Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Northwest, Inc. v. Ginsberg (April 2, 2014)
A railroad's right of way through public land that has been conveyed to a private citizen through a land patent constitutes an easement, and when the railroad abandons the right of way with federal approval, such abandonment terminates the easement.

McCutcheon v. Federal Election Comm’n (April 2, 2014)
The aggregate limits imposed by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which restrict how much money a donor may contribute to all candidates or committees, unconstitutionally restrict individuals' First Amendment right to participate in the electoral process through political expression and political association.

United States v. Castleman (March 26, 2014)
The "physical force" requirement under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which criminalizes possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a 'misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,' is satisfied by the “offensive touching” degree of force that supports a common-law battery conviction and does not require the greater showing of violent contact.

United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. (March 25, 2014)
Severance payments made to employees who were involuntarily terminated in a company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings constitute taxable wages under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc. (March 25, 2014)
Static Control, a maker and seller of components for the remanufacture of Lexmark printer cartridges, falls within the class of plaintiffs Congress authorized to sue under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), for false or misleading advertising.