Breaking News

October Term 2020

View this list sorted by sitting.

Merits cases (to be) decided during OT 2021

Holding: The district court’s judgment – which vacated as unlawful the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s imposition of a nationwide moratorium on evictions of any tenants who live in a county that is experiencing substantial or high levels of COVID-19 transmission and who make certain declarations of financial need – is enforceable and the stay of the judgment is vacated.
Holding: Alaska Native Corporations are “Indian tribe[s]” under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and thus eligible for funding available to “Tribal governments” under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Holding: The requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) that a habeas petitioner be “in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court” is not met if the state judgment is simply a necessary predicate to a federal conviction.
Holding: The district court’s injunction pertaining to certain NCAA rules limiting the education-related benefits that schools may make available to student-athletes is consistent with established antitrust principles.
Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s judgment, which vacated the district court’s injunction of California’s compelled disclosure of Schedule Bs as not narrowly tailored to the state’s interest in investigating charitable misconduct, is reversed, and the cases are remanded.
Holding: Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act does not authorize the commission to seek, or a court to award, equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement.
Holding: Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and H.B. 2023 do not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and H.B. 2023 was not enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose.
Issue(s): Whether the approval by the secretary of health and human services of the Arkansas Works Amendment was lawful.
Holding: The unreviewable authority wielded by Administrative Patent Judges during inter partes review is incompatible with their appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to an inferior office.
Issue(s): (1) Whether respondents have a cognizable cause of action to obtain review of the acting secretary of defense’s compliance with a proviso in Section 8005 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act that the secretary’s authority to transfer funds internally between DOD appropriations accounts “may not be used unless for higher priority items, based on unforeseen military requirements, than those for which originally appropriated and in no case where the item for which funds are requested has been denied by the Congress”; and (2) whether in 2019 the acting secretary exceeded his statutory authority under Section 8005 by transferring approximately $2.5 billion in response to a request from the Department of Homeland Security for counterdrug assistance under 10 U.S.C. 284, including in the form of construction of fences along the southern border of the United States.
Borden v. U.S., No. 19-5410 [Arg: 11.03.20 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.10.2021]
Holding: The decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit — holding that an offense with a mental state of recklessness may qualify as a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s elements clause, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i) — is reversed, and the case is remanded.
Holding: Where defendant energy companies premised 28 U. S. C. § 1447(d) removal in part on the federal officer removal statute, Section 1442, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit erred in holding that it lacked jurisdiction to consider all grounds for removal rejected by the district court.
Holding: Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and H.B. 2023 do not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and H.B. 2023 was not enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose.
Brownback v. King, No. 19-546 [Arg: 11.09.20 Trans./Aud.; Decided 2.25.2021]
Holding: The district court's dismissal of King's claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act triggered the "judgment bar" in 28 U.S.C. § 2676 that precludes him from raising separate claims under Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents on appeal.
California v. Texas, No. 19-840 [Arg: 11.10.20 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.17.2021]
Holding: Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s minimum essential coverage provision.
Caniglia v. Strom, No. 20-157 [Arg: 3.24.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.17.2021]
Holding: Neither the holding nor logic of Cady v. Dombrowski justifies the removal of Edward Caniglia’s firearms from his home by police officers under a “community caretaking exception” to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.
Cargill v. Doe I, No. 19-453 [Arg: 12.1.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.17.2021]
Holding: To plead facts sufficient to support a domestic application of the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, plaintiffs must allege more domestic conduct than general corporate activity.
Carney v. Adams, No. 19-309 [Arg: 10.5.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.10.2020]
Holding: Because Adams has not shown that he was “able and ready” to apply for a judicial vacancy in the imminent future, he has failed to show a “personal,” “concrete” and “imminent” injury necessary for Article III standing.
Carr v. Saul, No. 19-1442 [Arg: 3.3.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.22.2021]
Holding: Principles of issue exhaustion do not require Social Security disability claimants to argue at the agency level that the administrative law judges hearing their disability claims were unconstitutionally appointed.
Holding: A California regulation granting labor organizations a “right to take access” to an agricultural employer’s property to solicit support for unionization constitutes a per se physical taking.
Holding: A suit to enjoin IRS Notice 2016–66 does not trigger the Anti-Injunction Act even though a violation of the notice may result in a tax penalty.
Holding: The mere retention of estate property after the filing of a bankruptcy petition does not violate 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(3), which operates as a “stay” of “any act” to “exercise control” over the property of the estate.
Holding: Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39 does not permit a district court to alter a court of appeals’ allocation of the costs listed in subdivision (e) of that rule.
Issue(s): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in concluding that the secretary of health and human services may not authorize demonstration projects to test requirements that are designed to promote the provision of health-care coverage by means of facilitating the transition of Medicaid beneficiaries to commercial coverage and improving their health.
Collins v. Yellen, No. 19-422 [Arg: 12.9.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2021]
Holding: Because the Federal Housing Finance Agency did not exceed its authority under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 as a conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the anti-injunction provisions of the Recovery Act bar the statutory claim brought by shareholders of those entities; the Recovery Act’s structure, which restricts the President’s power to remove the FHFA director, violates the separation of powers.
Davis v. Saul, No. 20-105 [Arg: 3.3.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.22.2021]
Holding: Principles of issue exhaustion do not require Social Security disability claimants to argue at the agency level that the administrative law judges hearing their disability claims were unconstitutionally appointed.
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.
Dunn v. Reeves, No. 20-1084 [ Decided 7.2.2021]
Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit erred in characterizing the Alabama court’s case-specific analysis as a “categorical rule” that any prisoner will always lose an ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim if he fails to call and question trial counsel concerning his or her actions and reasoning; the Alabama court did not violate clearly established federal law when it rejected Reeves’ ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim.
Edwards v. Vannoy, No. 19-5807 [Arg: 12.2.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.17.2021]
Holding: The jury-unanimity rule announced in Ramos v. Louisiana does not apply retroactively on federal collateral review.
Facebook Inc. v. Duguid, No. 19-511 [Arg: 12.8.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.1.2021]
Holding: To qualify as an “automatic telephone dialing system” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, a device must have the capacity either to store, or to produce, a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.
Holding: The Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 decision to repeal or modify three of its media ownership rules was not arbitrary or capricious for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act.
Holding: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s expropriation exception, 28 U.S.C. § 1605(a)(3), incorporates the domestic takings rule, which recognizes that a foreign sovereign’s taking of its own nationals’ property is not a violation of international law.
Florida v. Georgia, No. 22o142 [Arg: 2.22.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.1.2021]
Holding: Florida failed to establish that Georgia’s overconsumption of interstate waters was either a substantial factor contributing to, or the sole cause of, Florida’s injuries.
Holding: The connection between plaintiffs’ product-liability claims arising from car accidents occurring in each plaintiff’s state of residence and Ford’s activities in those states is sufficient to support specific jurisdiction in the respective state courts, even though the automobiles involved in the accidents were manufactured and sold elsewhere.
Holding: The connection between plaintiffs’ product-liability claims arising from car accidents occurring in each plaintiff’s state of residence and Ford’s activities in those states is sufficient to support specific jurisdiction in the respective state courts, even though the automobiles involved in the accidents were manufactured and sold elsewhere.
Holding: Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services for the provision of foster care services unless CSS agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents violates the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
Garland v. Alcaraz-Enriquez, No. 19-1156 [Arg: 2.23.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.1.2021]
Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's rule in immigration disputes — that in the absence of an explicit adverse credibility determination by an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals, a reviewing court must treat a petitioning noncitizen’s testimony as credible and true — cannot be reconciled with the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Garland v. Dai, No. 19-1155 [Arg: 2.23.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.1.2021]
Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's rule in immigration disputes — that in the absence of an explicit adverse credibility determination by an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals, a reviewing court must treat a petitioning noncitizen’s testimony as credible and true — cannot be reconciled with the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Holding: The generic nature of a misrepresentation in connection with the sale of securities often is important evidence of price impact that courts should consider at class certification; defendants bear the burden of persuasion to prove a lack of price impact by a preponderance of the evidence at class certification.
Holding: Google’s limited copying of the Java SE Application Programming Interface allowed programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a transformative program and constituted a fair use of that material under copyright law.
Greer v. U.S., No. 19-8709 [Arg: 4.20.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.14.2021]
Holding: In felon-in-possession cases under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), an error under Rehaif v. United States is not a basis for plain-error relief unless the defendant first makes a sufficient argument or representation on appeal that he would have presented evidence at trial that he did not in fact know he was a felon.
Guam v. U.S., No. 20-382 [Arg: 4.26.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.24.2021]
Holding: A settlement of environmental liabilities must resolve a specific liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 to give rise to a contribution action under that act.
Holding: Certiorari dismissed as improvidently granted.
Holding: Under the Renewable Fuel Program’s fuel blending requirements for domestic refineries, a small refinery that previously received a hardship exemption may obtain an “extension” under 42 U.S.C. § 7545(o)(9)(B)(i) even if the refinery did not seek a hardship exemption every year after initially doing so.in exemption coverage in a previous year.
Johnson v. Guzman Chavez, No. 19-897 [Arg: 1.11.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.29.2021]
Holding: The detention of a noncitizen ordered removed from the United States who reenters without authorization is governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1231.
Jones v. Mississippi, No. 18-1259 [Arg: 11.03.20 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.22.2021]
Holding: The Eighth Amendment does not require a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole.
Lange v. California, No. 20-18 [Arg: 2.24.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2021]
Holding: Under the Fourth Amendment, pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect does not always or categorically qualify as an exigent circumstance justifying a warrantless entry into a home.
Holding: Because it is unclear in this excessive force case whether the Eighth Circuit incorrectly thought the use of a prone restraint is per se constitutional so long as an individual appears to resist officers’ efforts to subdue him, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit’s judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to give the lower court the opportunity in the first instance to employ the careful, context-specific analysis required by this court’s excessive force precedent.
Holding: The school district’s decision to suspend student Brandi Levy from the cheerleading team for posting to social media (outside of school hours and away from the school’s campus) vulgar language and gestures critical of the school violates the First Amendment.
Issue(s): (1) Whether the Department of Homeland Security policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols is a lawful implementation of the statutory authority conferred by 8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(2)(C); (2) whether MPP is consistent with any applicable and enforceable non-refoulement obligations; (3) whether MPP is exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act requirement of notice-and-comment rulemaking; and (4) whether the district court’s universal preliminary injunction is impermissibly overbroad.
Mays v. Hines, No. 20-507 [ Decided 3.29.2021]
Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit erred in revisiting on federal habeas review the decision of a Tennessee court supported by ample evidence that did not exceed the possibility of fairminded disagreement supporting that court’s conclusion.
Holding: Under the unusual circumstances of this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit should not have ventured into such an uncertain area of state tort law without first using state certification procedures to seek guidance from the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Holding: The well-grounded patent law doctrine of assignor estoppel applies only when the assignor’s claim of invalidity contradicts explicit or implicit representations the assignor made in assigning the patent.
Holding: The Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 decision to repeal or modify three of its media ownership rules was not arbitrary or capricious for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act.
Holding: The district court’s injunction pertaining to certain NCAA rules limiting the education-related benefits that schools may make available to student-athletes is consistent with established antitrust principles.
Nestlé USA v. Doe I, No. 19-416 [Arg: 12.1.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.17.2021]
Holding: To plead facts sufficient to support a domestic application of the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, plaintiffs must allege more domestic conduct than general corporate activity.
Niz-Chavez v. Garland, No. 19-863 [Arg: 11.09.20 Trans./Aud.; Decided 4.29.2021]
Holding: A notice to appear sufficient to trigger the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996’s stop-time rule is a single document containing all the information about an individual’s removal hearing specified in 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a)(1).
Holding: Administrative exhaustion of state remedies is not a prerequisite for a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 takings claim when the government has reached a conclusive position.
Holding: A certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pursuant to Section 717f(h) of the Natural Gas Act authorizes a private company to condemn all necessary rights-of-way, whether owned by private parties or states.
Pereida v. Wilkinson, No. 19-438 [Arg: 10.14.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.4.2021]
Holding: A nonpermanent resident seeking to cancel a lawful removal order fails to carry his burden of showing that he has not been convicted of a disqualifying offense when the statutory conviction on his record is ambiguous regarding whether a disqualifying offense formed the basis of his conviction.
Republic of Hungary v. Simon, No. 18-1447 [Arg: 12.7.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 2.3.2021]
Holding: Judgment vacated and case remanded to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for further proceedings consistent with Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp.
Holding: Arkansas’ Act 900 is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Holding: The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board’s refusal to reopen a former railroad worker's prior benefits determination is subject to judicial review.
Sanchez v. Mayorkas, No. 20-315 [Arg: 4.19.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.7.2021]
Holding: An individual who entered the United States unlawfully is not eligible to become a lawful permanent resident under 8 U.S.C. § 1255 even if the United States has granted the individual temporary protected status.
Holding: A decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit granting post-conviction relief to a man on Arizona's death row for his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel violated the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
Holding: The unreviewable authority wielded by Administrative Patent Judges during inter partes review is incompatible with their appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to an inferior office.
Tanzin v. Tanvir, No. 19-71 [Arg: 10.6.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.10.2020]
Holding: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993’s express remedies provision, 42 U. S. C. §2000bb–1(c), permits litigants, when appropriate, to obtain money damages against federal officials in their individual capacities for violating litigants' right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.
Holding: Because any reasonable correctional officer should have realized that Trent Taylor’s conditions of confinement offended the Eighth Amendment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit erred in granting the officers qualified immunity.
Terry v. U.S., No. 20-5904 [Arg: 5.4.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.14.2021]
Holding: A sentence reduction under the First Step Act is available only if an offender’s prior conviction of a crack cocaine offense triggered a mandatory minimum sentence.
Texas v. California, No. 19-1019 [Arg: 11.10.20 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.17.2021]
Holding: Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s minimum essential coverage provision.
Texas v. New Mexico, No. 22O65 [Arg: 10.5.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.14.2020]
Holding: Texas’ motion to review the Pecos River Master’s determination – that New Mexico was entitled to a delivery credit for evaporated water stored at Texas’ request under the Pecos River Compact – is denied.
Holding: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s judgment, which vacated the district court’s injunction of California’s compelled disclosure of Schedule Bs as not narrowly tailored to the state’s interest in investigating charitable misconduct, is reversed, and the cases are remanded.
Torres v. Madrid, No. 19-292 [Arg: 10.14.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.25.2021]
Holding: The application of physical force to the body of a person with intent to restrain is a seizure even if the person does not submit and is not subdued.
TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, No. 20-297 [Arg: 3.30.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.25.2021]
Holding: Only a plaintiff concretely harmed by a defendant’s violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act has Article III standing to seek damages against that private defendant in federal court.
Trump v. New York, No. 20-366 [Arg: 11.30.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.18.2020]
Holding: Because the challengers have not shown standing and because the claims presented are not ripe for adjudication, the district court’s judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
Holding: The deliberative process privilege gives protection from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to in-house draft biological opinions that are both predecisional and deliberative, even if the drafts reflect the agencies’ last views about a proposal.
U.S. v. Arthrex Inc., No. 19-1434 [Arg: 3.1.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.21.2021]
Holding: The unreviewable authority wielded by Administrative Patent Judges during inter partes review is incompatible with their appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to an inferior office.
U.S. v. Briggs, No. 19-108 [Arg: 10.13.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.10.2020]
Holding: The prosecutions of three military service members for rape were timely under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
U.S. v. Collins, No. 19-184 [Arg: 10.13.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 12.10.2020]
Holding: The prosecutions of three military service members for rape were timely under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
U.S. v. Cooley, No. 19-1414 [Arg: 3.23.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.1.2021]
Holding: A tribal police officer has authority to detain temporarily and to search a non-Native American traveling on a public right-of-way running through a reservation for potential violations of state or federal law.
U.S. v. Gary, No. 20-444 [Arg: 4.20.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.14.2021]
Holding: In felon-in-possession cases under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), an error under Rehaif v. United States is not a basis for plain-error relief unless the defendant first makes a sufficient argument or representation on appeal that he would have presented evidence at trial that he did not in fact know he was a felon.
U.S. v. Palomar-Santiago, No. 20-437 [Arg: 4.27.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 5.24.2021]
Holding: Each of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d)’s statutory requirements for bringing a collateral attack on a prior deportation order is mandatory.
Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, No. 19-968 [Arg: 1.12.2021 Trans./Aud.; Decided 3.8.2021]
Holding: A request for nominal damages satisfies the redressability element necessary for Article III standing where a plaintiff’s claim is based on a completed violation of a legal right.
Van Buren v. U.S., No. 19-783 [Arg: 11.30.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.3.2021]
Holding: An individual “exceeds authorized access” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2), when he accesses a computer with authorization but then obtains information located in particular areas of the computer — such as files, folders or databases — that are off-limits to him.
Yellen v. Collins, No. 19-563 [Arg: 12.9.2020 Trans./Aud.; Decided 6.23.2021]
Holding: Because the Federal Housing Finance Agency did not exceed its authority under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 as a conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the anti-injunction provisions of the Recovery Act bar the statutory claim brought by shareholders of those entities; the Recovery Act’s structure, which restricts the President’s power to remove the FHFA director, violates the separation of powers.
Holding: Alaska Native Corporations are “Indian tribe[s]” under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and thus eligible for funding available to “Tribal governments” under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.