repeal not to be found unless the later enactment is “irreconcilable” with the former—an appropriations rider whose text bars the agency’s use of certain funds to pay a statutory obligation, but does not repeal or amend the statutory obligation, and is thus not inconsistent with it, can nonetheless be held to impliedly repeal the obligation by elevating the perceived “intent” of the rider (drawn from unilluminating legislative history) above its text, and the text of the underlying statute; and (2) whether—when the federal government has an unambiguous statutory payment obligation, under a program involving reciprocal commitments by the government and a private company participating in the program—the presumption against retroactivity applies to the interpretation of an appropriations rider that is claimed to have impliedly repealed the government’s obligation.
Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Co. v. U.S., No. 18-1038 [Arg: 12.10.2019]

Issue(s): Whether a temporary cap on appropriations availability from certain specified funding sources may be construed, based on its legislative history, to abrogate retroactively the government’s payment obligations under a money-mandating statute, for parties that have already performed their part of the bargain under the statute.
Moda Health Plan v. U.S., No. 18-1028 [Arg: 12.10.2019]

Issue(s): Whether Congress can evade its unambiguous statutory promise to pay health insurers for losses already incurred simply by enacting appropriations riders restricting the sources of funds available to satisfy the government’s obligation.
Holguin-Hernandez v. U.S., No. 18-7739 [Arg: 12.10.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): Whether a formal objection after pronouncement of sentence is necessary to invoke appellate reasonableness review of the length of a defendant’s sentence.
Monasky v. Taglieri, No. 18-935 [Arg: 12.11.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether a district court’s determination of habitual residence under the Hague Convention should be reviewed de novo, as seven circuits have held, under a deferential version of de novo review, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit has held, or under clear-error review, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th and 6th Circuits have held; and (2) whether, when an infant is too young to acclimate to her surroundings, a subjective agreement between the infant‘s parents is necessary to establish her habitual residence under the Hague Convention.
McKinney v. Arizona, No. 18-1109 [Arg: 12.11.2019 Trans.]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the Arizona Supreme Court was required to apply current law when weighing mitigating and aggravating evidence to determine whether a death sentence is warranted; and (2) whether the correction of error under Eddings v. Oklahoma requires resentencing.

January Sitting

Thole v. U.S. Bank, N.A., No. 17-1712 [Arg: 1.13.2020]

Issue(s): (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; (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; and (3) whether petitioners have demonstrated Article III standing.
Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc. v. Marcel Fashion Group Inc., No. 18-1086 [Arg: 1.13.2020]

Issue(s): 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.
Kelly v. U.S., No. 18-1059 [Arg: 1.14.2020]

Issue(s): Whether a public official “defraud[s]” the government of its property by advancing a “public policy reason” for an official decision that is not her subjective “real reason” for making the decision.
Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., No. 18-1233 [Arg: 1.14.2020]

Issue(s): 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).
Babb v. Wilkie, No. 18-882 [Arg: 1.15.2020]

Issue(s): Whether the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which provides that personnel actions affecting agency employees aged 40 years or older shall be made free from any “discrimination based on age,” 29 U.S.C. §633a(a), requires a plaintiff to prove that age was a but-for cause of the challenged personnel action.
GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC, No. 18-1048 [Arg: 1.21.2020]

Issue(s): 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.
Shular v. U.S., No. 18-6662 [Arg: 1.21.2020]

Issue(s): Whether the determination of a “serious drug offense” under the Armed Career Criminal Act requires the same categorical approach used in the determination of a “violent felony” under the act.
Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, No. 18-1195 [Arg: 1.22.2020]

Issue(s): 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.

February Sitting

Opati v. Republic of Sudan, No. 17-1268 [Arg: 2.24.2020]

Issue(s): 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 under 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(c) against foreign states for terrorist activities occurring prior to the passage of the current version of the statute.
U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, No. 18-1584 [Arg: 2.24.2020]

Issue(s): Whether the United States Forest Service has the authority to grant rights-of-way under the Mineral Leasing Act through lands traversed by the Appalachian Trail within national forests.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, No. 18-1587 [Arg: 2.24.2020]

Issue(s): Whether the United States Forest Service has the authority under the Mineral Leasing Act and National Trails System Act to grant rights-of-way through national-forest lands that the Appalachian Trail traverses.
U.S. v. Sineneng-Smith, No. 19-67 [Arg: 2.25.2020]

Issue(s): Whether the federal criminal prohibition against encouraging or inducing illegal immigration for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) and (B)(i), is facially unconstitutional.
Lomax v. Ortiz-Marquez, No. 18-8369 [Arg: 2.26.2020]

Issue(s): Whether a dismissal without prejudice for failure to state a claim counts as a strike under 28 U.S.C. 1915(g).
Nasrallah v. Barr, No. 18-1432 [Arg: 3.2.2020]

Issue(s): Whether, notwithstanding 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(C), the courts of appeals possess jurisdiction to review factual findings underlying denials of withholding (and deferral) of removal relief.
Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, No. 19-161 [Arg: 3.2.2020]

Issue(s): Whether, as applied to the respondent, 8 U.S.C. § 1252(e)(2) is unconstitutional under the suspension clause.
Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, No. 19-7 [Arg: 3.3.2020]

Issue(s): (1) Whether the vesting of substantial executive authority in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent agency led by a single director, violates the separation of powers; and (2) whether, if the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is found unconstitutional on the basis of the separation of powers, 12 U.S.C. §5491(c)(3) can be severed from the Dodd-Frank Act.
Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 18-1501 [Arg: 3.3.2020]

Issue(s): Whether the Securities and Exchange Commission may seek and obtain disgorgement from a court as “equitable relief” for a securities law violation even though the Supreme Court has determined that such disgorgement is a penalty.
June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, No. 18-1323 [Arg: 3.4.2020]

Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s decision upholding Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital conflicts with the Supreme Court’s binding precedent in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
Gee v. June Medical Services, LLC, No. 18-1460 [Arg: 3.4.2020]

Issue(s): (1) Whether abortion providers can be presumed to have third-party standing to challenge health and safety regulations on behalf of their patients absent a “close” relationship with their patients and a “hindrance” to their patients’ ability to sue on their own behalf; and (2) whether objections to prudential standing are waivable – per the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th and Federal Circuits – or non-waivable per the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C., 2nd, and 6th Circuits.

Decided without oral argument

Thompson v. Hebdon, No. 19-122 [ Decided 11.25.2019]

Holding: The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to revisit whether Alaska’s political contribution limits are consistent with this Court’s First Amendment precedents.

Cases Not (Yet) Set for Argument

Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956

Issue(s): (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.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V., No. 19-46

Issue(s): Whether, when the Lanham Act states generic terms may not be registered as trademarks, the addition by an online business of a generic top-level domain (“.com”) to an otherwise generic term can create a protectable trademark.
FNU Tanzin v. Tanvir, No. 19-71

Issue(s): Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, permits suits seeking money damages against individual federal employees.
U.S. v. Briggs, No. 19-108

Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in concluding – contrary to its own longstanding precedent – that the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows prosecution of a rape that occurred between 1986 and 2006 only if it was discovered and charged within five years.
U.S. v. Collins, No. 19-184

Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces erred in concluding – contrary to its own longstanding precedent – that the Uniform Code of Military Justice allows prosecution of a rape that occurred between 1986 and 2006 only if it was discovered and charged within five years.
Carney v. Adams, No. 19-309

Issue(s): (1) Whether the First Amendment invalidates a longstanding state constitutional provision that limits judges affiliated with any one political party to no more than a “bare majority” on the state’s three highest courts, with the other seats reserved for judges affiliated with the “other major political party”; (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit erred in holding that a provision of the Delaware Constitution requiring that no more than a “bare majority” of three of the state courts may be made up of judges affiliated with any one political party is not severable from a provision that judges who are not members of the majority party on those courts must be members of the other “major political party,” when the former requirement existed for more than 50 years without the latter, and the former requirement, without the latter, continues to govern appointments to two other courts; and (3) whether the respondent, James Adams, has demonstrated Article III standing.
Walker v. U.S., No. 19-373

Issue(s): Whether a criminal offense that can be committed with a mens rea of recklessness can qualify as a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act.
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