Volume 578

Simmons v. Himmelreich
Docket Number: 15-109
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 6, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Himmelreich, a federal prisoner, sued the United States, alleging that he was severely beaten by a fellow inmate as the result of negligence by prison officials. The government treated the suit as a claim under the Feder...

Ross v. Blake
Docket Number: 15-339
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: June 6, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Guards (Madigan and Ross) undertook to move Blake, a Maryland inmate, to the prison’s segregation unit. Madigan assaulted Blake, punching him in the face. The prison system’s Internal Investigative Unit (IIU), issued a r...

Army Corps of Eng'rs v. Hawkes Co.
Docket Number: 15-290
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 31, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Peat mining companies sought a Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1311(a), 1362, permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, to discharge material onto wetlands on property that they own and hope to mine. The Corps issued a jurisdi...

Johnson v. Lee
Docket Number: 15-789
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 31, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Lee and her boyfriend stabbed two women to death and were convicted of first-degree murder. Lee received a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. In 1999, Lee unsuccessfully raised four claims on appeal. Af...

Lynch v. Arizona
Docket Number: 15-8366
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 31, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Lynch was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and burglary for a 2001 killing. The state sought the death penalty. Before Lynch’s penalty phase trial began, Arizona successfully moved to prevent...

Wittman v. Personhuballah
Docket Number: 14-1504
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 23, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Voters from Virginia’s Congressional District 3 challenged the Commonwealth’s 2013 congressional redistricting plan on the ground that the legislature’s redrawing of their district was unconstitutional racial gerrymander...

Green v. Brennan
Docket Number: 14-613
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 23, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Green complained to his employer, the U.S. Postal Service, that he was denied a promotion because he was black. His supervisors then accused him of the crime of intentionally delaying the mail. In a 2009 agreement, USPS...

Foster v. Chatman
Docket Number: 14-8349
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 23, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: During jury selection at Foster’s trial, the state (Georgia) used peremptory challenges to strike all four qualified black prospective jurors. Foster was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. The trial cour...

Luna Torres v. Lynch
Docket Number: 14-1096
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 19, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Any alien convicted of an “aggravated felony” after entering the U.S. is deportable, ineligible for several forms of discretionary relief, and subject to expedited removal, 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), (3). An “aggravate...

CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n
Docket Number: 14-1375
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 19, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: CRST trucking company requires its drivers to graduate from its training program before becoming certified drivers. In 2005, new driver Starke filed an EEOC charge, alleging that she was sexually harassed by male trainer...

Betterman v. Montana
Docket Number: 14-1457
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 19, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Betterman pleaded guilty to bail jumping after failing to appear on domestic assault charges. He was then jailed for over 14 months awaiting sentence, in large part due to institutional delay. He was eventually sentenced...

Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins
Docket Number: 13-1339
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 16, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Spokeo operates a “people search engine,” which searches a wide spectrum of databases to gather and provide personal information about individuals to various users, including prospective employers. After Robins discovere...

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning
Docket Number: 14-1132
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 16, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Manning held 2,000,000 shares of Escala stock. He claims that he lost most of his investment when its price plummeted after Merrill Lynch devalued Escala through “naked short sales.” Unlike a typical short sale, where a...

Zubik v. Burwell
Docket Number: 14-1418
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 16, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Employers must cover certain contraceptives as part of their health plans unless the employer submits a form to their insurer or to the federal government, stating that they object on religious grounds to providing contr...

Husky Int’l Electronics, Inc. v. Ritz
Docket Number: 15-145
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 16, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Chrysalis incurred a debt of $164,000 to Husky. Ritz, Chrysalis’ director and then-part-owner, drained Chrysalis of assets available to pay the debt by transferring large sums to other entities Ritz controlled. Husky sue...

Sheriff v. Gillie
Docket Number: 15-338
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 16, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits “abusive debt collection practices,” 15 U.S.C. 1692(a)–(d), barring “false, deceptive, or misleading representation[s].” The definition of “debt collectors,” excludes “any...

Kernan v. Hinojas
Docket Number: 15-833
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 16, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Hinojosa was serving a sentence for armed robbery when, in 2009, prison officials “validated” him as a prison-gang associate and placed him in secured housing (Cal. Penal Code 2933.6). In 2010, the state amended the law...

Ocasio v. United States
Docket Number: 14-361
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: May 2, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Ocasio and other police officers routed damaged vehicles from accident scenes to an auto repair shop in exchange for kickbacks. He was charged with obtaining money from the shopowners under color of official right (Hobbs...

Heffernan v. City of Paterson
Docket Number: 14-1280
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 26, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: The Paterson, New Jersey, chief of police and Officer Heffernan’s supervisor were appointed by Paterson’s incumbent mayor, who was running for re-election against Heffernan's friend, Spagnola. Heffernan was not involved...

Harris v. Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm’n
Docket Number: 14-232
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 20, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: After the 2010 census, Arizona’s Redistricting Commission, with two Republicans, two Democrats, and one Independent, redrew legislative districts. The initial plan had a 4.07% maximum population deviation from absolute e...

Bank Markazi v. Peterson
Docket Number: 14-770
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 20, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: American nationals may seek damages from state sponsors of terrorism in U.S. courts, 28 U.S.C. 1605A, but face difficulties enforcing their judgments. Concerned with specific terrorism cases, Congress enacted the Iran Th...

Molina-Martinez v. United States
Docket Number: 14-8913
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 20, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Molina-Martinez pleaded guilty to being unlawfully present in the U.S. after being deported following an aggravated felony conviction. The Guidelines range in his presentence report was 77-96 months. The Probation Office...

Franchise Tax Bd. of Cal. v. Hyatt
Docket Number: 14-1175
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 19, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Hyatt claims that he moved from California to Nevada in 1991, but the Franchise Tax Board of California claimed that he moved in 1992 and owed California millions in taxes, penalties, and interest. Hyatt sued in Nevada s...

Hughes v. Talen Energy Mktg., LLC
Docket Number: 14-614
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 19, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has exclusive jurisdiction over interstate wholesale electricity sales. States regulate retail sales. In states that have deregulated their energy markets, “load serving en...

Welch v. United States
Docket Number: 15-6418
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 18, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Possession of a firearm by a felon is punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment, 18 U.SC. 922(g), 924(a)(2), but the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) increases that sentence to a mandatory 15-years-to-life if the offend...

Evenwel v. Abbott
Docket Number: 14-940
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 4, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Under the one-person, one-vote principle, jurisdictions must design legislative districts with equal populations. In state and local legislative districting, states may deviate from perfect population equality to accommo...

Nichols v. United States
Docket Number: 15-5238
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 4, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) makes it a crime for certain sex offenders to “knowingly fai[l] to register or update a registration,” 18 U.S.C. 2250(a)(3), and requires that offenders who move...

Woods v. Etherton
Docket Number: 15-723
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: April 4, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Michigan law enforcement received an anonymous tip that two white males were traveling on I–96 in a white Audi, possibly carrying cocaine. Officers spotted a vehicle matching that description and pulled it over for speed...

Luis v. United States
Docket Number: 14-419
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 30, 2016

Justia Opinion Summary: Under 18 U.S.C. 1345(a)(2), a court may freeze, before trial, assets belonging to a defendant accused of violations of federal health care or banking laws, including: property “obtained as a result of ” the crime; proper...

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn.
Docket Number: 14-915
Court: US Supreme Court
Date: March 29, 2016