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October Term 2020

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Merits cases (to be) decided during OT 2019
Albence v. Chavez, No. 19-897

Issue(s): Whether the detention of an alien who is subject to a reinstated removal order and who is pursuing withholding or deferral of removal is governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1231, or instead by 8 U.S.C. § 1226.
Borden v. U.S., No. 19-5410

Issue(s): Whether the “use of force” clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act encompasses crimes with a mens rea of mere recklessness.
Brownback v. King, No. 19-546

Issue(s): Whether a final judgment in favor of the United States in an action brought under Section 1346(b)(1) of the Federal Tort Claims Act, on the ground that a private person would not be liable to the claimant under state tort law for the injuries alleged, bars a claim under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics that is brought by the same claimant, based on the same injuries, and against the same governmental employees whose acts gave rise to the claimant’s FTCA claim.
California v. Texas, No. 19-840

Issue(s): (1) Whether the individual and state plaintiffs in this case have established Article III standing to challenge the minimum-coverage provision in Section 5000A(a) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA); (2) whether reducing the amount specified in Section 5000A(c) to zero rendered the minimum-coverage provision unconstitutional; and (3) if so, whether the minimum-coverage provision is severable from the rest of the ACA.
Cargill v. Doe I, No. 19-453

Issue(s): (1) Whether the presumption against extraterritorial application of the Alien Tort Statute is displaced by allegations that a U.S. company generally conducted oversight of its foreign operations at its headquarters and made operational and financial decisions there, even though the conduct alleged to violate international law occurred in – and the plaintiffs suffered their injuries in – a foreign country; and (2) whether a domestic corporation is subject to liability in a private action under the Alien Tort Statute.
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.
CIC Services, LLC v. Internal Revenue Service, No. 19-930

Issue(s): Whether the Anti-Injunction Act’s bar on lawsuits for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of taxes also bars challenges to unlawful regulatory mandates issued by administrative agencies that are not taxes.
City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton, No. 19-357

Issue(s): Whether an entity that is passively retaining possession of property in which a bankruptcy estate has an interest has an affirmative obligation under the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay, 11 U.S.C § 362, to return that property to the debtor or trustee immediately upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition.
Department of Justice v. House Committee on the Judiciary, No. 19-1328

Issue(s): Whether an impeachment trial before a legislative body is a “judicial proceeding” under Rule 6(e)(3)(E)(i) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Edwards v. Vannoy, No. 19-5807

Issue(s): Whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana applies retroactively to cases on federal collateral review.
Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, No. 19-351

Issue(s): (1) Whether the “expropriation exception” of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which abrogates foreign sovereign immunity when “rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue,” provides jurisdiction over claims that a foreign sovereign has violated international human-rights law when taking property from its own national within its own borders, even though such claims do not implicate the established international law governing states’ responsibility for takings of property; and (2) whether the doctrine of international comity is unavailable in cases against foreign sovereigns, even in cases of considerable historical and political significance to the foreign sovereign, and even when the foreign nation has a domestic framework for addressing the claims.
Ford Motor Company v. Bandemer, No. 19-369

Issue(s): Whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement of the 14th Amendment's due process clause is met when none of the defendant’s forum contacts caused the plaintiff’s claims, such that the plaintiff’s claims would be the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts.
Ford Motor Company v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court, No. 19-368

Issue(s): Whether the “arise out of or relate to” requirement for a state court to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant under Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz is met when none of the defendant’s forum contacts caused the plaintiff’s claims, such that the plaintiff’s claims would be the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts.
Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, No. 19-123

Issue(s): Whether free exercise plaintiffs can only succeed by proving a particular type of discrimination claim — namely that the government would allow the same conduct by someone who held different religious views — as two circuits have held, or whether courts must consider other evidence that a law is not neutral and generally applicable, as six circuits have held; (2) whether Employment Division v. Smith should be revisited; and (3) whether the government violates the First Amendment by conditioning a religious agency’s ability to participate in the foster care system on taking actions and making statements that directly contradict the agency’s religious beliefs.
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.
Henry Schein Inc. v. Archer and White Sales Inc., No. 19-963

Issue(s): Whether a provision in an arbitration agreement that exempts certain claims from arbitration negates an otherwise clear and unmistakable delegation of questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator.
Jones v. Mississippi, No. 18-1259

Issue(s): Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole.
Nestlé USA v. Doe I, No. 19-416

Issue(s): (1) Whether an aiding and abetting claim against a domestic corporation brought under the Alien Tort Statute may overcome the extraterritoriality bar where the claim is based on allegations of general corporate activity in the United States and where the plaintiffs cannot trace the alleged harms, which occurred abroad at the hands of unidentified foreign actors, to that activity; and (2) whether the judiciary has the authority under the Alien Tort Statute to impose liability on domestic corporations.
Niz-Chavez v. Barr, No. 19-863

Issue(s): Whether, to serve notice in accordance with 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a) and trigger the stop-time rule, the government must serve a specific document that includes all the information identified in Section 1229(a), or whether the government can serve that information over the course of as many documents and as much time as it chooses.
Pereida v. Barr, No. 19-438

Issue(s): Whether a criminal conviction bars a noncitizen from applying for relief from removal when the record of conviction is merely ambiguous as to whether it corresponds to an offense listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Republic of Hungary v. Simon, No. 18-1447

Issue(s): Whether a district court may abstain from exercising jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act for reasons of international comity, in a matter in which former Hungarian nationals have sued the nation of Hungary to recover the value of property lost in Hungary during World War II but the plaintiffs made no attempt to exhaust local Hungarian remedies.
Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, No. 18-540

Issue(s): 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.
Salinas v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, No. 19-199

Issue(s): Whether, under Section 5(f) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act and Section 8 of the Railroad Retirement Act, the Railroad Retirement Board’s denial of a request to reopen a prior benefits determination is a “final decision” subject to judicial review.
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.
Texas v. California, No. 19-1019

Issue(s): (1) Whether the unconstitutional individual mandate to purchase minimum essential coverage is severable from the remainder of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and (2) whether the district court properly declared the ACA invalid in its entirety and unenforceable anywhere.
Texas v. New Mexico, No. 22O65

Issue(s): Whether the River Master correctly allocated evaporation losses under the Pecos River Compact.
Torres v. Madrid, No. 19-292

Issue(s): Whether an unsuccessful attempt to detain a suspect by use of physical force is a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th, 9th and 11th Circuits and the New Mexico Supreme Court hold, or whether physical force must be successful in detaining a suspect to constitute a “seizure,” as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals hold.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club, No. 19-547

Issue(s): Whether Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act, by incorporating the deliberative process privilege, protects against compelled disclosure of a federal agency’s draft documents that were prepared as part of a formal interagency consultation process under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and that concerned a proposed agency action that was later modified in the consultation process.
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.
Van Buren v. U.S., No. 19-783

Issue(s): Whether a person who is authorized to access information on a computer for certain purposes violates Section 1030(a)(2) of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act if he accesses the same information for an improper purpose.
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    On Friday, April 3, Justice Stephen Breyer spoke to students at the United Nations International School in New York City. The justice gave his talk remotely via video call, while self-quarantining at home in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.

Awards
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    Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.

    Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.

  • Sigma Delta Chi

    Sigma Delta Chi

    Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi deadline reporting award for online coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.

  • National Press Club Award

    National Press Club Award

    Awarded the National Press Club's Breaking News Award for coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.

  • Silver Gavel Award

    Silver Gavel Award

    Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.

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    American Gavel Award

    Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system.

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    Awarded the Webby Award for excellence on the internet.